We’re now a few days into May, so it’s time to recap the last month, which was all about marathons, marathons and more marathons! I’m still a little in shock that I’ve come out the other side of four marathons in four weeks, each sub-4 hours in one piece, uninjured and not needing to sleep for a month. It was a great way to finish off my ‘sabbatical’ before going back to work, and I loved being back in London for a few weeks, and travelling to Manchester, Brighton and Hamburg.
In amongst the racing, I didn’t do a lot of running so my total kilometres are the lowest so far this year. However, I still somehow clocked up 301.8km run (which includes a 25+km walk but shhh), 2827m climbed and some swimming and cycling too. Pretty impressed to still get over the 300km mark, and I’m juuuust ahead of where I need to be to get to my kilometres goal for the year. Here’s how April happened:
For the first of the four marathons I wanted to test out my pacing strategy ahead of being the 4:00 pacer at Brighton the following week. I was a little bit fast, but had an absolute blast of a time meeting people, chatting and waving at all the supporters along the way. It was a total party, and I completed it in 3:53:13 with a massive grin on my face!
My first ever marathon pacing gig, and it could not have gone better. Despite the hills of the first half and losing my identifying balloon within 3km, I kept a steady pace to finish in 3:59:33. The experience was also defined by getting to hang out with all the other pacers, and we still have a WhatsApp group going post-race. I also got to hug Paul Sinton Hewitt, the founder of parkrun, so that was amazing!
There was always going to be a worst one of the four, and this was it. Temperatures hit 24degrees (the hottest London Marathon ever) and, particularly in the last 15km, I suffered. Thankfully a friend ran past while I was starting to walk it in at 29km, and she gave me the motivation to keep running. Somehow finished in 3:55:33 but the victory was hard fought.
Putting the experience of London behind me I went into Hamburg with a plan and the desire to finish this challenge strong. My pacing was great until 27km when the fatigue of all the marathons caught up with me. However, I stayed positive and made the most of the beer (non alcoholic, but still!) and other refreshments being offered on course. It was great to end the challenge with my fastest marathon of the four in 3:49:16, and with some new friends too.
And in amongst all of that, I celebrated my birthday! Turning 25 means that I entered a new parkrun age category, however I got to spend the day with friends in London and really felt the love. My 24th year brought with it so many incredible achievements: getting my BQ in Berlin, cycling 100 miles, falling in love with trail-running, moving to Paris with Sye, etc.. and I can’t wait for all the fun that 25 is going to bring!
Coming up in May
It’s time for the whopper: the North Downs Way 50miler on the 19th. This will be the longest run I’ve ever done, with the most elevation, and is on trails. It’s what I’ve been training for for the past five months (or more), and yet I have no idea what to expect. Ultra-running is a whole different ballgame, and I guess I just need to be ready!