This Girl Can Run 20 Miles......Just!
Posted: Tue, 21 Feb 2017 16:00
Last weekend was the first 20 mile training run on the dreaded London Marathon schedule. Steve and I made the long journey to Bramley leaving the house on Sunday at 8 am to make sure we got there in plenty of time for the race to start at 10.30 am. We had both completed this race last year so knew what to expect...hills, 2 laps and the pain that overcomes you at approximately mile 17 knowing there are still more hills to climb! I had a nightmare midway through as my running belt broke so I lost one of my gels and ended up carrying the remaining two in my hand. I tried not to panic and just carried on...which is unlike me!
I knew this distance was going to be challenging for me as I hadn't ran anything above 14 miles on the schedule. I did however feel great up until about 15 miles and then it was just a case of survival for the last 5. I was just praying my legs would hold out and get me to the finish to be honest. I had ran a pretty quick time (perhaps too quick and was paying for it in the later stages) so I was trying to work out how much I could let my mile times dip to still do a good time. I was approaching the last ascent and as I began to run over the brow of the hill I could see the finish line and just make out the time on the clock which said 2 hours 39 something. I saw Steve in the crowd...he looked at me, looked at the clock and I knew he was thinking exactly the same as me...try to get in under 2 hours 40 minutes. I smiled back and pushed for the line trying to dip under the elusive 8 minute miles for 20 miles. As I was approaching the line lots of girls were cheering for 'Michelle'...I thought wow I don't know that many people but was very grateful. I crossed the line and then I realised it was for the girl in front of me, she was also called Michelle. Oh well it helped me anyway to achieve my goal. The official result was 2 hours 39 minutes and 31 seconds (7:59 minute miling). This was over 4 minutes quicker than what I ran last year so I was really pleased. Steve had a brilliant run as always running quicker than last year.
It was well worth the early start, feeling rough in the car on the way home and not getting back until gone 4 pm. It certainly felt like we had done a days work on a Sunday. This weekend 17 miles at Gade Valley...to be honest I always look forward to this training run as we get the most amazing cake at the end.
I am still a long way from my sponsorship target so any contribution would be greatly received; https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Michelle-Morris2902
Photo by Barry Cornelius