Firstly I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported me on today’s London Marathon. I am truly grateful for all of your Facebook messages, tweets and emails.
Today’s race sadly didn’t go to plan for me, but it did teach me a few lessons.
My race started really well. I had a target finish time in mind and my official split times for the first 25 km show that I was happily on course to achieve it.
Somewhere around the halfway point of the marathon I’d started to get a little pain in my lower right leg. By the time I reached the 25 km point the pain was intensifying and suddenly I found myself slowing to a walking pace.
Getting from 25km to 35 km hurt and was really slow. Every time I lifted my right foot I felt pain in my leg and I began to question if I could even finish.
Listen to Your Body
When I wrote my blog post “Eight Lessons Marathon Training Taught Me About Achieving Any Goal” I nearly included a ninth lesson – listen to your body.
Today, I had no choice. I knew if I tried to sustain my pace I would not finish, so instead I had to listen to what my body was telling me and adapt to my situation.
I decided to reset my target and simply to focus on finishing the marathon, no matter how long it took.
Take Medical Advice
For the first time ever in a race I felt the need to stop and talk to the medics. I was in pain and hoped they may be able to help. Sadly all they could offer for the injury I described was an ice pack and a suggestion that I may need to stop.
Around this time I saw my wife and daughter at the side of the course cheering me on. I mouthed to them that I was hurt – something my wife later said she could see from my face and the how slowly I was moving.
Remember Your Motivation
For me, being a strong role model for my kids is one of the biggest motivations in everything I do. Seeing my daughter yelling for her daddy made me decide I needed to change my approach again.
How could I increase my pace and resume a running pace?
I decided I simply needed to focus on something other than the pain. I put some strong images of my family in my mind. I began to repeatedly tell myself I would have a strong finish and make them proud.
I recently did a fire walk. I told myself that if I could put myself in the right frame of mind to walk on fire then this was nothing.
The result? The remainder of the course was completed just a fraction slower than my planned pace.
I finished about an hour slower than I had hoped with a time of 4 hours and 46 minutes, but given I ran approximately half of the race with an injury I’m happy with that.
I plan to run the London Marathon again. The atmosphere was electric and, due to the injury, this marathon and I have unfinished business.
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