MK Marathon Ambassador 2018 – The Race!

It’s me again!  Following on from Part Two, the MK Marathon Weekend has been and gone.  What happened to my plans?  Did I follow them?  What did JG do?  Well…

At the time of the previous blog, my aim was to run 10 miles that weekend.  When training for a half marathon, if you can get to 10 miles in your training then you’re already there.  If you can run 10 miles, then you can run a half marathon – it’s only a parkrun to go!  I went out with some of the club ladies and ended up being sick from the heat.  Ran and walked 6.2km and got home again.  Bad times.

Not to worry, I can still do 10 miles this week.  I ended up not being well at all the next week and life got in the way of my plans.  Other than a couple of swim sessions, I turned up to the Rocket 5K on Sunday with no running in me and I was full of doubt…

MK Rocket 5K

Well this is a lovely little event.  They only introduced the 5K to the MK Marathon Weekend two years ago.  I’ve done it every year since.  I’ve said before, I got my PB there in 2016 – 27:54.  The following year I did 28:24 and this year?  No PB…29:58.  I was happy to get under 30 minutes.  There was no way I was going to get a PB – I’ve barely done any running so my speed (my slow speed) is not there.  Too hot anyway.

Saying that…there were a HORDE of LFR members doing the 5K and so many of them bagged themselves PBs!  Absolutely incredible!  Well done, all of you!  Everyone loves a PB.

I’ll be back there next year I’m sure to give it another go….

During the run I noticed my hip causing me some grief and the foot pain I’d been having previously really decided to come to bite me.  Ouch.  By the end of the day, I could barely walk around.  This doesn’t bode well.  Went swimming that night which helped the hip, but the foot was still pretty bad.

MK Half Marathon

Monday morning arrived and I could hardly stand on the foot.  Oh dear.  I hobbled around a bit.  Figured I should warm it up.  It wasn’t helping.   I still arrived at the Stadium, went to the lovely air conditioned VIP room to hang with the other Ambassadors.  We were all nervous about the heat.  How can we run in this?!  I was doubly nervous because of my silly foot and lack of training.  Still…did my photo duties with the Ambassadors and then found the club for the LFR photo shoot, obviously, and off I hobbled to the start.

3…2…1….oh we’re off.  Now straight away I knew this was a bad idea.  I was in pain.  Part of me thought…get to a mile, then you’ll know.  Well I knew before that.  I was hot – I hate the heat anyway – but the heat AND a painful foot and no proper training….not a chance.  I knew where a good spot was to watch all the runners coming in all directions, so thought I’d get there, stop and support everyone instead.

As I walked, LFR members Kirsty and Jane caught up with me.  Kirsty was running her first marathon and Jane her first half marathon.  So glad I saw them as I hadn’t seen them at the start to wish them good luck.  I started running with them for a bit until the roundabout and then stopped completely and sent them on their way.

So…I didn’t finish the race.  This is no bad thing.  What have we learnt from all my grand plans, little plans, and silly ideas with no training?  Don’t do it!

Someone did ask me on the day: “how on earth did you get to be an ambassador?” – harsh, but fair.  I applied last year when I was training for Snowdonia Marathon.  At that time I was fundraising, taking part in countless events for my training, blogging, and updating my social media…everything you can think of.  All to get me to Snowdonia and complete it.  Which I did!  Yay.  See my post on that here: Snowdonia Marathon.

My thought really when I applied to be an Ambassador for Milton Keynes was that I could do all the same things, although I wouldn’t be fundraising, and it would be a run for me.  I was obviously a good candidate at the time.

Unfortunately following Snowdonia I was injured for quite some time and as you’ll see from Parts One and Two of these blogs, I was ill, injured and all sorts meaning all my planned events and training I did not even start.  2018 hasn’t been the greatest so far.

Whilst all this was happening, I had to make the sensible decision to drop down from the marathon to the half marathon.  Training for a half marathon should have been easier, but again it didn’t happen.  I should have said to myself sooner that I wasn’t ready and to pull out before I even started.  But I made the decision during the race and hopefully by doing so have not done any lasting damage and can come back stronger for whatever my next event may be.

The only words of wisdom I can give to other members who may find themselves in the same position is to listen to your body.  When there’s a niggle, when you’re in pain, don’t run.  Don’t run on an injury.  You will just make it worse.  No matter how much you want to get to an event, you will hurt yourself more if you carry on when you shouldn’t.  Go get it looked at.  Listen.  Lack of training and injuries go hand in hand.  Be sensible.  There will always be another run.

I know we all talk about not quitting and finish lines and that’s all that matters, but do you know what?  It isn’t.  Not if you’re injured.  Not if you haven’t trained.   I am absolutely fine with my decision not to run.  It means I get to run again when I can.  And because I got to see all those who did run…

Luckily when I stopped at the roundabout on the half marathon, I wasn’t alone as the Chairman and club member Ian had cycled up to support the runners as did some other members.  I stayed and cheered everyone I could.  Went back to the Stadium and cheered some more.

This turned out to be a fantastic experience.  I saw almost all the LFRs come in – we had so many doing the distances for the first time, it was amazing to jump up and down and scream them in.  And even those seasoned runners doing their umpteenth half or marathon, I got to see them all too.  Also seeing the LFRs sticking together when it was getting tough, getting each other to the finish.  What an amazing club we are.

It’s truly incredible seeing people you know and admire achieving their goals after working so hard on all their training to get there.  Particularly in this weather.   I couldn’t do it.  But I am so immensely happy and proud of all of the LFRs out on the course that day.  It was brutal.  You did brilliantly.  Well done!

And that’s it for me.  It’s not the day I had imagined when I applied last year, but it was still a great day for so many of you.  I’ll be back out at some point.  See you soon, LFR!

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