The London Marathon

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It’s going to be a long one!

I woke up on Sunday morning at 6.30am. I didn’t need to get up until 7, but I couldn’t sleep.

My night hadn’t been the best, I kept waking up but I didn’t feel too tired. I got ready, put on all my kit that I had set out the night before and then headed into the kitchen for breakfast. I wasn’t feeling too hungry but I knew it was important to eat so I battled my way through a bagel and a half…not the first battle of the day I was sure.

I was staying at Mum’s house and Dad was going to pick us up at 7.45am. Mum decided to come up with me and Dad so she could be there at the start to see me off.

Dad arrived and I was nervous. I was anxious about getting there on time and with everything okay. But the journey was pretty easy and Dad put on Disney’s greatest hits to keep me calm. As we approached Blackheath we found the most perfect parking spot and with that we were there.

There was a buzz in the air and runners were walking with their loved ones to the start line. As we walked to the Red Start I was feeling particularly calm which was good. Mum said she needed to the loo so I queued with her and then after that we said our goodbyes and I headed into the runners only section.

I went to drop off my bag, got some water and then went to make my way to my start pen. On the way I bumped into an old school friend who I haven’t seen in years. We gave each other a hug and wished each other luck and it was super nice to see a friendly face.

I was in Start Pen 9. That’s the last pen – I must have estimated I would finish in 5hrs and over when I initially signed up because this was a much slower pace pen that I was now currently aiming for.

The crowd were great, they were people dressed up, thousands in charity jerseys, people singing and talking to strangers. When the gun went off at 10am we all got very excited. However as we were in the last pen it did take us 26 minutes to even get to the start line.

Off I went and initially it was pretty difficult to have room to move. I was running at a pace that was obviously a faster and I kept getting stuck behind groups of runners – but I weaved my way around and at about half a mile in I saw Mum and Dad waving their flag  and they were wishing me luck.

Before I knew it 5 miles had just flown by! I thought wow if it all goes as fast as this I’ll be in no problem. I’d also managed to see one of my friends and also my cousin and her boyfriend. In fact with both these people I spotted them first and shouted for them!

The first big moment of the race came when we entered Greenwich. It was LOUD. There was so many people cheering and clapping. There were so many people to look at. I knew Mum and Dad would be around here and also my boyfriend Stu was due to be here too. Before the race we had sorted out flags with most of my supporters and I knew what flag I was looking out for for each of them.

There he was. Stu. With the big yellow smiley face flag and he looked super excited to see me, jumping up and down and it was lovely to see him. I wasn’t stopping and kept that memory with me as I moved on. I saw my Mum, my Dad and then the Headway cheering point, the charity I was running it for. Greenwich meant a lot to see all of these people and it was amazing…then I ran past the Cutty Sark! Madness I tell you.

It was so loud, so many MORE people! The boat itself was pretty spectacular and I began to realise that this was going to be a great experience.

The next aim now was to make it to Tower Bridge – the half way point and where I’d see Mum and Dad for the third time. But it was starting to get hot now and there was still 7 miles to go.

‘Oww’ I thought. ‘My arm!’. With all the excitement at the beginning of the race I had totally forgotten to put the vaseline on my arms and as they were moving back and forth one of them was totally rubbing with each stroke. ‘It’s fine. It doesn’t really hurt’ I kept telling myself. But truth be told it did! How was I going to make it through?

‘Mum will be at Tower Bridge Siobhan, she’ll have the Vaseline and you can sort it there. Just keep going, get there and it will be fine!’ So with that in mind I focused on just getting there. But it hurt and I couldn’t get it out of my head enough. ‘Why are people just offering out sweets here? Surely someone will have Vaseline? Will I see a runner get some out? I can ask for some?’ Nope no runners with Vaseline, it’s not happening I just had to keep going.

Then suddenly an angel in a St John’s ambulance uniform was standing there ahead of me, tub in hand. ‘IS THAT VASELINE?!’ I shouted. ‘Yes’ she said and with that I took the biggest dollop of Vaseline and rubbed it all in my arm. I had loads left on my hand and had to wipe it on my leggings as vaseline hands are not ideal for grabbing water bottles with.

Things started to get easier again. My arm felt great and I began enjoying the crowds once more. ‘Really take it in Siobhan’, I said to myself and as I was looking into the crowds another friend appeared ‘Siobhan!!!! GO SIOBHAN’ he shouted. He looked pretty happy and I noticed the can in his hand. Woo! Drink! Drink to my acheivement!

Before long I began to see the tall bits of Tower Bridge in the distance and then as I approached the bridge the pink flag appeared once more – it was Mum and Dad. I ran over to their side and waved. As I got closer Mum handed me a spare gel and I smiled at them both as they cheered me on.

Tower Bridge is a real amazing sight. It’s even more of a sight running on it with hundreds of people. It was super cool! My friend was also going to be on the bridge with the charity she works for, Shooting Star Chase, so I looked out for her flag and gave her a big high 5 when I ran past!

It was breathtaking but with the end of Tower Bridge it means you have to run in the wrong direction away from The Mall until you come back again about 10 miles later. I think mentally this is challenging knowing your so close but then so far away.

‘Keep going Siobhan!’ ‘You’re doing really well’ I kept saying to myself and began to focus on the running. ‘SIOBHAN!’ I heard from the crowd – now this isn’t something new, I have my name on my top and lots of people are shouting my name and cheering me on, but this one felt different, more direct – I looked back and it was my sister’s boyfriend shouting my name and my sister standing there cheering next to him. What a surprise. I had expected to see her at Tower Bridge but that was miles behind now and I had no idea she was going to be there.

I kept plodding along – then I heard the BIGGEST cheer and it was shouting my name!! I looked over the road to the other side where the runners were coming back and on that side of the pavement were two aunties, six cousins and 4 second cousins jumping up and down and cheering!!! ‘YEAH’ I thought as I smiled and waved. Shortly after a man came running up behind me ‘You’re Siobhan. I work with Catriona.’ It was my cousins friend and he had heard them cheer me, they then saw him and cheered him and he caught up to say hi.

16 miles in. ‘Okay 10 miles to go. This is starting to get hard. No! Stop thinking negatively!’ Well in hindsight I was right. Thing were starting to get hard and much earlier than I had thought it would. I was pretty sure I would make it to 20 miles before things started to hurt but my thighs were beginning to tighten up, my hips were sore and my lower back was reminding me it was there. The only thing that kept me going was knowing that at 17, Stu would be there again.

Last year when I went to watch my Dad the first place we saw him was 17 miles in and he looked great. I kept trying to remind myself that ‘it’s just 17 it’s not that hard yet.’ But it was of course a total lie that I was telling myself.

The yellow smiley face flag.

‘It’s Stu!’ I could see he was with his friend Ryan now. I just needed to touch him and as I ran past I held his hand and said ‘This is hard!’ He smiled at me and I went off. That little touch gave me the power to keep going.

‘Come on Siobhan just get to 20! Keep going strong to 20! You’ll be at 19 any minute’. When I run sometimes I cannot think straight at all – I guess my body is concentrating on other places but the saddest moment happened when I reached the mile marker and it was 18 miles. ’18?! What? I thought it was 19? Ohhh!’ I had to try and forget it and just keep going, it may seem a small mistake but at that moment with my legs tightening, it felt terrible.

Things started to pick up again when I reached the Canary Wharf area. Another busy area full of people cheering, drums, music – literally a constant roar of noise. There were people to look at again, exciting things to see and before I knew it, I was past 19, had seen a group of work friends, and had picked up the pace.

However soon after it became quiet(er) again, more and more runners were lying on the side of the road having medical treatment and it began to be a little scary. My pace slowed and I had to avoid the runners in trouble – ‘eyes up, head up, stay strong, stay focused’.

20 miles!! YES I made it! And to reward my efforts I saw another friend.

‘Just a 10km now Siobhan that’s all. You can do this. What I want you to do is make it to 21. That’s all you need to do.’

21 miles.

‘Okay Siobhan this is great well done! The pace you got, it’s good. Keep it. Stay comfortable. What I want you to do is make it back to the family – once you’re there you’ll be close to Tower Bridge again and then it’s easy street.’

As I was getting closer to where I could remember they were I was looking out for their flag and I saw another that I recognised!?! Roisin, my sister. Once again in a place she didn’t tell me she was going to be. I ran to her side of the road and as I went past I told her how it was getting hard. It wasn’t easy anymore, it wasn’t a breeze and I needed to get the negative out again I needed to tell her.

Before long I made it to the family again! I could hear there cheers as I was approaching and it was the first time I thought I might just burst into tears – they were all here cheering for me and they were all willing me on so much and my heart was literally so full at that moment. But as I got closer I knew I needed to smile at them and with that the tears subsided and mile 22 was in the near distance.

‘One more Siobhan. Get to 23.’ I saw Stu and Ryan again! ‘The next time I see them I’ll be done.’

23 miles. ‘YES! COME ON! 5k left’.

From this point it was now super busy, there were even more people everywhere. But it was also the point that I knew I’d finish it. There’s no way whatever happens I won’t be able to run 3 miles. I saw a few more friends, some unexpected, some were.

Before I did the marathon I was warned about the Tunnel of Doom – a tunnel by Embankment where no crowds can go in, runners are crying, some stretching by the sides, you can only hear footsteps, breath, tears and huffs. It was in the near distance then all of a sudden, before I entered the tunnel, on a footbridge I saw a pink flag. ‘That looks like Dad’s flag’ I thought.

‘GO ON SIOBHAN. NEARLY THERE DARLING’ Dad shouted. And I looked up and there were my parents waving and cheering. Mum waving around another pair of gels – how she thought she’d get them to me from up there I don’t know – but I didn’t need them. What a great place to enter the Tunnel of Doom.

It was as the people said it would be but I kept running and near the end was light and loud music, a tannoy and cheering people. I kept running. Out of the tunnel.

The London Eye in sight. I kept running.

24 miles. I kept running.

Then Big Ben in sight. ‘You’re so close now Siobhan just aim for Big Ben’.

I saw my running club friend Mike, I heard SO many people shout my name over and over. These strangers willing me on in the last few miles.

Big Ben got closer and closer and after that Birdcage Walk just happened. There was a sign 600m to go. ‘One and a half round the track, that’s all this is!’ Then there was a 400m sign. ‘That’s just one lap of the track – you can do that.’

Buckingham Palace.

Then around the roundabout and there it was – the finish line.

I ran as fast as I could! I think I ran a bit earlier than I should have but I wasn’t stopping now.

Arms up and across the finish line in 4hrs 16mins and 05 seconds. It was over. I did it!

I did it. I ran 26.2 miles.

I got my medal (sadly no sign of any royals for me) and then because I had finally stopped running after 4 hours my legs started stiffening up even more and I developed a nice little shuffle to collect my bag and walk all the way along The Mall until I caught up with Mum, Dad, Stu and Ryan.

It truly was the best thing I’ve done. It was hard, it was challenging but it was amazing and I did it.

We traveled to The Cock Tavern Pub after to celebrate and there were all my supporters and extra family and friends. I celebrated lots and was on the biggest high. It was so lovely to see everyone there and a big thanks to everyone who came out to the pub and the race!

The next day was another challenge in itself. My legs were sore! Going down stairs? That was out of the question! I walked no faster than a shuffle for the full day. But I had a medal and I felt like the pain was worth it.

By Wednesday my legs were back to normal but still best to rest up for a while.

The London Marathon was ridiculously well organised. The Buxton Water stations were all well supplied at all times, the volunteers smiley when they handed out the bottles. The bag drop/pick up was easy. The route was amazing! It was everything it needed to be. The worst thing about it was that it was over.

 

Overall, I have currently raised just over £4000 (£4,500 with Gift Aid) for Headway and I am proud to have been able to help them. (If you still want to sponsor me you can the link is below.)

For me this can’t be the end of my marathon career. I have more in me. I need to do this again! It’s hard but it’s rewarding – keeps you fit and is like nothing else I’ve ever done.

So even though it’s a break from marathon for the rest of the year I won’t stop running and it’s not the end…It can’t be.


I’m running the London Marathon to raise money for Headway, the brain injury association. You can sponsor me here: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SiobhanSharp

To find out more about Headway and what they do visit their website here.

 

Let’s get ready to rhumble: Week 16

IMG_2140.JPGIt’s the final week before the London Marathon. I have been waiting for this day since July and have been properly training for 16 weeks, as well as base training since September last year.

It’s been a rollercoaster week. There have been days when I’ve felt so nervous I literally felt sick! Then other days where imagining crossing the finish line has had me welling up, days when I’ve doubted my ability to do this and the good days where I’ve been ready to take it on (and take it down YEAH!)

I’ve even been a marathonzilla! If you slightly joke about it or thinks of it as somewhat unimportant I go into a full blown (inward) strop of DO YOU NOT KNOW HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS TO ME?! Like literally on stupid levels and a part of me floats up looking at myself as if from above saying WHAT ARE YOU DOING? ITS JUST A MARATHON?! CALM YOUR SHIT! (Although I’m not sure that is limited to just this week, pretty sure I’ve been this way since January.)

IMG_2145This week my running has gone way down in the training plan. It is called tapering and supposed to make you feel on peak performance on race day as you get to the start line with rested legs. But it feels really odd. I mean my legs feel great and my runs are good and the pace has been great but running just 2 miles makes me have serious anxiety: what if I have lost all my long distance ability? I just have to trust in my plan and stay strong.

It has also been a week where I realise (once again) how great the people that I have in my life are. They’ve all been super supportive and sent good luck wishes and I’ve even had more sponsorship come in!
It’s pretty overwhelming to be supported this much and makes me feel really loved. So a big thanks to everyone who has wished me well!

I truly wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support that I’ve had and I’ll be running with you all in my heart (and when it gets hard in my head!)

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Celebrating with my Dad had finished the race last year.

Last year when I went to watch my Dad I didn’t know then that I’d be here this year! But I couldn’t think of a better reason to run!

This charity means a lot to me, they will always have a place in my heart for what they did for my friend Will and his wife Amy. For the fact that they campaign for people to wear bike helmets – something that’s important to me after my dad was knocked off his bike and saved by his bike helmet. For how the members of Headway West London touched my heart with their everyday bravery after surviving brain injury. And for the kindness and support this lovely small charity have shown to me throughout this process! Big up Cerys and Lizzie from the Headway team!

This year’s marathon is also a mental health marathon raising awareness of all different mental health issues with Heads Together. I’m proud to run it this year with that in mind too. I find a run really helps me refocus and relax and so I think the marathon and Heads Together are a perfect match.

In some ways this is one of the biggest days of my life. It’s going to stay with me forever whether this is the first of many or the only one.

IMG_2138I just hope my training and the support I have received gets me all the way through to the finish line in one piece! Lots of luck to all the other marathon runners!

Head up, stay strong, keep going. You got this Siobhan!

Here’s to tomorrow!

London Marathon 2017


IMG_2146I will be running using my Asics trainers, Garmin GPS watch, Science in Sport gels (orange flavour), flipbelt to carry them, double layered socks, H&M sports bra and leggings, puma hat (to keep the sun away), Heads Together band and of course my Headway jersey.


I’m running the London Marathon to raise money for Headway, the brain injury association. You can sponsor me here: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SiobhanSharp

To find out more about Headway and what they do visit their website here.

It is a big deal: Week 15

It’s now the end of Week 15 of my 16 week Marathon plan. I am sure that you know this is my first marathon and it would be fair to say I’ve made quite a big deal about it so far.

I have spoken about it ALL the time, mentioned it in staff meetings, literally taken all the selfies of my life in thanks for donations and posted them everywhere, I have moaned and cried and when I’m not talking about it I’m thinking about it.

As of late I can start to see that people are getting a little bit bored of me talking about it, but you know what…I shamelessly don’t care.

This is the biggest challenges I have ever set myself – it has pushed me physically, mentally and emotionally. It has been so important to me in lots of different ways and I feel I deserve to talk about it as much as I do because to me it is a big deal.

Firstly is my first marathon. It’s a marathon!! It’s massive. I’m allowed to talk about that.

Secondly after hearing from my friend about the importance of Headway to him and after going to the West London Headway group it is clear to me that this charity is amazing and achieving this and raising money for them is also a big deal. I don’t want to let them down and compared to what the people who use Headway have had to face in their lives a marathon is nothing and so even though it’s a challenge for me I need to achieve it for them. I can’t just give up.

I’m also proud of having raised so much money for them! I thought the initial target of £2000 would be hard to reach and I’ve currently raised nearly £3,400!

Also I’ve put in so much time and effort and it has literally consumed all of me for 15 weeks. I’ve given up time with friends. I have basically done nothing for the past 15 Saturday nights (although I have had the chance to watch Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway – woohoo.) There was a time where I barely saw Stu because of training and there was still so much to go and I had to put him second to this challenge and it was horrible. Some days I’ve been so tired from running and it has taken my everything to make it through the day. There have been some times when it’s been freezing and I can’t be bothered to train and I’ve had to go against all my thoughts and power on through anyways. It hasn’t been easy. It’s been hard and I’ve put in all
that work and so it’s a big deal for me.

Also I’m not particularly a confident person and rarely believe in good things about myself but this process has helped me become much better at being kind to myself. When you’re running you have to remain positive in your head and constantly tell yourself you can do it, that you’re strong and you will achieve it. (Because if you don’t tell yourself that it’s so much harder.)

On top of that, achieving milestones like a fastest mile or the furthest run so far or a massive 20 miles, backs up the thoughts that you can do it because you have actually achieved something amazing. At this point I feel strong and powerful for getting this far and achieving what I have so far. Sometimes I’ll finish a run and can’t believe that I’ve achieved it! I feel positive about myself and my achievement and it means a lot to give myself some credit for once.

To go through all these things is a big deal! And why I can’t stop talking about it. As much as I am sorry I’m boring my friends, family and work mates to death I’m also not sorry.

It’s also why I’m now becoming so totally nervous about the day which is just one week away!!

I can’t believe after all this time it’s now so close!

So until next week…

Siobhan


I’m running the London Marathon to raise money for Headway, the brain injury association. You can sponsor me here: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SiobhanSharp

2 weeks to go: Week 14

I can’t quite believe it. There are just two weeks left until the London Marathon.

It was a bit up and down this week, things started well but on Wednesday I got an awful migraine and felt really bad. I had to go home from work, I didn’t go for a run and I rested.

I am concerned at this point in training to continue to be in good health for the next 2 weeks! I’m starting to get annoyed at people on the tube who are coughing without putting their hand over their mouth. I have worked so hard so I just want to get there feeling as good as I can. So it is important to chill out if you’re not feeling that great.

I think I will continue to have anxiety until the day. Last night I had my first marathon dream. I don’t remember what happened but it was the race day and I remember things weren’t going great. I don’t know how many more of these will happen over the next couple of weeks. This really has taken over my whole life.

I felt much better the day after the migraine and my runs this week have been quite strong. It feels good. When it came to my long run of just 12 miles on Sunday I aimed to run it at race pace. It was super warm and even though I was running just a little faster than my race pace it felt hot and it was tiring.

I really hope that it is NOT that warm on the marathon day. I thought of all those people running the Brighton Marathon today in the hot weather and feel like they are heroes!

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Teddington Locke in the sun

It was a beautiful day and it was part of a route I had taken early on in training when it was SUPER cold and frosty and today it was sunshine and blue skies and it was beautiful. It made me think of all the different things I have been through; frost, snow, rain and now sun!

At this stage in training I am thinking back a lot, thinking of how far I have come. How sometimes it has been the hardest thing in the world and other times I have never felt prouder. It’s been a really fascinating challenge.

I believe I can do it and I know that even if it gets hard I have so much support that it will get me through, both from donors and also people’s kind words! I can’t quite explain how amazing it has been to get so much support and to have raised so much money for such a great charity.

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At the end of my 12 miles and end of Week 14.

I can’t wait to see the Headway team at mile 6.5 outside the De Vere Hotel, I will take with me thoughts of the wonderful people I met at Headway West London and all those from stories I have read from brain injury survivors. These people have learnt to thrive after brain injury so what’s a marathon compared to that?

I’m still super nervous about the day, anxious to get it done, excited to do it and cannot wait to cross that finish line. Lot of emotions already.

Not long now…

Until next week.

Siobhan x


I’m running the London Marathon to raise money for Headway, the brain injury association. You can sponsor me here: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SiobhanSharp

To find out more about Headway and what they do visit their website here. 

Only three weeks left: Week 13

I was on a bit of a high starting out this week having completed 20 miles. I did a quick 4 mile slow recovery run and my legs didn’t feel too bad and I was quite pleased.

But as I got to Tuesday I was EXHAUSTED. At work I could barely keep my eyes open and actually started to make me feel a bit sick.

I wasn’t sore I was just tired. I ended up having a nap at lunchtime and by the time it got to the end of the day I thought it best to give training a miss.

I rested until track on Thursday. At track a few of us were feeling quite tired so we decided to take it a bit easy and it was nice not to have to go too hard, as I am unsure whether I would be able to.

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Happy Birthday Pat

It was my cousin Pat’s 30th birthday on Saturday, so in order to be able to go along to the pub and not worry about leaving early (and being able to have a drink) I decided to do my 18 miles on Saturday morning. It wasn’t easy. It had been less than a week that I had run 20 miles at race pace and I could feel the tiredness in my legs. They just didn’t want to go fast.

I was actually feeling a little mentally negative about the run from early on. I was upset about my legs feeling so slow and I knew how far I had to go as I had done this route a few weeks ago.

When I feel negative I seem to look down whilst running, which is not good technique. But I had to keep saying to myself “COME ON Siobhan! This is the last BIG run. You have just run 20 miles last week really well don’t worry you’re a bit slow. Keep your head up. Stay strong. Once this is done it’s easy from here”.

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Ouchies

Another annoying thing was that I must have put too much water in my camel pack as it was rubbing and it has never done that before. It was pretty sore and I had to keep focusing on something else, telling myself it didn’t hurt that bad.

I’m actually a little pleased I had this hard run and battle with myself because even though I was feeling negative the positive vibes were shining through. I was listening to myself, I began looking up, technique would get better and when I was listening to the positive side it wasn’t as hard as I was initially making it out to be.

I was pleased about this because last week at the 20 miles I was in a really good mood. I felt strong and positive mentally the whole way and it made it SO much easier. But I am unsure how I will feel on the day of the marathon. I hope it will be good and positive but you never know with anxieties and nerves. But this run was good practice to keep going whilst feeling like it’s the last thing you want to do.

I’m really beginning to believe I can run the marathon!

When I was at my cousins 30th birthday later, I was talking to another cousin who reminded me about when she saw me half way through training and I was feeling really down about how far I had to go. She said “but look how far you have come and now it’s only a few weeks away”.

I do remember that time and I remember thinking I’d never get to this point. And for anyone who is at the beginning or middle of their training just remember you will get there!

Soon it is all going to be over and though I can’t wait to cross that finish line and get my life back, it’s going to be weird not having the marathon in my life. I have never found anything so hard before in my entire life, yet (to this point) I have stuck at it and kept going.

I’m really proud of myself and so happy I have managed to raise over £3000 for Headway. Hopefully I can keep this up (maybe even raise more money for this great charity) and finish on a high!

Training is now in tapering and all I have to do is keep going for the last few weeks until the big day.

Until next week,

Siobhan x


I’m running the London Marathon to raise money for Headway, the brain injury association. You can sponsor me here: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SiobhanSharp

To find out more about Headway and what they do visit their website here. 

It’s all coming together: Week 12

The week started with training on Tuesday and I was in a bit of a runners tantrum. I felt like I just couldn’t be bothered to do it. I mean I am so close to marathon day now but still so far, training needs to continue but I’m tired.

I’m always tired!

I didn’t want to go. There was so much of me that wanted to just go home and sit on the sofa and hang out.

But I pulled up my big girl socks and got it done. In the end it was actually a pretty good session. When Thursday track came around I was ready and raring to go! It was 30 days until marathon day and I had a renewed feeling of positivity.

I thought to myself – enjoy it Siobhan because soon it will all be over!

Friday morning I was actually feeling REALLY tired and I thought considering I had twenty miles to run on Sunday ,I decided to rest and I did feel better for it.

At this stage in marathon training I think it is important to notice which days your just feeling moany and need to push through and which days it would actually be beneficial to rest.

With less than 30 days to go I am feeling SO anxious now about getting to marathon day. I just want it to be here and I literally cannot wait anymore. I’m constantly thinking about it, it’s all I think about. I see it, dream it, feel it, think it, want it, hate it, love it – it literally it consumes me.

The excitement increased when I received my registration form and London Marathon magazine through the post this week. (Rather than getting a number London Marathon send you a registration form and you then collect your number and kit bag at the London Marathon Expo the Wed – Sat before the marathon.) It’s real!! It’s happening.

I feel mentally ready now but I don’t know if I am quite physically ready. I can’t wait to taper (which means you cut down my milage in the last two weeks) because I need serious rest for my legs, body and mind in order to be in peak condition before the big day. And also in order to be physically ready I have one big hurdle to jump before then…20 miles.

I decided to book the Human Race Events Lidl Kingston Breakfast race to achieve this. The run has distances of 8.2, 16.2 and 20.1 miles. I’d signed up to the 20 and this Sunday was the big day.

I decided to stay at my Grandad’s the night before because he lives in Surbiton so it would just be a quick mile walk down to Kingston in the morning. The race started at 8am (and with the clocks going forward it felt even earlier).

I will be writing a review of the race later in the week.

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Lucy and I after completing 20.1 miles 

My friend and fellow marathon runner, Lucy, stayed with me the night before and after an early breakfast we did a quick warm up jog to Kingston then it was time for the race to begin.

Once again Dad came to spectate on his bike and it was nice to have him there for support. Also he was able to supply me with bottles of water when I needed.

Overall I felt pretty strong and I am really impressed with my performance. I completed the 20.1 miles in 3hrs 9mins and 45 seconds. WOO.

After I met up with my cousins Pat and Catriona and her boyfriend James, as James had done the 16.2 miles (he’s training for Edinburgh Marathon in May). It was really nice to see them after and even though I only talked at them about running they smiled and said well done! I really look forward to seeing them again after the 26!

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James and I catching up after the race. 

It was a MASSIVE deal for me to run 20 miles and I feel really proud of myself and ready to take on the London Marathon. Crossing the finish line today I shouted YES! I’d done it. I’ve run the longest run on my plan. I cannot wait to cross the marathon finish line.

I also surprisingly (so far) don’t feel that bad. I got home, had a shower and even had some spare energy to dance to Ricky Martin and Mis-Teeq as I dried my hair. I am feeling tired now but mainly I feel proud.

Next week I have decided my final long long run will be 18 miles. I know I can do 20 now, so rather than doing it again I’ll do 18 as I think it is time to start giving these legs some love.

Today I really feel like I can do this! And I’m over the moon delighted about it.

All the training is paying off. I’ve raised just over £3000 for Headway. It all seems to be falling into place and the challenge I set myself to run the London Marathon in order to raise money for the great charity Headway back in May 2016 is starting to feel like it might just become an actual reality!

Until next week,

Siobhan x


I’m running the London Marathon to raise money for Headway, the brain injury association. You can sponsor me here: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SiobhanSharp

To find out more about Headway and what they do visit their website here. 

One year older, another week down: Week 11 

It’s Thursday night and it’s my first session of the week.

I had a work event on Tuesday night so couldn’t go to running club and on Tuesday morning my legs were still a little sore from my half at the weekend…you know the one I got my PB in! Yeah that one. *pulls smug face*

Anyways it’s Thursday and there’s about 20 minutes until training begins and I’m feeling shattered.

It’s my birthday on Friday and I feel that the upcoming festivity is giving me a sense of being entitled to some time off. But it doesn’t matter that it’s my birthday I’m on a plan and I have to run.

Sometimes you just feel so tired and the last thing you want to do is go out running!

But you know once you get into it you’ll focus on actually doing it and before you know it it will be over.

What I was thinking was get this over with then it’s just one more 5 mile easy run tomorrow morning then I can enjoy my birthday. So pushed through I did.

The weeks festivities have also made me decide that it’s time now to reintroduce alcohol into my life – although I’m still on a ban from getting smashed.

It occurred to me that I feel a bit sad being unable to join in with even one drink with friends, considering that so far during training I’ve been in the emotional danger zone, I thought I don’t need another thing to make me sad.

I also thought it’s probably best to start drinking something otherwise one drink at the pub post marathon and I’ll be an absolute mess.

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Birthday wishes at work on Friday

And with that I had a few glasses of wine to toast my birthday! 26 years old.

So here’s to running a mile for every year of my life. (Let’s hope those teen miles aren’t as stroppy and angsty as those actual years!)

It’s now Sunday and I’ve completed my 16 mile long run. It’s been a good week for a number of reasons – I got spoiled for my birthday but also because there are now only three more proper weeks of training. And only two more REALLY long runs to go.

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16 Mile Route

 

I’m edging closer and I feel super excited. It’s nearly here! I’m also still super nervous.

Sometimes when I’m training I get caught up in the big day, in those 26 miles and that world famous race. But today during my long run I felt proud of today. I was running a distance of 16 miles! It may have been an easy slow pace but 16 miles is pretty darn far!

I think and I need to remember how great these little steps to marathon day are! I have already achieved a lot more than I ever thought I could and it’s just been me and my little feet pounding away at those pavements that has achieved that.

Next week I have my longest run to date. 20 miles. But until then there’s birthday cake. Lots and lots of Birthday cake!

Bring on week 12!


I’m running the London Marathon to raise money for Headway, the brain injury association. You can sponsor me here: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SiobhanSharp

To find out more about Headway and what they do visit their website here.