It’s just over a week since I ran the London Marathon and I feel in the main recovered. My hip however is still sore, it feels like I’ve been repeatedly kicked in a very specific place. I’m icing, stretching and rolling and hoping that it will gradually get better.
As I’ve had time to reflect over the last week or so on what I achieved out there last Sunday I’ve realised that there are a number of people that I’d like to thank for their help, support and advice along the way. My journey to the start line began quite a while ago and I wouldn’t have crossed the finish line without my support crew.
So I’ve written a little list of the people that I’d like to thank, kind of how I used to do as a kid at Christmas. But instead of writing thank you letters I’m writing a thank you blog post. It’s 2014 after all!
First up has to be Julia Buckley my amazing fat loss coach and now friend. If you read this blog regularly then I probably sound a bit like a broken record but her Fat Burn Revolution and Inferno programmes have done more for my fitness and running ability than anything else I’ve ever tried. Over the course of 2013 I worked with Julia and stripped an awful lot of fat off my body while at the same time building muscle. Losing weight and getting stronger simply transformed by running ability and I PBed at every distance from 5K to half marathon.
Julia also helped me put together my marathon training programme. Less long slow running than most people would advise and more high intensity work and strength training. Despite my injury I am convinced that this approach worked for me. My longest training run was 16 miles and yet on the day I didn’t really feel the distance until around 20 miles and finished the race strong.
Throughout my training Julia was on hand with support and great advice just when I needed it. A former long distance runner herself she knew what I was going through and what I needed to hear. I can’t thank you enough Julia, much of my 40 minute PB is thanks to you.
Second on the list is Sally Moss founder of Strength Ambassadors. In the second half of my training I started working with Sally twice a week on some running specific strength work. We focussed on things that would be important over 26.2 miles. Strong and flexible hamstrings, glute strength and lots of work to strengthen my back. When the going got tough Sally would tell me “this will make a difference late in the race when you’re feeling tired”
And she was right. This photo was taken at 25 and a bit miles, by the Houses of Parliament. All around me runners are hunched over and looking like they’re really struggling. I’m standing tall, massive smile on my face and loving it. All those rows, hip bridges, walking lunges, deadlifts and overhead squats paid off. Thank you Sally.
I should also thank the photographer that took this shot. My race photos are usually horrific and rarely something I’d share with people, let alone pay for. But this photo is just fantastic and I love it. Thank you photographer!
Third up are the lovely people at Tempo Pilates, my Reformer Pilates studios. I started going to Tempo at the start of 2013 and continued throughout my marathon training. Sessions at Tempo are tough – taught by friendly trainers who in their other lives are dancers and gymnasts. Mainly focused on core strength the sessions are set to a brilliant soundtrack and there’s always something new. Just when you think you’ve mastered the routine they change things up to keep it challenging.
My core strength has improved noticeably through my sessions at Tempo and it’s without a doubt contributed to the improvements in my running. Thank you everyone at Tempo.
Fourth on my list is my fabulous osteopath and sports masseur Glenn Sontag from Blue Eye Osteopathy. I can’t believe I’m saying thanks for the pain that you’ve inflicted on me over the last four months but I know that I may well not have started this race at all without the treatment that you’ve given me. The elbows in the glute and ITB were painful, but in the end they were worth it. And the roadside massage at mile 14 was simply above and beyond the call of duty. Thank you!
Now I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone that’s sent me messages of support throughout my training. Be that through blog comments, Facebook posts, Twitter messages or through the medium of gingerbread (I’m looking at you Dash). It might not seem like much but it made such a difference to read your words of encouragement when I’d had a tough training session or your congratulations after finishing the race. Thank you all.
Now to my friends and family that were there to support on the day. Knowing that you were waiting for me kept me going with my head high. Thank you to my Mother in Law and nephew for making the trip down from Stafford to support me. Thank you to my Mum, Dad, sister, nieces and nephew. The littlest niece was quite perplexed by the whole experience but even at 17 months old joined in to support me. Thank you all – and especially to Mum for calming me down when I phoned in floods of tears.
And lastly but by no means least to Mr J. When I finished in 2012 I told you that I wouldn’t do it again, that I wouldn’t put us both through those months of training and stress. And then I went and changed my mind and you supported me anyway. Thank you for not minding when I left you for hours on end at the weekend, or got home late during the week exhausted from the training. Thank you for coming to watch me run the Brighton Half marathon for the 3rd year in a row. I’m bored of running the race now so I can only imagine how bored you are of watching it. Thank you for saying the right things when I had a rubbish run or got frustrated about my hip. Thank you for cooking for me and looking after me. Thank you for being a generally fantastic husband. I love you. Thank you.
And one final word of thanks to whoever designed the 2014 medal. It’s an awesome piece of bling and now has absolutely pride of place in my collection.