I ran a flippin’ marathon!

These are not quite the exact words I said as I crossed the finish line of the Greater Manchester Marathon yesterday. After 26.2 miles (or 26.43 according to Garmin) I crossed the line and immediately wanted to sign up for another one. (Quite a contrast from my first marathon 17 years ago when I never wanted to run again, let alone run this distance again!).

The race itself was well-organised and incredibly well-supported and I had a great time high-fiving kids, and running along to the choirs, bands and music along the way.

Running-wise, things didn’t go to plan. A couple times during the early miles I went too fast and had pull to back. Then I hit a rhythm and kept going until about mile 16 when I realised I was thirsty and the few gulps I was having at each water station weren’t doing enough to stop that. I slowed down at the next one and finished a whole bottle.

Back on track until about mile 20 when my IT band started to ache near my knee. I kept running until a shooting pain caused me to pull up. I walked a bit, tentatively jogged a bit and then, feeling less pain, settled back into a steady pace. Only for the same thing to happen again. For remaining six miles I repeated jog, run, pain, walk, jog, run, pain, walk which slowed things down a bit.

Was grumpy and frustrated as I felt fit enough to keep up my planned pace throughout – but you can’t plan for the unexpected. Having trained on hills, a flat course was actually my un-doing! Did manage a sprint finish and crossed the finish line in style (although the official pictures may show a different story!).

So will I enter another one…?

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