Gideons London Marathon 2017 race recap!

Sooooo I can officially say I am a MARATHONER!!! It definitely didn’t go the way that I wanted (as you will find out) but I did it!

After months of training in every weather condition you could think of, enduring runs ranging from early early morning to late at night the big day finally arrived. I left Amy’s aunties house around 7am to make the journey to the start line in Greenwich, and during the whole journey my stomach was full of butterflies and I couldn’t stop thinking what if I don’t make it.

We arrived at Greenwich park at about 8.30am and I said my goodbyes to Amy and her mum and headed into the red start area. It was just absolutely mind-blowing and amazing to see the pure amount of people around you, all wearing their individual charity bibs and costumes (who can say they ran a marathon alongside amongst others; a Rhino, Mr Bump and Robocop).

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I dropped my bag off at the Arctic lorry with my race number allocated and slowly headed to my pen, it was at this point around 9.45 reality was starting to kick in. The pen started to get really really full and finally it was here I was about to start.  Over the tanoy at 9.59 you had the 1 minute countdown and the finally 5,4,3,2,1…….starter goes and I did not move a muscle it took a further 33 minutes to actually cross the start line.

Once I started immediately just from the crowds at the half mile point I knew this was going to be a race to remember, the first 5 miles were just pure bliss I managed after mile 3 to get into a really good rhythm, my body was feeling good passed mile 6 but then at 7 disaster struck, I got what I think was shin splints in my right leg ouuuuchhhh! It was a pain I had never experienced before, but I was determined that I could “run” it off.

I managed to get to Tower bridge (just before the half way mark) and the crowds were just amazing at helping to keep my mind off the pain, I also knew that Amy was going to be quite close to mile 14 and that it would help seeing her and some other family/friends. I finally got passed where Amy was (she was on the other side of the road). Seeing her and the rest of the cheer squad was just what I needed. I powered on up-to mile 16 when the pain was just all-consuming, I pulled up and really had to think hard could I do this? My dream of a 5.15-5.30 race was over but I knew I just had to finish.

The next 6 miles were probably the hardest I have ever run since I started, I was in agony, determined not to pull out but I also wanted to do well, the crowds were the only thing that go me through these, they were just amazing, pure strangers feeling like family and also the amazing support of my chosen charity Children with Cancer at their cheer stations. those guys were just so encouraging!  At mile 22 I managed saw Amy and the family again and got a hug and the encouragement that I needed to finish. I carried on and at around mile 24 I saw a guy really struggling so I went over to run with him, his name was Paul and it was great just to encourage each other to get ourselves to the finish.

Then it came, 600 meters to go…. 325 meters to go… turning that corner down the mall and the finish was finally there! I looked at Paul and he looked at me and we both said ‘sprint finish’? and we ran (to others it would have looked like a power walk) ourselves to the finish line. I couldn’t believe it! I actually completed 26.2 miles – me – little old me!

A lovely lady called Beth was stood in-front of me with that all important medal, she put it around my neck and I just had the biggest smile on my face. I went and got my kit bag and headed to find Amy at the Children with Cancer meet point. As I entered the meeting zone there was a group of volunteers from the charity ready to congratulate me and point me in the right direction. When I got there Amy was there waiting with a huge smile on her face, she came over and congratulated me and the guys from the charity got me a chair and some food and drink to have.

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Not only did I manage to run my the bucket list marathon and complete it but I also managed to raise a lot of money for an Children with Cancer UK, so thank you so much if you sponsored me and for all the kind words of encouragement. You guys kept me going when times got tough.

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Will I do another marathon?? I think I’ll let my legs recover a bit before I make that decision. Despite it not going to plan, it was a great day, with an amazing atmosphere and I’m so glad I got to experience that!

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Tomorrow’s the day! London Marathon 2017!

Hello everyone! It is the evening before the big day, so I thought I would recap the last 2 weeks of the hated taper and some info from the expo!

So anyone who has run a half or a full marathon would have gone through the taper period. This has been the most mentally challenging period so far!  Your mind decides to really play games with you from constant fear of injury, phantom pains and with the reduced mileage, the worry you haven’t done enough.

However I held my nerve (just) and kept to the taper plan, I have tried my best to keep calm (but as Amy will tell you that hasn’t always happened) but it’s here, no turning back now!

This morning we headed out to the excel centre in London to get my bib and chip. It was so great to finally meet the team from Children with Cancer, they have been so supportive and helpful ove the last couple of months and it was great to put faces to names!

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We headed around all the various stalls, with people from various races from around the world trying to tempt me (I must say the Barbados marathon does sound quite appealing). We sat and listened to some seminars to ensure that we were aware of everything tomorrow, including some advice on what to eat and drink and some reassuring words from the one and only Martin Yelling!

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So there’s nothing else I can do now except just try and get a good nights sleep, trust in my training and in my own ability and just remember that the pain, sweat, tears are going to be worth it to help raise funds for my chosen charity; children with Cancer UK. I’m so close to raising a whopping £1,000, so if you would like to help me get there please visit my page : www.virginmoneygiving.com/gidrunslondon

Other than that- just wish me luck!!!

Gideon’s London Marathon 2017 Training recap: Weeks 16, 17 and 18!

Hello All! I hope that you are all doing well and have had a lovely weekend. It’s been a little while since I have blogged due to a manic 3 weeks of holidays/work but I am here now so here’s the recap!

Week 16  – 20th March

So this was our first week of holidays, my TomTom was telling me that we were averaging around 5.5 miles a day walking which is good so here are my stats for the week:

Sunday – 1 mile run around resort in 10 mins & 15 seconds.

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Monday – Walked around the Park (EPCOT)

Tuesday – Birthday!! Today was my birthday so it was filled with many yummy treats but also a lot a lot of walking!!!

Wednesday – 8 mile run. After all the birthday fun and indulgence It was time to get back to business and get a good run in which I did! I ran 8 miles in loops around the beautiful lake at our resort (Caribbean Beach) in a lovely 19 degrees! I managed it in 1 hr 34 mins with a average pace of 11.45 which I was very very happy with.

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Thursday – Bit of Shopping and lots of walking again around parks.

Friday – Lots of walking around the parks.

Saturday – Race Day! As I was going to have to run lots for my marathon training, we decided why not get some bling at the same time. We entered the Winter Park 10k which was a lovely run around the picturesque town of Winter Park but boy oh boy was it warm! It was around 23 degrees by the time I finished at 9 am but I still managed to get around in 1 hr 15 mins.

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Sunday – Another day around the parks and a little bit of swimming.

Week 17 – 27th March 

Monday – Again much of the same lots and lots of walking around the parks.

Tuesday – Today I had planned to do a 12 mile run which I am sorry to say I didn’t complete. Instead, I smashed my longest run to date of 20 miles!!! I decided after reading lots about peoples marathon training that I was going to leave it too late to Taper if I didnt do the long-long run whilst on holiday, so I decided to bite the bullet and go for it.

I set the alarm for 4am (the first hurdle as no one wants to get up at 4am, let alone on their holidays). I got up and had a bagel and then headed out around 5am. It was still dark but already quite warm and humid. The first 2 hours felt good. I managed to get into a comfortable rhythm until the sun fully rose and the temperature soared to 24 degrees and it was hot hot! I managed to get the whole run completed in 4 hrs 31 mins. Even though this is slower than I would of liked, I was pleased with my efforts considering the many influencing factors such as the heat, humidity and a week full of unhealthy eating!

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Wednesday to Friday – Pretty much just spent the days walking around the parks and generally just spent a lot of time on my feet.

Saturday & Sunday – These days were taken up travelling home from the US.

Week 18 – 3rd April 

This week hasn’t exactly gone how I would of liked, I am currently in my taper stage before the marathon and had wanted to get 3 runs in this week however my body decided that this wasn’t going to be case. I came straight back from holiday into starting a new job which involves quiet a long commute. This, mixed with jet lag and the continued recovery from my 20 miler meant I have quickly come down with a scratchy throat and head cold.

I know it’s not helpful to taper to much and not do any running, but I felt like I really needed to listen to my body this week so I only managed one speed mile which was 1.03 miles in 9 mins 23 seconds. I am feeling a lot better today and have planned out my runs for the next two weeks until race day, so as not to let this low level week affect me to much.

I am now only 2 weeks out from the biggest hardest most nerve wrecking thing I have ever attempted. I’m doing this for an amazing charity – Children with Cancer UK, and if you would like too it would be amazing if you could sponsor me: www.virginmoneygiving.com/gidrunslondon

Also if you are praying type please pray for no injuries or further illness – the maranoia is setting in! 🙂

Walt Disney World GoPro Pics!

On our most recent trip to Walt Disney World, I was fortunate enough to be lent a GoPro (Hero) to play with by family! I’ve never used a GoPro before, so it was great to test it out and see what it’s capable of (incase I decide I might want my own). I used it to record some videos, but also to take some still shots, using the single photo and burst options.

I have to say, it was very bizarre taking photos without any kind of view finder/digital screen. You were basically shooting in the dark –  just point it in the right direction and hope that it turns out ok. Most of the shots I took were utterly terrible. When I uploaded them onto my Mac when I got home it reminded me of how it used to be when you used to have to take your film to a developer, and then when you got the prints back you were rather disappointed that they weren’t better. I did get some nice ones however, and I thought I’d share the best ones with you here!

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Winterpark 10k 2017 race recap

As part of Gideons marathon training (and just for fun) we decided to enter a race whilst on our most recent holiday to Florida. After a little bit of searching we found the Winterpark 10k, which was presented by trackshack & Florida Hospital and which took place mid way through our holidays. It seemed like a great option so we signed up.

As you’ll know if you regularly read this blog, my training as of late has been a little lax. I completed the St. Davids Day 5k in Feb, which was fine, but I wasnt quite prepared to run a 10k in the Florida heat. So I didnt. I walked. 

If you don’t want to hear about my walk you may as well stop reading now. Gideon ran the whole race, and finished in a respectable time. I walked about 80% of it. I did do a little bit of running at the start, but by mile 2 I had made up my mind that I simply didnt want to push my body into something it wasnt trained for, especially with the temperature ramping up rapidly as the sun had just risen. 

Thankfully, this race was perfect for someone who wanted to walk. There were plenty of people out on the course. Trackshack wanted as many people as possible to join the event so encouraged walkers and race walkers. If you wernt maintaining a 16 minute mile I think you were asked to move to the pavement but that was not a problem for me as my miles were consistently in the 14 minute range- and actually I was incredibly suprised I was able to keep that waking pace up for 6.2 miles! My upper thighs certainly felt it in the days after!!

The course itself was fab. Closed roads, all around the beautiful residental area of Winterpark, which was like mansion land- all the houses were huge!! There were also some beautiful lakes, so lots to keep you from getting bored on a 6.2 mile walk. The course was also nice and flat- at least thats how I would describe it coming from hilly Wales! I powered up a small incline much to the dismay of some of my fellow participants from Florida who proceeded to tell me that this was a massive hill by Florida standards (which I suppose it was). 


Overall, a well organised and very scenic race and I was glad I did it even if I didnt really run it. I mean how could I drop our completely when this lovely medal was on offer???