4 months of hard training, dragging myself out of bed early in the mornings, waking up to look at the day’s training plan as a reminder as to how many miles I needed to run that day…it had all finally come to an end. I had tapered for the last 3 weeks and was as ready as I ever could be for marathon number 1 of 2 over the course of 8 days.
Firstly, I know that 2 marathons on back to back weekends is madness. Having only run 1 marathon prior to this, 2 in 8 days would not be most people’s idea of the next step up, but I am not most people! I seem to have to push for more every time I have completed a challenge and I absolutely love it!
Anyway, enough about the fact that I still have another marathon to come this week, I’m here to tell you about the wonderful event that is the Yorkshire Marathon!
Exactly 1 year and 1 week since I completed the Bournemouth marathon, where I had finished with a time of 4 hours 37 minutes, I was preparing to absolutely destroy that with a new PB. I had been training towards a finishing time of 3 hours and 30 minutes, or somewhere in that ball park. This may seem like it was an optimistic goal, to say the least, but I truly believed it was achievable if I put the time and dedication into my 4-month training plan. Once the final few weeks of my training rolled around, I felt like I was running quick enough but the only concern I had was that I had hit the wall when doing my longest training run of 22 miles. That evening was a rough one, seriously rough. I remember sitting hanging out of my car near work feeling like I could keel over! For the first time in a long time, I actually had some pretty negative thoughts about running and whether I was capable of my goals. This doubt did not last more than a few hours though because in simple terms…
“I DO NOT ACCEPT DEFEAT!”
I believe in myself and when I fall down, I drag my ass back up and go again. I’m a tenacious little b*stard and I quickly got myself in a positive mindset again and was focused on keeping well fueled, hydrated and fighting fit for the main event. Whatever time I was capable of, I was simply going to give the race everything I had and if you give 100%, you should never be disappointed with yourself.
All in all, it went very bloody well! Finishing with a time of 3 hours 32 minutes and 4 seconds! I missed out on that 3:30 marker I had set myself, but I was still over the moon with my achievement. I managed to knock 1 hour and 5 minutes off my previous marathon PB! That is what hard work does for you. That finishing time justifies the amount of my life I dedicated to training like a mad man. All of those mornings that I was up running before my brain even turned on, the sessions in the gym to help with my core and strength, the careful planning of what food I would be eating the next day, the few nights out I decided against…it was all part of the reason I was able to knock over 1 hour off my previous marathon time. Good things come to those who work their ass off.
As always, I had the GoPro in my pocket and I caught myself plenty of mid-race action, including selfies with poor unsuspecting runners who were minding their own business, a supporter who suffered the same fate, and of course, my standard shouting to gear the crowd up and to cheer on other runners. I love a good motivation shout hahaha.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t give everything up when I am in training. I make sure that I find the happy medium with my fitness and my social life. I genuinely do what I want to do and make sure that happiness is my first priority, it’s just that my priorities have changed over the last couple of years. I still enjoy a drink or two, or three…we could go on. Party Pete does make an appearance when it suits haha. But I did skip a few indulgences during my build up to this marathon. Don’t you worry though, after my second marathon this week, I will be letting my hair down a little bit. Oh yes!
Despite the fact that most of Yorkshire is full of crazy hills, York, and indeed the Yorkshire marathon is a really flat race. I would certainly recommend it as a first marathon course for anyone looking to join in with the madness that is running 26.2 miles.
During this race, you get to take in the beautiful old city of York, as well as some gorgeous, quaint villages as you run North, away from the city centre. If nothing else, running 26.2 miles around the city gives you a great opportunity to take in the ‘real’ feel of the area. Not only do you run through the inner city streets but there is also the opportunity to see some very pretty countryside where pockets of locals have gathered to cheer you and everybody else on during your long slog.
If you are looking for a good marathon to run, maybe it’s your first, I would certainly recommend this one. It is a lovely part of the UK for a visit and the run itself was superb. I grabbed myself a PB, the locals were great and supported everyone like absolute champions and it was another superb running experience. Thanks again to all the people of York, I absolutely bloody loved my time in your great city!
As always, thank you so much for reading my blog. I love to write about my running experiences and it is always ace to receive any feedback from my readers. Feel free to pop any comments that you may have in the comments section below and don’t forget to sign up to the newsletter if you haven’t already!
One last thing…..here is Pippa…the medal receiver after every race haha.