London Virtual Marathon

Hi and hello,

It has been a long, long time since I last posted here. I wanted to write a post about running London Marathon virtually as it was such a massive achievement.

It’s been 6 weeks now, I think it’s really taken me that long to process everything and feel “ok” about it.

I signed up with a friend to run the marathon on October 3rd, unfortunately she had to pull out during training. Then I found some more local girls who were running and a new plan to run together began to be formed!

My training went really well, no injuries which is always a bonus and also can be a good sign you aren’t pushing too hard.

I did have some wobbles with my confidence, a bad encounter with a creepy man really knocked me. I carried on and things were looking hopeful for me to get near to my goal time!

Then… I got a cold. That cold that I’m sure many of us got, where your body was FULL of snot for weeks and weeks? Yes, that.

I stayed so optimistic that it wouldn’t hamper me, even attempting my final 20 mile long run while I was full of snot (shock, horror I only made it to mile 11 before phoning my Dad to rescue me!)

After that let down I had to start accepting that maybe I wasn’t even going to be able to run the marathon, that was an awful consideration. I kept having this horribly tight pain in my diaphragm which was a big red flag for me that I was not in good condition.

Taper week I started to feel a lot better and my optimism rose, along with my nerves. Added to this we were looking at the weather forecast which basically looked like a hurricane. Really not ideal running conditions!

The night before I don’t think I slept much at all, I had been checking the weather, trying to eat as much as I could to get my body fuelled , usually I would think eating as much as I could would be great! But I felt so sick with nerves.

Flat lay. Outfits are Sweaty Betty, tshirt ASICS, hydration vest from Amazon, SIS hydration tabs, WUKA pants, AirPods, Larabar, SIS gels, Goodr sunglasses, Hygge headband, Brooks Ghost 13s, new balance socks, Polar heart rate monitor, Apple Watch, RunGlide.

The morning of the race the rain was HAMMERING on our roof, Paul asked me if I was sure I was really going to do it. There was no question, it was happening, I was running! I shook like a leaf for the whole journey, trying to force down more breakfast. Knowing that I was about to embark on something so special.

Meeting the girls, ready to go, honestly thinking I was going to be sick!

Ready to go! I had to change my outfit and wear a jacket as it was so windy and wet!

The actual run.. the first half I felt good, Clare was ahead and Jane behind. We were each strong and the wind was behind us.

(photos – Norrie Lyall)

I hit mile 12 and that is when things did not feel so good, the diaphragm pain was back. My main concern was that I was going to vomit and I felt that if I did it could mean I had to pull out. It was at this point that my first run buddy appeared, my neighbour Adrian. I was so happy to see him! Game plan changed and I felt that taking walk breaks was the best way to make sure I completed the distance. We ran (and walked) a couple of miles when run buddy no2 joined the band! Aidan is a friend I had run a half marathon with in June, having him on board was another great boost. Then a third run bud Ross joined us when we had around 10 miles to go!

The sick feeling unfortunately did not subside. I had periods of feeling really angry that my goal time was gone, frustration that I had been ill, disappointment. All the feelings, having such a great supportive crew around me was something that I hadn’t realised would be the big boost it was.

Michaela then appeared which meant we were on the final stretch! She had agreed to run the last leg with me.

My feelings on this part are still a bit mixed. I know I could have pushed myself harder but that fear of not finishing , having raised so much money for the British Heart Foundation, was too strong. This is why it’s taken so long to accept how my run went. Should I have pushed harder? Was it the best decision to be safe? Is there a right answer?!

I felt like Forrest Gump during the final miles, my running pals there supporting me, telling myself to just keep running. It’s a feeling that I will hold close forever. The running community at its finest!

Finishing the race was amazing, the bairns holding up my finish line, all the supporters waiting for us. I may have been last of the three of us but I had made it, every step I had owned and it was incredible.

Thank you so much to everyone who helped me on my journey to this 26.2. My family who put up with me, look after the bairns, my friends who listen to my run chat when I’m sure they don’t care, my running pals who are there in spirit and in person cheering you on!

What an incredible day it was. I am so grateful to have been able to complete it, and after my weeks of reflection that is how I want to remember the day. The time I finished in is irrelevant to what I achieved really. But let’s not pretend it doesn’t come into it, I still am chasing my goal time and one day I will get there!

The day my medal and t-shirt came I felt proud to wear it, and I hope if you read this and wonder “could I do that?” – YES! Yes you can.

Until next time,

Hazel Ann x

#londonmarathon #weruntogether