The Usual Suspects #marathon15

Image Folkestone sea frontAfter establishing that back to back marathons are a bit of a struggle for me at the moment it was nice to have a single that went smoothly and brought me up to 15 completed marathons.

Originally I hoped to have a few more under my belt, but it wasn’t to be.  Since doing the Ranscombe Double in October I have tried twice more but it just wasn’t to be.  Marathon 13 for me coincided quite nicely with October 31st, Halloween.  To make it even better the race went on into the night so everyone was running in the dark in fancy dress.  Great fun and a steady but solid run from me.  Unfortunately the next day my shot at number 14 didn’t go quite as much to plan.  Whilst it was lovely to be running with some parkrun friends, James, Teresa, Vanessa & Nicola. They were all there to run different distances and that is what makes the Saxons, Vikings & Normans races so perfect. A group of runners can come together and have fun running whatever distance they want to on the day.  Unfortunately for me I called it a day at the 5 lap point (it was 8 for a marathon) as I was getting knee pain, originally I thought it was the trainers I was wearing that day but upon reflection I think it might just be that running so far in such a short space of time irritates me a bit.

Fast forward a month and I completed marathon 14 at the Martello Marathon between Folkestone & Hythe.  I started out at PB pace and felt strong, but the wind was stronger and it meant I ended up easing off and just making sure I finished in a reasonable time.  It was nice to see Louise a few times during the race (she was down for parkrun and the Dymchurch marathon the following day) and Cassie, also down for Dymchurch.

Image of signs at Dymchurch firing rangeDymchurch beat me, I let it but it definitely beat me.  I started the race with Cassie (doing her first marathon) and Helen but I had to fall back pretty early on.  Martello had taken its toll and I was finding it tough.  Over the course of the first few laps the pain got worse and in the end I decided the concrete and the wind were not going to be my friends that day.  While I want to get more marathons ticked off I refuse to break myself doing them and given that it took 7 days before I could walk down the stairs without a shooting, stabbing pain in my right knee I know I made the right decision.  I was totally stoked for Cassie though! She finished her first marathon with a smile on her face and as much of a sprint finish as you can into a 50MPH wind on 26+ mile legs! I was especially pleased as I had suggested she follow the TrainAsONE plan that I use, and it’s so nice when someone puts their faith in your suggestion (and the magic plan!) and succeeds!

Which brings us to the Usual Suspects! Another of the SVN races that sold out extremely quickly.  The promise of a medal with our names on meant I signed up as soon as I heard about it and I am so pleased that I did.  The Boyf and I were both looking forward to it, and were a bit nervous at the same time.  I was concerned that I would get knee pain again and he had been suffering with a bad back all week, so we weren’t sure how far we would be able to run.  Luckily it was a challenge event, which meant as long as we got one lap completed in 6 hours then the medal was ours.  Luckily for us both though it was all OK.  I completed my 15th marathon(14th in 2015) and Jools his 19th (18th this year).  Of course he went a bit further and actually ran 38.5 miles, in a course PB time!

It was a really special race, so much support for each other and a lovely chance to catch up with people and have a bit of a chat.  My knee was pain free throughout the run and the Boyf’s back pain was pushed into the background and isn’t giving him too much trouble today either.  Oh and the medal….totally amazing and a complete one off, with all our names on it.  A brilliant idea and I can’t wait to be part of it again next year.

Image the Usual Suspects medal

2015 isn’t quite over yet though…if all goes to plan I can still squeeze in 2 parkruns and a marathon, before kicking off 2016 with a parkrun double on New Year’s Day!

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