The best marathon of my life

‘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 the body will adjust.’
Cris Walsh, Bellahouston Harrier, and 2:37 marathoner


7:45am, 21st September 2013: the day before my Granny would have been 98 and the day my best friend got engaged. 🙂
My plan was to run until my Garmin had measured a marathon: 26.2 miles.
Starting off, maybe running too fast.
Heart pumping, feeling great.

Run til your garmin says 26.2 miles.pngRunning through Festival Park and across the bridge over the Clyde.
I look up and see the full moon in the morning sky.
Hello Granny, nice to see you. 😀
I smile with pride.

I pass two police in an idling police van.
Tempted to tell them it’s illegal, but I shut my urge off and keep running.
Up to Bryes road and I feel like I’m flying.
My aim is to keep my heart rate under 170, sometimes above, but more close to 165: my pace will come as a result of it.

I’m going to push myself to my limits,
And hopefully run the marathon of my life.
I’ve run 5 marathons before, all at around 3:40 in time.
I wonder what today’s effort will bring?

Cape on, I push up the hills, and fly down them.
Letting gravity take its hold on me and carry me down.
Pace isn’t a concern of mine, but I know I’m flying.
Up to Maryhill, pushing up the hill, I make sure my cape is tied on tight.

Then downhill, down by the Kelvin River, music blaring in my ears.
5 miles in and almost a fifth of the way there,
I run past some other runners, say hello and smile.



I run along Sauchihall Street, and down Buchanan Street.
Queues outside the Apple store.
I know what I’d rather be doing on a Saturday morning! (this).
I know it’s all downhill to the Clyde so I let the hill take me again.

Along Argyle Street I notice a beggar and think he can’t afford trainers so couldn’t run like me.
Dodging the people (it’s not too busy yet, but busy enough),
I wink at a small old hairy man, and he winks back, I smile.
Perhaps he is or was a runner, like me?

marathon 1 runRunning along I get caught up in someone’s cigarette smoke and I wonder why anyone would choose to smoke.
Then I run towards the roundest and biggest young girl I’ve ever seen.
She’s maybe 6 or so, and the same shape as her fat mum.
What chance has this little girl from the East End of Glasgow got in life I wonder?

10 miles in and I’m at 1:17: two fifths of the way there.
Rough calculation tells me if I keep this pace up I might get a 3:24 marathon, or a 3:30 for definite!
My calves are starting to feel tight.
The unfamiliar feeling of lactic acid is building up. I take a gel on.

marathon believe you canRunning down Saltmarket I get to Glasgow Green.
I almost get tripped up by a little pug dog,
Before going on and getting a hello, a smile and a wave from a stranger with a cute white dog.
I pass the half marathon mark in about 1:42 ( x2 = 3:24 if I can keep this up! Eeeeeek).

Down towards the Gorbals I pass a woman in her late 20s, smoking, with a bottle of irn bru under her arm.
I think, ‘that’s your choice’, I choose to run.
Feeling fortunate, but now it’s sort of uphill from here on in. :-/
I push on up to Queens Park, to Shawlands and beyond.

20130923-222328.jpgI excuse myself past a couple and a young toddler who doesn’t notice me.
Then I get held up behind a woman and a pushchair,
And uncharactisticly get frustrated and annoyed.
I try not to let myself vocalise it to her bit night have let something slip out. Oops.

15 miles in and I notice my first slight up hill.
I take a gel on and make sure my cape is tied on, nice and steady up to Pollok Park.
I control my pace by watching my heart rate and keeping it to around 165.
In, around and out of Pollok Park.

20130923-222131.jpgRunning down Corkerhill Road I think of my best running buddy Jackie who got me started running with 6 miles on this route 5 years ago.
I smile and run up the hill at the top.
Along to Bellahouston Park, 21 miles in and I’m starting to feel it. 5 miles to go.
I’m keeping to my heart rate (165) and my pace is slowing.
I don’t mind though as another rough calculation tells me I should be able to still finish in under 3:30. (Which would be AMAZING!).

24 miles in and it’s grim, ‘Hang on in there not long to go now’.
Just 2.2 miles to go.
Less than 20 minutes.
I’m nearly there, ‘Keep Strong, You Can do it’.

marathon summaryI want to take a break and walk, but I keep pushing myself.
I think to myself how proud I’ll be when I finish and I’ve kept going all that way.
Pushing myself to my limits to run the best marathon of my life.
I realise if I keep this up I’ll always be able to say ‘I did a 3:30 marathon.’ Wow.

I push on home, down the hill at St Andrews Drive / Seaward Street that I know so well. I get to the traffic lights I also know so well: 25.4 miles in.
I glance to my right, no cars and I know the lights are in my favour.
I start to cross the road and glance to my right again, I stop dead in my tracks as a car I hadn’t noticed glides past in front of me.

I shake my head at myself. Ouch. That was a close one!
I very nearly got run over, I very nearly didn’t get to finish!
A man in a van who saw it all, points and shakes his fist at me.
I’m so tired I can’t even begin to retort.


I pick up my running again, cross the road in front of him and resist the urge to stick anything up at him.
Realising my stupidity (or tiredness) I try to forget what just happened, and run on.
He doesn’t know I’m over 25 miles into a marathon, but hey ho, I keep running.
Down Seaward Street and onto Paisley Road West.

Half a mile to go.
God this is hard work.
0.4, 0.3 I turn a corner just to keep running continuously, I don’t care where I end up.
0.2… COME ON!!
I go around another corner and keep going, just to that post, then I can stop.

Run to your limitsMy Garmin hits 26.2 and I stop!
I’m finished. I smile.
3:28:51, a massive PB of over 10 minutes!
I feel strange, light headed, prickly and the hairs on the back of my neck are standing up.

I keep walking and walking. I am gubbed! Recovery starts now.
I’m a half mile from home, just the right distance for a nice easy recovery walk home.
I can’t believe I just did that.
I pushed myself so hard, right to my limits and I achieved what I set out to achieve.


At the end. 😉



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Finally, here is a summary of my run. 🙂marathon 5 dirty clothes

This entry was posted in Marathon, Motivation, Music, Special Event. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to The best marathon of my life

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