Category: Liverpool 2011

Facts and figures

Marathon position: 150th Time: 3:19:07 Pace per mile: 7:32 Number of times fell over: 1 Number of times felt like crying: 18 Number of children hit by discarded water bottle: 1 Number of times I would like to see Sefton Park again in future: 0 Number of shouts of “Go on Messi, lad”: Too many to remember Number of visits to A&E: 0 Number predicted: 1 Amount of time taken to sink the first Stella after finishing: 58 seconds. Best memory: Seeing my supporting crew at 15 miles and at the finish. Worst memory: The hill on Parliament Street Number of training runs: 81 Training mileage: 579 Average mileage per run: 7.15 Number of pairs of running shoes used: 3 Number of times abused by passers by: 100+ Favourite shout, awarded based on wit and intelligence: “SHIT TEAM” Number of times that I have wondered “what the fuck am I doing” this summer: 14,973 Number of runs cut short due to impending “Paula Radcliffe” situation: Probably at least 5 Number of laps of Chorlton Water Park: God knows Number of times attempted to run on a Sunday with a hangover: 1, never again. Number of times exposed my underpants to all and sundry: 1 Amount raised (to date): £1,921 Number of donations: 115 Average per donation: £16.70 Number of blog entries including this one: 27 Time spent blogging: probably more than actually...

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The emptiness of the non-long distance runner

So that’s that then. Summer 2011 has been and gone; a blur of grey, humid, miserable sweaty evenings, spent trudging round and round South Manchester getting myself as prepared as I possibly could to attempt, and I’m glad to say complete, my first ever marathon. And apart from falling on my arse, I think it all went rather well. I got round it for a start. I came higher up the field than I thought I would, even if I did miss my target time. I’ve raised more money than I ever dreamt possible. And this week, I discovered that I had followed up my RunKeeper victory in the Mersey Tunnel 10k with first place in the Liverpool Marathon as well. I’m unbelievably happy with that, beating a few Liverpudlians in their own back yard and stuffing “Jonny” by over 20 minutes. He came all the way over from Kansas for that! In your face, Jonny. It all came at a price though. Throughout Sunday I became increasingly creaky from the waist down, and after barely sleeping that night because of the pain, I spent all day Monday hobbling around my office like a disabled baby giraffe trying to walk for the first time, much to everyone’s amusement. I’d not had pain in my legs like that at any point during my training, that extra 6 miles (and the...

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An enormous sense of achievement

177½ days. Or, 25.4 weeks; a shade under six months. That is the time that elapsed between entering and starting the Liverpool Marathon 2011, the “long and winding road race”. 4,260 hours to be more precise, or 255,600 minutes even. Nearly half a year of worrying senseless that it would be the last thing I ever did. A whole summer of worry, of pain, of sweating. And then, October 9th came and went, and I ran a marathon. A whole fucking marathon. 26.2 miles, all the way from Birkenhead to Liverpool, via the strange seaside town of New Brighton, a tunnel deep, deep below the River Mersey, a visit to Sefton Park which felt like an eternity, and onto a finish in the shadow of the Liver Building with thousands of people cheering me on. My first ever marathon; I came, I saw, I conquered. It had been a strange start to the day. After a fairly restless sleep, I went through the same pre-race routine I had been practicing every Sunday for several weeks now. Up early, quick bowl of porridge and a small, but strong coffee. Race clothes on. Only this time, I had to drive over to Liverpool instead of popping out my front door, and instead of running an absolute maximum of 20 miles, I would have to run a full marathon distance which would most...

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Endgame

Sunday 9th October. The date that has been etched into my brain and dominated my thoughts ever since that one glass of wine too many led to me signing up for a marathon all the way back in April. Six long, long months of thinking about pretty much nothing else other than running, sweating, weeping, eating and sleeping. So, finally, after 80 training runs and a ludicrous 577 miles, the day of reckoning has nearly arrived. Tomorrow at 0930 hours I will attempt to run 26.2 miles in one go for the first time in my entire life. 10 kilometres further than my stupid, spindly little legs have ever carried me before. A half marathon either side of the River Mersey intersected by hellish-looking tunnel excursion half way through, finishing on The Strand and then straight into an ambulance, via the nearest pub for the customary pint of congratulatory Stella. How on earth did it come to this. I don’t feel like I am ready for it. I feel like I haven’t done anywhere near enough practice, which is weird because I almost definitely have. 80 training runs in less than half a year, at an average of just under seven miles per run is clearly a lot of running. But I just don’t feel like it’s enough. Part of this is because of the fact that my training has...

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Watersports

Training for a marathon while living in one of the biggest cities in the UK isn’t particularly pleasant to say the least. Endlessly pounding the cracked, lumpy pavements alongside hundreds and hundreds of buses. Cars appearing from nowhere while crossing junctions. Shouts, heckles, general abuse. Running past pub gardens on hot days and wishing I could be sat there myself. It’s all been a bit grim, a bit grey and a bit of a complete and utter pain in the arse. Finding somewhere away from all the drabness is a blessed relief, hence enjoying the Wednesday jogs along the River Mersey...

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