To sponsor – http://www.justgiving.com/Abby-Davies-VLM16
Yesterday we finally reached the day that led to me signing up to the London marathon. Months and months ago, the beginning of the year I think, at a family gathering doing the Oxford half marathon for Liberty’s 16th birthday was mentioned in passing to which I said that I was happy to take part in. When it came around to signing up in July, October still seemed like a million miles away. As it’s been such a long build up I couldn’t quite believe that the weekend came around so fast.
During the build up I completed a few nice runs around Pitsford reservoir, the grand Union canal and locally in Market Harborough. My longest run stood at 9 miles in 1 hours 40 minute 2 weeks before so based on that my half marathon aim/ETA was 2 hours 30.
It was a nice morning for the marathon a little chilly but dry and slightly sunny. We had a great group of spectators and all 16 including supporters met at the start to raise some balloons and to remind ourselves why we were there and what we were doing the run for.
The majority of the team started at the 2-2.15 mark with the expectation that we’d all drift off to our own paces as the run went on. The run started about 15 minutes late by which time we were getting a little cold and were raring to go!
After the first mile I found my pace and poodled along until mile 4 where I had to take an annoying toilet break! Due to the break (and queue) this took a little longer than I thought it would and added a couple of standing minutes to my time. Once back on track a carried on albeit my slower than before. As I carried on towards mile 6 I slowed down much more to walking pace for a little. Unfortantley, on Saturday a dull pain began at the bottom of my foot and this niggle (though painful at the beginning) flared and caused me pain and from here onwards I felt it all going downhill! This was by far the toughest part of the course as the supporters were more spaced out and there was longer stretches of course through a small village. From around mile 7 up until 11 (with support from mum, dad and boyfriend Harry) I slugged my way through the pain and made it back towards Oxford city centre.
From the drinks stop at 11.5 miles I began slowly running until the end only with a very short walk before heading down the finish line and somehow managing to sprint through the cheering from the Libfest supporters and the rest of Team Baker who had finished.
Making it through the finish line was such a great feeling 1 knowing that it had ended and 2 the achievement and support of everybody make it all worthwhile.
All of the team did amazingly well and the support from each other and along the way really helped make it easier!
I completed the half marathon in 2 hours 36 minutes and 9 seconds for my first half, a toilet stop and a very painful foot going through that finish line was a huge achievement!