Friday, 10 October 2014


So this is my final blog post anywhere before Sunday's Yorkshire Marathon attempt.

I say attempt because that's exactly what it is.  Despite all the training and hard work that's lead me up to this point, there's absolutely no guarantees of anything and I need to carry this determination over the start line and around York to get me to the end.

That's not to say I don't feel prepared because I think I am.  Definitely more so than I was two and a half years ago in London.  I've paid a lot more attention to my diet and training and I've focused on more than simply just logging miles.

I said recently that almost every day this year has been a lead up to this race.  Whilst I know I don't have anything to prove to anyone, I still feel like I owe myself something - that the first time I did a marathon wasn't really a true reflection of what I might be capable of.

I boldly said at the start of the year that I could knock an hour off my last time (5:30:41) and I still think that with some good conditions and a little bit of luck, that might be possible on Sunday. I think 4:45 is a more achievable time but I'm not going to put any pressure on myself to do anything until 18 or 19 miles in.

Experience tells me that the last 7-8 miles are the hardest and I'm hoping I can put myself in contention with something I can personally be proud of at that point.   If not, then maybe it just wasn't my day and whatever happens, I'll be glad to get round.

I read somewhere recently that running a marathon has become "normalised" to some degree.  Back in 1981 when the first London Marathon was staged, running 26.2 miles was a rare thing that few people outside of elite athletes even attempted.  My dad doing the 1989 marathon was what hooked me in from an early age.

Nowadays there are so many opportunities open to people that want to go that full distance (which I think is fantastic), but what I think it means is the effort that goes into preparing for a marathon gets lost.  Basically it's incredibly hard work for your average Joe like me. 

To give you some idea of what it takes to get to the start line, I've run 507.33 miles so far this year - roughly the distance from Sheffield to John and I've spent 86 hours, 16 minutes and 25 seconds training.  It's a huge commitment and it's very tiring.   But compare that to 2012 when I'd logged just under 195 miles (and just 36 hours running) it's a huge step forward.

Whilst running is mostly fun (and running in a big race with a big crowd is almost certainly the closest I'll ever get to being a rock star), it also has it's downsides.  It can be very painful, at distances over about 18 miles it can make you want to be horribly sick and you can ache in places you never knew existed.

Of course I have to manage diabetes alongside all that too which makes it a little more complicated.  I'm hoping I've had enough practice this year to have a clear strategy set out, and I'm hoping the jelly babies I'll be scoffing every few miles won't make me throw up (though you never can tell.

In short, I'm not taking anything for granted, but I'm hoping I can get round in a reasonable time and do so without injuring myself!

In 2012 I spent the day before the race watching The Hunger Games at the Odeon in Leicester Square.  This year I'll be at a networking day for Diabetes UK (conveniently held in York) meeting volunteers and other local group members, before having dinner and an early night.  It's good to have something to take my mind off it all and I'm hoping there'll be a lot to think about which will distract me whilst I'm running the next day.

Going to York is very much like going home, as I lived there for 10 years, and the start/finish will be at York University where I studied for four years.  I'm hoping it'll be a great weekend all round.

Finally, I just want to thank everyone who's supported me in one way or another.  I've received a lot of encouragement from friends and family and it's been great to see so many people generously donate to Diabetes UK.  I've raised £635 so far and I'm really hoping I can make it to £1000 before the end of the year.  I won't tell you all again, how much good that money will do (check any of my last blogs to see what I mean) but trust me, it really will make such a huge difference.  If you want to donate, then please visit or text BROO81 10 to 7007 to donate £10.

I'll see you all on the other side with the verdict on how it went.

Thanks for reading.