I’m ready…

So here I am, it’s 7am, I’ve had my breakfast of porridge, a banana and some grapefruit, and now I’ve got changed and I’m ready to go.

I’ll get to the green start area about 830 I think, to make sure my bag is on the lorry by 920, then we start at about 10am. Here’s the weather forecast, so I have sunscreen on, my sunnies and a white cap in case I need it.

Here’s the big reveal of my outfit…

I may be a little crazy, but I’m sure that ok.

You can watch out for me on the telly amid the masses or track me on the london marathon app. See my number below.

Cape is most definitely on (although butterflies are here too)… and caffeine is about to be consumed!

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The day before the VLM 2018

It was a long journey down in the train but we got here just before 1. My friend Lesley joined me this year, to support and hopefully look after me when I’m a bag of … at the end of the marathon tomorrow.

On the journey down I remembered that I’d googled the house my Granny and Grandad (and mum and her siblings) lived in, in London in the 40s – 19 Myddleton Park.

About 10-15 minutes from London I realised that we were about to pass quite near to it… then through a tunnel. It was less than a mile away from he train tracks. I still think of my Granny daily, and I wonder if my elephant I dropped in St James Park 2 years ago is still there? I wonder what she’d say about me running the marathon tomorrow.

We got to Kings Cross, met someone Lesley knows and went straight to the where I picked up my number and we had a wee look around. A good omen was meeting Paul Clawson as he was leaving, wearing his VLM top from 2016. He said it was busy and he was right.

I got my number and my timing chip, and went through the expo. I refrained from buying any gear (as I really don’t need it)… but I did my a new medal hanger as my current ones have run out of space. I get mine from Runners Wall, and they’re always good.

After I got my number and were finished at the expo, we travelled back west towards Waterloo, and we checked into our hotel. The Hampton by Hilton at Waterloo. A nice wee twin room – it seems nice so far.

And more importantly it serves breakfast from 6am tomorrow. 🙂

Onto my dinner for tonight… I went all out and had a sirloin steak, along with fries, mushrooms and green beans. Did you know green beans make you run fast and resistant to the sun? Well, they do. Or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.

I probably didn’t need a pudding after all of that, but I ordered one anyway, and ate it all for myself. Sticky toffee pudding, and ice cream. Yum.

After dinner we had a wee rest and a drink, then we went a wee walk down to the Thames and the London eye. I’ve done 10,000 steps today, so possibly more than I’d have liked, but the little walk was nice and refreshing after dinner, so all good.

I was feeling fine all day, then as if I’d just had my last supper, I started to feel a bit nervous / excited about tomorrow. It finally hit me what I’m about to do!

We came home and I saw that I had a few messages of encouragement on Facebook, and I’m pleased to say, a notification to say that you nice people I know have pledged an amazing £841 to my just giving link.

I’m so grateful… but anyone that knows me knows I hate an odd number, so if anyone fancies putting on a donation with a 4 at the end of it, I’d be eternally grateful. It’s my brother Ewen’s fault for giving me £1 for every full mile (26 lol).

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lornrunsthelondonmarathon2018

I’ve oddly being seeing the number 26 a lot today… my seat on the train, and a bus number. I’m in room 521… which I chose when I checked in yesterday… 21 is my birthday, but when you add 5 and 21, what do you get? 🤪

If I’m like this now, god knows what I’ll be like tomorrow after I’ve had caffeine and run 262 miles. Lol.

Lesley is away for a workout and I’ve been busy in the room getting ready for my 2nd London Marathon. All my gear is laid out, and my water pack is filled up.

The weather is due to be hot tomorrow, 20-24’C probably with a slight wind. So I’m just going to see how it goes and run to my heart rate (155-165, plus a bit towards the end).

I got a message on Facebook from the club runner ‘Siobhan’ I ran with in the last few miles of the London marathon in 2016 and she’s starting at the same start as me so it would be nice to see her again.

So here’s what I’m wearing, and what you can look out for on the telly, after the queen shouts me across the start line …. 😜 Purple shorts, yellow vest, maybe a white cap… water pack covered by my slightly crazy, but hopefully fun, pink cape. Pink arms maybe, and plenty suncream.

I was walking around tonight, feeling very fortunate to be fit and healthy enough to be able to run a marathon, let alone be lucky enough to run the London marathon, and raise money for Turning Point Scotland.

Thanks to everyone who has sponsored me or / and wished me well.

Good luck to Audrey, Cris and Paul running tomorrow, and happy 40th birthday to my sister too. I’m away to read my ‘final instructions’ and figure out when I’m leaving tomorrow to get to Maze Hill / Blackheath.

Ps: you can track me by downloading the ‘London marathon’ app, and adding me as your favourite – 29065 or enter my name.

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My outfit… and my cape

It’s not every day you get to run the London marathon… so I figured I might as well make an effort with my outfit.

I’ll be running in shorts and a vest, and will have my trusty water pack on too. Name badge the same as in the picture below, and my magnetic badge clips too.

This is what I wore last time in 2016… I couldn’t resist the cape, and it didn’t annoy me at all. So I figured I could do the same this year, for a laugh. Why not eh?

If you don’t know about my cape… you can read about it here:

https://lornpearsontrains.co.uk/2013/08/02/my-present-to-you/

On Sunday I’ll be wearing purple shorts and a yellow vest with a pink seam. My blue trainers, and my pink arms (which will probably come down to my wrists).

I figured I might as well go all out and get myself a pink cape too… but it came and it was massive…. so I got the scissors, wondaweb and iron out.

And here it is. It’ll go around my neck and over my water pack, and hopefully give me some extra wee super powers to deal with the heat!

If you want to track me, download the London marathon app and put in my name or number 26095. 🙂

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London Marathon App to track runners

The Virgin Money London Marathon App is now *live*!

Track up to 20 runners, follow live updates and much more.

Download now:
🍏 App store 👉 http://bit.ly/VMLMIOSApp2018
📱 Android 👉 http://bit.ly/VMLMApp2018

Once you download the app… select if you’re a runner or spectator… then go to ‘Favourites’ and find any runners you want to follow:

My number is 29065… (or you can search by my name, or other people’s names you know are running it). I’ll be starting in the green wave at Maze Hill.

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Wk15 into Wk16 taper time

Last week was a slow burner… Monday Tuesday Rest days, they probably did me some good. Taper time has been fine. I had a good easy run on Wednesday then pushed it a little on my run on Thursday.

Thursday was – 8.3 miles comfortable, but pushing it a little, 8:18 min mile pace / avg HR 151 – built up my confidence – felt good. And it was a little warmer too – finally.

I could still feel it in my leg on Saturday, so I took it easy for my last long run – 14 miles. A good week of rest, taper and running.

My sleeps have been better this last week, so hopefully that’ll continue. I’m still off coffee, eating the odd bit of chocolate so not totally caffeine free, but good enough.

Next week, my last week of training …. here’s what I’m planning … I might mix the days about as I’m away Tue / Wed – we’ll see.

Mon: 4-5M steady
Tue: Tempo 6M incl 3-4M fast
Wed: 5k easy
Thu: Rest
Fri: Rest
Sat: Rest
Sun: LONDON MARATHON

I’ve intentionally stayed out of the gym for a couple of weeks since my holidays… no pint in going back in this week – so I’ll start back at that in May (plus some training for a 10k, once I’m recovered from the marathon.)

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RIP my garmin vivosmart

1st world problems… 👣 the day your garmin vivosmart gives up on you because you’ve been making it count so many steps (350-450k a month) 👣 …

I got it mid November 2017, and it lasted just 5 months. 💀 👣 RIP my garmin vivosmart. 😳😂💀

I’ll get in touch with who I bought it from (Curry’s) or directly with garmin for a replacement.

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10 marathons – looking back

I was speaking with someone in work the other day after I’d sent out my charity link, and he was asking me about London and what time I hope to do it in. Not one for aiming for times nowadays, I see times more as a result of the conditions and my effort.

Pace and times are all relative… I’m competitive with myself, but not with others. And sometimes nowadays I’m not so competitive with myself as I know my faster running days are behind me, and not crucially, running fast doesn’t do it for me.

Running does, and being good at running does. Being able to push it to the max, or take it easy, or run as far as I want, or run with others, or help motivate and coach others to get into running – that’s what floats my boat.

I usually to run by my heart rate (155-165) but this time I’m going to run the marathon by pace instead. A pace which is based on how I’ve done in my training.

I gave a very wide answer of ‘under 4 hours’ and reminisce about the last time I did London … I said I did it in about 3:43… but looking back, 3:43 was Loch Ness 2016…

… I did London 2016 in about 3:37 (which got me a good for age time for London this year – which is great). I know what my PB is 3:28 and I don’t think I’ll ever get close to that again – it was hard work!

To be honest, I respect the marathon and understand how hard it is, so simply being able to do it is great. I want to have a good time (journey on the route / have fun), and if I run well on the day it’ll be a bonus.

I thought now would be a good time to look back at my 10 marathons I’ve done – remind myself that although I know they’re tough – I can do them!

So here they are:

I ran my first marathon in 2010 – a run up Loch Lomond (13.1 miles) and back… on my own. It was nasty, and sore, 3:38 / pace 8:21 and avg HR 159. It was a good way to learn.

And next up was the Fort William or Lochaber Marathon as it was then, back in 2011. Winter training, then 20-22’C on the day. It was ok for most of it, then it was pretty horrible and very hot from about 20 miles in. 3:40 / 8:24 min miles, avg HR 170!! 😳

It was after that I truly got the running big and ran 2 more marathons that year… no events, just the training and marathon distance 3 times. And another in February, then I stepped up to try ultra running and got a bit of an injury training for the Clyde stride.

Long runs, and 33.33 was my longest run in 2012 around Glasgow again… then 31 miles in July broke me. Rest and recovery and by September 2013 I was up and back training for marathons and ready for my next one.

That’s when I surprised myself with the 3:28 Pb around Glasgow. Pace 7:58 and avg hr 164… pushing hard, and keeping a good steady pace up to 22 miles (on for a 3:24 marathon at half way), then the wheels fell off a bit, but I still did well to keep going and finish in 3:28.

All of the long running in 2012 had meant that I had lost weight without trying. When I started running way back in 2008, I lost a stone or so with simple changes in what I did (exercise and eating healthier / not drinking alcohol)… then the long running lost me about another stone.

I was in my best shape ever… for running. At my racing weight at between 120-124lbs… running was easy.

Looking back, it’s no wonder I got my marathon PB … my solo run around Glasgow in September 2013… when I pushed myself to the max from the start and it was all going great until about 22 miles… I was on for a massive PB, then it really started to hurt with just over 4 miles to go and I told myself ‘I’m never doing this again, never racing so hard for a marathon’.

I finished it in an astonishing 3:28… around 12 minutes faster then I’d run my previous marathons. I leave that as my marathon Pb, but now I’m wondering what I’ll be able to achieve on Sunday at London.

Read more about my Glasgow marathon Pb here: https://lornpearsontrains.co.uk/2013/09/25/the-best-marathon-of-my-life/

After my glasgow marathon PB I did a good marathon in Belfast in May 2014… but it wasn’t my favourite run. 3:33 or so… perhaps the difference between Belfast and London is the support all the way around, and the unmistakable landmarks in London.

After my 3:28 effort I was truly stunned at what I’d managed to do … and I thought I’d stick to ‘I’m never running that hard again’… but now after a good training block for this marathon …. I’m very tempted. Tempted to see what I can do.

Like Cris Walsh, Bellahouston Harriers and 2:37 marathoner (and very nice guy) said at the time ‘if you want to run the best marathon of your life, you need to push hard. Of course it’s horrible, who said it was easy?! Push through that feeling for 5 minutes and your body will adjust’.

It’s true, and it works for me, if I choose to push it.

I’m confident in how I’m running… with 11 long runs in the last 3-4 months… I have had some weekends off long running… and a couple of weeks rest in March, but I needed it and I’m hoping it did me good.

This training cycle I’ve done 2 x 18 miles and 3 x 20 miles and another 18 miler with 13.1 miles at race pace (1:50 Inverness half marathon / 8:21 min miles / HR 163).

The other day I did done 8 miles at 8:18 min miles comfortably… and I’m feeling good when I’m out running. I’ll keep an eye on my heart rate when I’m running London, push it up to 165, but mainly I’ll be looking st pace and aiming for around 7:50-8:20 I think. All based on my training.

That might get me in at around 3:30 – 3:40 ish hopefully. So quicker than Loch Ness in 2016… hopefully I’ll push it enough to have an average HR of 165 (my race HR)… and I’ll max out above that. We will see.

As I’ve said before, I’ll be happy with whatever my time is, I’m more excited to take part and enjoy it. It’s an amazing event and achievement. I can’t wait!

I’ve done 5 marathon events and run 5 of my own marathon distances. And London was the one where I got my race strategy spot on. Have fun, keep my heart rate between 155-165 or 175 at the end… and I felt strong right up to the last mile. In my head, a better performance than any of my other marathon.

It might not have been my fastest, but it was my best, in terms of performance, experience and enjoyment.

One thing I have noticed … and here’s the excuse coming… there is one big difference between me now and my PB time – my weight… the all important holy grail to help you run fast:

Lower weight = faster / easier to run fast

(Read Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald for more on this).

In 2012-2013, I was in my best shape ever… for running. At my racing weight at between 120-124lbs… running was easy.

When I did my glasgow marathon PB I was 124lbs… I’m now 138lbs. 14lbs heavier.

I don’t really notice the difference, in how I look or feel… or even when I’m running, but it’s probably safe to say it was easier to run faster when I was a stone lighter. I’ll be carrying more, probably on my hips, and wherever else.

I was about 130lbs when I did London in 2016, so I’m only half a stone heavier than i was when I did it… but I’m not letting it be an excuse.

I’ve had many doubts in this training cycle – thinking that this is bad for me. Running long and getting to 14 miles and wondering what the f I’m doing this for. Then finishing 18 miles and feeling good at the time and directly after it, but then feeling really down the next day.

Maybe caffeine crash… or once all of the endorphins have gone. It’s something I’m aware of, and I’ll be careful of it after the marathon next week.

One thing is sure, I feel ready. Ready to run 26.2 miles (or maybe I’ll just tell myself that and I will be!)

I feel good, I feel like I’m in great shape, I’ve done my long run training, and mixed in speedwork and other runs, and I’ve also taken plenty of rest and recovery. I’ve listened to my body and run less to make sure I’m fully recovered.

I had a good race at the start of March, and I’m feeling confident and excited about next Sunday. 😎 it’s looking like it’ll be a hot day! (20’C), but hopefully I’ll be ok.

I’ll be doing garmin live track on the day, so if you want to track me, send me your email address lorn or get the London marathon tracking app and track me – number 26095.

Lastly, here’s my charity link if you’d like to sponsor me:
www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lornrunsthelondonmarathon2018

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