You might remember today’s guest blogger, Joe Green, from a few months back. Joe is on a mission this year to complete 4 gruelling challenges for Sands UK, after losing a child very, very young.
Joe completed the Lincoln 10k to kick things off, and now here he is back again to share his preparation for the Leeds Half Marathon.
Having taken some time outwith my shins i resumed training but introduced some cross training for less impact and when i did run i put plenty of ice on my shins afterwards, this was something that loads of people had told me to do but i didn’t bother to listen and i really wish i would of done cause it did really help.
The morning of the marathon came round, i’d eaten clean while carb loading all week and stayed off the ale, I was a little nervous and exited but totally ready and raring to go.
Dad dropped me, Beki and Betsy off in town and we walked through town to the start at millennium square, Beki and Betsy went to get a good spot to watch and i headed to the green zone to warm up, with a quick pit stop down a quite allyway since i’d of probably missed start of race if i’d of queued for the porterloos, i was surprised to see another runner next to me instead of warming up or stretching off he was sneaking in one last cig before the start.
The blue zone started first followed by the reds then the greens were off, it seemed to take ages shuffling towards the start line but eventually we were off running, the first kilometer or so was very steady due to the amount of people but this was probably a good thing. I was looking out for Beki and Betsy but couldn’t see them and they missed me too. There was loads of runners all at side of the road and in bushes going to toilet, they must have not fancied them porter loo ques either. The sun stared shining and i thought to myself i’ve messed up here, i’m going to end up with sun burn and aright tan line straight across my forehead from my new sweat band. Even every on in the run i couldn’t believe the amount of people pulling up with injuries or having to stop and walk, they must have not trained or totally underestimated how hard i’d was going to be and just thought they’d breeze it.
The route took us down the headrow and out the city center past the grand theatre, round onto a section of the ring road then returning via Abbey road onto kirkstall road back towards town. I used every water station as it was getting really warm and i took energy gels at planned intervals. I couldn’t believe the crowds lining the route, they were so enthusiastic and it was a real boost with them cheering you on, offering bowls of sweats, oranages, spraying garden hoes pipes on you to cool you down, there was brass bands and people on bongo drums. I dropped on a fellow sands fundraiser who i’d meet over twitter, Clarke Pinnington from Liverpool who was running in memory of his son Harry.
At mile 11 ish really started to slow all the hills had started to take there toll on me and i could tell that was the case with most of the runners around me, as the crowds started to thicken up I knew the finish line was close, at this point my hamstring started to tighten and I got the worst cramp I’d ever experienced i felt the back of my leg and could feel my muscle bulging out, I rubbed and massaged it but it was no good and I thought I’d have to stop but then as soon as it started it stopped. I looked up and saw the wife, Betsy, mum, dad and niece Lucy all cheering me on it was the last boost I needed to get to the end. The crowd were absolutely buzzing and it was a right feeling crossing the finish line in 1:55:20, I was well pleased finishing in under 2 hours. I briefly thought To myself at this point that in October I’d be running double this distance and how hard it was going to be. Once I’d stopped it took an age for a normal feeling to come back to my legs, it was like I was walking on to moon. I went and found the family and we went for a few well deserved beers and the big burger on the menu. All in all it was a cracking day. Next up tough mudder!!!