York Yorkshire Marathon Recap 12th October 2014


In Which I Am Forgetful And Wet, But Am Light On My Feet, Which Get A Bit Bloody

Myself and Sarah were booked into (one of) the Premier Inn(s) in York for the night before the marathon so we’d have an easier morning on the morning if the marathon. Also, we’d get a night in York which is always good!

We got checked in and set off into York for a bit of shopping and some tea. Walking from the hotel and down Micklegate, it started to rain. Sarah looked at me and said ‘why aren’t you wearing your coat?’ So I said I’d forgotten it.
‘It was on the table when we were leaving.’
‘Yeah I know, I forgot it.’
‘You didn’t bring it.’
‘No, I forgot it.’
*Sarah sighs, looking at me in jeans and a T-shirt, with no coat.*
Luckily, I had a plan!
‘Lets find a charity shop and I’ll buy a coat!’
*Sarah sighs.*
(For anyone not in the know, charity shops sell donated goods that have been worn to death. But hopefully not worn in the act of death-ing…)
Few minutes later, I was in amongst the mothballs trying on coats. Well, I tried one on and decided that was the one for me. £6.99. Bargain.

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We got into York and bought some Chilli Jam from the Chilli Jam Man, Sarah bought some posh soap from Lush and we spent about £25 in the American sweet shop. (Americans: if you ever visit England bring a suitcase full of sweets/candy. You’ll make a killing. Hopefully not LITERALLY a killing, but I suppose you could then donate the death clothes to a charity shop?)

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Pizza Express for tea (carbs) and then back to the hotel for an early night.

Marathon Day
I’d slept quite well, considering I felt nervous. Sarah didn’t sleep so well because she said around 2am some people were going up and down the hallway shouting they were the ‘cabin police’ (?) and that she could hear the guy in the next room snoring, but maybe he was a chainsaw or something. That doesn’t even make sense…

We’d booked onto a bus from the train station to York University, where the marathon began. Chuffing heck it was cold and foggy! (Coggy?)

It was about a ten minute walk to the start part, and when we got near we got inside the expo centre to get warm. I went to the toilet. (At the designated toilets, not just in the middle of the expo centre.) Came back and had a small breakfast bar. Then I saw Stacy that I know from work so had a bit of a chat with her and wished each other luck.

On the way to the start line I queued up for the portaloos again and had to wait longer this time because obviously other had had the same idea. I was stuck near a right chuffing moron. He kept sighing and saying things like ‘what’s the hold up’ and ‘I’m going to be late for the start’, but as soon as someone was coming out of a portaloo he was saying, LOUDLY, “go go go, there’s one free.” EVERY. CHUFFING. TIME.

So close to saying to him how annoying I found him, but decided against it. I just don’t understand why people like that think that their needs and their race is more important than everyone else’s. Unless you’re a guest of honour or
The Celebrity of the race or something, just wait your chuffing turn like all the other 6’999 people do. Or go piss yourself. Either way, don’t be a dick.

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It was chuffing foggy, but there was a lovely atmosphere. Everyone looked nervous, but happily so. I looked like this: (red top, not the angry looking hi-viz guy on the left)

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Over at the side, Sarah looked like this: (blue scarf)

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Then, go time!

Set the nike+ on my phone going and my tomtom watch got going too, and then after 20 metres or so an energy gel got going out of my race belt and onto the floor where it got left. I took the other one out of the loop and held onto it for when I needed it.

Ran from York University into York, ran by a shop that sells good quality coats for £6.99 and around the beautiful York Minster. There was, it seemed, a lot of people cheering at me. I figured it was because I was wearing my HemingwayRun running top but then realised I was being a chuffing moron so had a look around, and noticed I was running right next to Tony Audenshaw who plays Bob Hope on Emmerdale, so I said hello and he said hi, and I couldn’t for the life of me remember his real name, could only think ‘Bob’ so didn’t try carry on the conversation. (Fact: Bob has the world record for the fastest ever marathon, dressed as a baby.)

Mile 3: I heard someone shout my name and saw Ironman Rob at the side of the road, which was a nice boost.

Mile 5: Someone tapped me on my shoulder and said my name, and it was Angela from Twitter (@ilovelivingwell) who had only just done the Berlin marathon like two weeks before and got into this one through a competition! (Yeah, here’s your prize: a 26 mile run! Yay!)

Mile 6: Toilet stop. Same place as last year.

10k Time: 56:53

Mile Unknown: Ran by the same church as last year somewhere between mile 6-10 (I think) but the female vicar from 2013 wasn’t there. There was, however, an equally jubilant male vicar jumping up and down and shouting ‘KEEP THE FAITH!’

Mile 10: Saw Mr Burton from the show Educating Yorkshire. Should’ve asked if he taught P.E. (Gym) but didn’t really think of that til a after I’d finished.

Mile 12: Not counting the toilet stop, furthest I’d ever run without walking. Started negging out a bit (To Neg Out: To let negative thoughts get to you) so decided as soon as I got to the 1/2 marathon marker, I’d get my music on.

Mile 13.1: Got my music on. Oddly enough, the vicars advice came back to me. My iPod has around 20’000 songs on it, and I put it on shuffle. The VERY FIRST SONG was Bon Jovi singing Keep The Faith…

1/2 Marathon Time: 2:02:34

Mile 18: Saw Rachael from Twitter in pretty much the EXACT same place as last year! Will probably look out for her next year too.

30k Time: 3:01:10

Mile 20: Ugh. This is where the struggle started and the ‘telling myself off for not running longer than 13miles in training’ kicked in. (Authors note: only ran 13milea once in training, 2nd longest was 10 miles.) Last 10k though, so zipped up my man suit and got on with it.

Mile 22: The sun came out and it got chuffing warm.

Mile 25: Text Sarah saying ’15 mins.’

40k Time: 4:13:06

Mile 26: Ahhhhh, that hill. Forgot about that hill. Sod the hill, I thought, I’ve run steeper, so ran up the chuffing hill. Walked a bit halfway up but then got running again. 400 yards. 300 yards. 200.

100 Yards: Heard someone shout my name from the sidelines (Sarah) but was concentrating too much on my time.

Mile 26.2: Done. Finished. Over. A new PB of 4:27:30, knocking 21 MINUTES off last years time! Absolutely chuffed!!

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We got the coach back to the train station and Sarah said she’d walk up to the hotel (5mins walk) for our suitcase so I could have a sit down in the station pub. Getting towards the pub door, almost tasting the beer, I realised I had no money on me.

Bugger. (Turns out Sarah realised too and came back to find me, but I’d gone to find a bench so missed each other. I was only waiting ten minutes anyway.)

(The bench I sat on had a sign on saying it was a priority bench for elderly or disabled people, and I decided I more than qualified for the latter.)

We’d left the car at Ironman Tonys house but they’d set off on holiday a few hours before we arrived so let ourselves in to collect Lily (our cat, that had stayed there the night) and got into our car.

Which wouldn’t start.

Tried family, but no one was answering so tried Sean (Captain Cheesestring) who I work with and he picked us up. Seemed a bit confused that we had a cat with us.

Arrived home (finally) and got my running shoes off.

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Ugh. Was only a little cut though. Had a shower, then had this:

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And a few beers too! Why not, seeing as though I now introduce myself as ‘Triathlete and 3 times marathon finisher.’

Next Event
Ready…? Save The Elephants 10k run on 22nd November in Central Park in NEW YORK!!! CHUFFING NEW YORK!!!

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York Marathon Recap – 20th October 2013


In Which I (Painfully) Finish My Second Marathon

Saturday 19th October

I’d been following my carbing up plan quite well and felt good about how it had gone. Myself and Sarah went out for dinner with Sarahs mum and dad (Susan and Ironman Tony) and I had a chip sandwich.

Me and Sarah then went to Sports Direct to buy some last minute marathon things like a gel belt, running socks, energy bars and… well, these (not for the marathon)

Not Marathon Standard

Not Marathon Standard

Afterwards we got home and I packed my bag as I was staying in the Premier Inn in York so I could be ready for the run in the morning. Sarah was having to work on the Sunday so she was staying at home with the cats.

She dropped me at the train station just before 7pm and I got stuck behind a bloke who was using the ticket machine. The machine had a large sign on it saying ‘Credit/Debit cards only’ but that didn’t stop him trying to insert coins. Even though there was no coin slot, just the card slot. Aware of how close it was getting to the train arriving, I stepped in.

‘I think it only takes cards.’ I said.

‘No, it takes coins.’ He replied.

‘Pretty sure it’s just cards.’

‘No, it’d say if it only took cards.’

‘It does, on that sign.’

‘Ah.’

Anyway, after I bought my ticket (using a card) I had about two minutes to spare before the train came. I got on it just in time, and settled in for the hour journey to York.

When I arrived in York it was pouring down, not a good sign for the marathon. Luckily the hotel was only a few minutes walk from the station and check-in was nice and quick. I got to the room and noticed something… SUPER KING SIZED BED! Awesome.

I had a bath, then laid out my gear for the morning.

L-R Back Row: Running Stuff L-R Front Row: See Above

L-R Back Row: Running Stuff
L-R Front Row: See Above

I got into my massive bed and watched The Hulk (wasn’t incredible) then tried to sleep.

Sunday 20th October

01:30 Woke up.

02:45 Woke up.

04:15 Woke up.

05:55 Woke up.

06:00 Alarm went off, but luckily I was already awake.

I forced myself to eat some porridge and had a coffee with lots of sugar. I then got ready in all my race kit and made sure I had everything.

Game Face - Level: Serious

Game Face – Level: Serious

I’d booked onto a transfer coach from York Train Station which said I could be on it anytime between 07:30 and 08:00. I checked out and wandered down to the station and got there about 07:10 so carried on walking and had a little wander down over the river to York Minster. I took a picture, but have made it into a motivational picture so it’s at the end of the blog entry. Down there *Down pointing arrow*

After walking back to the station, I got on a bus which was full of nervous looking people. I sat upstairs (because I’m cool) and an elderly bloke got on and sat next to me. I got chatting to him and it turns out he was 65 years old and he goes around the world, running on average A MARATHON A MONTH.

He had on a Boston Marathon finishers jacket from 1999 so I said that he must be fast. ‘Not really,’ he said ‘I didn’t get there through qualification. I know one of the Kennedy family.’

‘Kennedy family as in… the former President?’

‘That’s them.’ He said. Then followed it with:

‘Had a police escort from the airport and back too.’ AS THOUGH THIS WAS A NORMAL THING TO SAY!

Before too long we arrived at York University where the race was starting and ending and myself and the gentleman wished each other luck. We then both ended up walking in the same direction, the direction of the race (seeing as though that’s why we were there.)

We chatted a bit more then I said that I was going to the baggage drop so we wished each other good luck again and went our seperate ways. Except that when I’d dropped my baggage, I queued for the toilet and ended up stood next to the same bloke again. He was chatting to someone else though, so I didn’t have to make anymore conversation.

Until after I came out of the toilets and he noticed me, so I did what any polite Englishman would do and wished him luck.

I followed the signs to the start of the race and got into the correct section for my predicted time. For the past few days I’d been talking to people on Twitter about the race and told a few people that I’d keep an eye out for their race numbers. As I looked around I noticed a name and a number on a bloke, who as it turns out was Rob who I tweet with!

I approached him and introduced myself and we had a chat while we were waiting for the run to begin. It started pretty much bang on 09:30 and then we were off, I was running my 2nd ever marathon!

There was another bloke alongside myself and Rob (Dave, I think) that Rob had met that morning, and he had a Garmin watch so we stayed with him for a bit as he was updating us with pace. My immediate plan was to stay chatting with Rob for as long as I could, then work out another plan.

The first couple miles of the run took us towards the city centre where we ran passed a few pubs that I like going in, then around the Minster and away from York. The crowds so far were amazing, especially near the Minster where they were 2-3 deep.

I stuck with Rob until about mile 4 -5 where I had a call of nature and veered off. By the time I got back on the course, Rob was well away so my new-immediate plan became to keep running until the Energy Drink station at mile 6.

Mile 6 went by and then soon after the 10k clock was in view. My first 10k of the 42k was done in 59:13 (My 2nd quickest ever 10k!)

At around mile 7 (I think) I saw Ironman Tony, Susan and Hannah in the crowd cheering me on. I waved, and kept on running. It gave me a nice boost to see familiar faces. After that the sun came out and made it a very warm run.

The next boost I got was being high fived by a female vicar in full sunday vicar-dress outside a church.

Before too long I was into double figures for the millage, having gone passed the 10 mile point.

The next few miles went by, soaking up the cheers from the crowd lining the route, and I was very happy to see the 20k clock as it meant the halfway point wasn’t too far ahead.

2nd 10k done in 01:03:10

1/2 Marathon: 02:10:24

Had to give myself a bit of a talking to around mile 14 due to starting to get tired and negative thoughts coming into my head. I told myself that I can have 3 minutes of walking, then I have to zip up my man suit and get on with the marathon. Which is exactly what I did.

So far, so good. On target for finishing in under 04:30 too!

That was until I got to about mile 16 and a tosser tossed an empty bottle down at his feet instead of to the side, which meant that it went under my foot and caused me to slip slightly, but enough to twist my left knee.

I felt a jolt in my knee, but it didn’t feel too bad so on I ran. By now I’d got into a run/walk rhythm where I was running for 5 minutes then walking for 30 seconds.

Just after mile 18 I heard someone coming in the opposite direction shout ‘Marc! Marc Hemingway!’ and it turns out it was Rachael, also from Twitter. Plus I’d recognised Gemma from Twitter who said she was going to be cheering everyone on from the Mile 18 marker (and she was!) It’s little things like this that cheer you up when you feel rubbish.

I eventually reached the 30k clock and the third 10k was done in a time of 01:03:29, only a few seconds slower than my 2nd 10k section.

By the time I’d reached mile 20 my knee was hurting, and felt like it had a bit of swelling.

But still, I was in the last 10k of the marathon so was feeling good about myself. I couldn’t run nearly as much as I would’ve liked due to the throbbing in my knee so started running 100 paces and then walking 50.

I’d printed off a split-time race thing which I’d fastened onto my wrist and with each mile could see that the 04:30 finish was getting further and further away. Nothing to be done about that now though, so didn’t let it get to me.

I’d been taking on energy gels roughly ever 45 minutes so didn’t feel drained. There were water stations ever 3 miles and Energy drink stations every 6 so was nicely hydrated still.

The mile markers were passing slower than earlier, but still passing.

I reached mile 23 and told myself there was only 5k to go. The sun was beaming by this point, so made sure I kept sipping at my water bottle.

I reached mile 24.

Then mile 25.

On the corner just after Mile 25 I heard Ironman Tony shouting me from the side, so I smiled for a photo and then carried on for the last bit of the run. Then, at roughly mile 25 1/2, was a nice hill to run up. Bastards.

Pretty much walked all the way to the top and Mile marker 26, and a little further the end, was in sight. The crowd was cheering and shouting everyones names from their race numbers all the way to the end and I finally crossed, arms in the air, in a time of 04:48:19.

Slower than I wanted, but a new personal PB by almost 8 minutes.

I made my way through the finishers section where I picked up my T-Shirt and Medal, and then went and met up with the In-Laws. We went for a beer.

Sorry, can't hear you over the sound of my AWESOME LOOT!

Sorry, can’t hear you over the sound of my AWESOME LOOT!

When I got home I recovered with a cold bath, followed by beer and chinese food. Sarah got home from work around 10:30 and had brought me a McFlurry (Mississippi Mud Pie flavour.)

After Blackpool Marathon it took about 6 weeks for my legs to get back to normal, but three days after York I’m almost back to normal already. Apart from a couple of little blisters, and a sore knee, I didn’t get any major problems.

After I finished the marathon I said that that’s it for running for a while and that I’m not going to sign up to anything longer than a 10K for ages.

EDIT: I’m now pre-registered for York Marathon 2014.

York in the early morning, made into a motivational pic.

York in the early morning, made into a motivational pic.

Marathon Looming… (As in getting nearer, not making rugs or anything…)


In Which I Zip Up My Man Suit

It turns out that the marathon is closer than I thought. It’s been slowly creeping up on me like a slowly, creepy, marathony bastard.

I thought I had about 9 weeks until the York Marathon on 20th October, but I don’t. It’s eight weeks on Sunday.

Adding in a week for tapering, that gives me seven weeks left of training.

Bearing in mind I haven’t been following my training plan that I was supposed to be following, I decided I needed to sort out my training and up my game.

Looking at my averages for each week, I’m nowhere near doing the distances I should be. I was talking to someone on Twitter and they said to aim for 50 miles a week! I’m lucky if I do 15!

Barney – Marathon Advice

THAT is why I’m zipping up my man suit and getting it sorted. Instead of running home from work twice a week (3.5miles each time) or cycling to work and back twice a week (3.5mile each way, same distance as running. Why wouldn’t it be? Weirdo) I’m setting myself TARGETS.

I tried following a training plan through MyAsics and while it gave me a good idea of what to aim for each week, I didn’t stick to it. I work different days and shifts each week so it can be hard to follow a plan that says ‘do this on this day and that on that day’. It lets you move run days around but only so much. That’s why I’ve decided to plan out my running schedule on a week to week basis.

“But Marc!” You scream (because you aren’t anywhere near me) “How will you stick to it?”

“Ha!” I loudly laugh, spinning as I do so as I don’t know in which direction you are, “I already AM sticking to it!”

I’ve changed my bike route to work so instead of 3.5miles it’s now 5miles. I’ve changed the cycle home to 10miles instead of 3.5miles.

Instead of running home twice a week (7miles total) I’m now running TO work and back once a week (7miles) , and then running home a 10k route on the other day. (6.2 miles, so a total of 13.2miles instead of 7.)

I’m also upping my millage one a day off too to get in a long run. Before I was doing 3-5mile runs (I once did an 8) where as now I’ll be doing at least 10mile runs once a week, upping the distance a bit each week towards the marathon.

Before – Average Run Miles a Week: 12-15, Average Bike Miles a Week: 14. Total = 26-29

Last Week – Average Run Miles: 25, Average Bike Miles: 32. Total = 57. DOUBLE what I’d normally do.

That’s without a longer run or a long bike ride. And you know what? I feel a LOT better for it. I’m still getting in a rest day or two each week and don’t feel burnt out or anything. I can feel the difference in my legs already.

After all, October 20th will arrive whether I’ve trained properly or not. I’ll finish the marathon, whether I’ve trained properly or not. The only differences that training will achieve are:

1. It’ll hurt a lot less than last time.

2. I’ll get round the course a lot quicker than last time.

That’s more than enough motivation for me.

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