October 1st 2016, the day before the Chester Marathon I was feeling great and relaxed and I was concerned I'm never relaxed before a race so I was wondering what was up. I always get nervous and I just wasn't concerned about the Marathon at all, I was excited and I suppose there was no pressure because it was using it as a training run ready for the big event in February.
October 2nd 2016 - The kids were woken up at 0530, a melee of activity was going on and lights blazing whilst everyone else in the street slept, even the birds were merrily snoring away in their little nests. Breakfast - check, Kit - check, Race number - check, Fuel and water - check, that's it we're ready.
We arrived in Chester as the sun was still rising, it was misty low over the racecourse but as the minutes ticked by it was turning into a beautiful day. I still wasn't feeling nervous until the last half hour, then 2 visits for last minute wees and off to line up.
It all started well, I was running at a comfortable pace and trying not to get excited and stick to my plan even remembering to put into practice what I constantly say to my juniors 'nice and tall', 'use those arms'. The first 13 miles were good, fuelling and water stops perfect, then my hips decided they were having none of it! I've had this problem in the past where I get severe pain in my hips but it's not an injury or additional problem just not strong enough for the exertion. However during training I had no problems at all so I was a bit annoyed to be honest, by mile 20 I was in agony and had to stop at the brilliant St John Ambulance station for some painkillers, unfortunately they didn't touch it and I hobbled the remaining 6 miles to the finish, picking up my husband and kids near the end to take over from a great marshal who chatted to me and kept me going for a bit.
As I reached the finish line, Amelia plodded across with me to cheers from the remaining crowd and got my medal.
So it didn't go according to plan but I now what I need to do when I can start training again, a lot of my routine will be strength and conditioning especially in the hip area and the mileage will drop for a while and include a lot more hill and trail runs to get me fit for February. Oh and I'm doing Cross Country next weekend.
The organisation of the Chester Marathon, the course, the marshals
I'm incredibly proud of myself and I'm looking forward to the next part of training, oh and no blisters - YAY!