A hard decision - but the right one

You may remember that back in October 2016 I was absolutely ecstatic at finally getting a ballot place in the London Marathon. It has been a life long dream of mine to run it.

Two weeks before I was due to line up with 37,000 other runners I made the very hard decision to withdraw.

And I am really glad I did.

As weird as that might sound sometimes recognising that you are not ready for something is sometimes harder than pushing on regardless.

Training didn't get off to the start I was hoping. Unlike last year when I started training around November, with everything that happened with Dad I didn't actually start running properly until very late in January.

And unlike last year, with my company moving offices in July, I hadn't been cycling either and once we moved house too cycling was pretty much off the menu (for now at least).

As a result I know that I did too much too soon. I got back into Parkrun after finding our new local one. The one thing I didn't take into account was how different the terrain would be in Haywards Heath compared to London.

A combination of the terrain and down too many miles at weekends without the training in the week saw me pick up a knee injury after a 12.5 mile run. And rather than realising then I pushed on. A 14.5 mile run the week after and then another 12.5 mile. I didn't even stop then and carried on running and took part in the Brighton 10k. And after that I realised at that point I had to withdraw.

Ice packs and the foam roller

Elevation difference between Southwark and Clair parkruns (left is imperial, right is metric - sorry!)

When you are having a conversation with yourself about whether or not you can commit to a work meeting because you are not sure if you will be able to walk at all the next day something is not right. Marathons are hard work but you should be able to walk the next day albeit in a little bit of pain from tired and tight muscles.

So the decision made. What next?

I am quite fortunate. Having a ballot place I have been able to defer to the 2018 race.

But it's not just about deferring my place. I have a lot more to do to get fit and ready for the next year and I have set myself some small goals in order to get me there.

First thing though is to get my knee sorted so for that I need to do the following:

1. Register with a local doctors
2. See someone about my knee and hopefully get a decent physio regime
3. Spend a lot more time on the foam roller

But it is not just about my knee. I also have a few other things in mind. Firstly my weight and size:

1. Weight - get back down to 63kgs (currently 68.4kgs)
2. Size - get back to a size 10 and 32D (currently size 12 and 36D)

I want to get my body back to this - 2009 me

To achieve this I need to get better on my nutrition and improve my meal planning. In all fairness when I started writing this blog back in April I actually weighed 71kgs but a recent bout of illness helped me loose some weight. But it also made my nutrition hit an all time low. Stomach illnesses tend to make me have the weirdest cravings so all I wanted to eat for 2 weeks were cream crackers, sweets and cooked onions.

In addition to the nutritional aspects of my diet, I decided to have a booze free May. This felt like a good idea at the time but two bank holidays has made it tough. But with bottles of Nanny State, softails, fruit juices and coke (normally I would have drunk lots of tea but the tummy illness also put me off tea. I am only just getting back into drinking it again) I have made it to the 30th May. Only one more day to go!

Going booze free is helpful. It helps me to realise how much I have been drinking and then helps me to reduce going forward.

And then I have some goals on improving my current PBs:

5K - sub 26 minutes (current PB 26:37)
10K - sub 54 minutes (current PB 54:29)
Half Marathon - sub 2 hours (current PB 02:05:14)
Marathon - sub 5 hours (current PB 05:02:07)

For now as stated I need to get my knee sorted. I have been able to run on the treadmill for 5K and I am aiming to return the parkrun to run (rather than volunteer which I have been doing for the past couple of weeks) on the 17th June.

The road to London starts now! At least I have a year to prep!


  1. Best of luck! Will be keeping my fingers crossed for you.

  2. Good luck with the regime! I'm contemplating training for a half marathon! ;-)


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