I’m in! I’ve got a place in TCS London Marathon 2023

I've got a place in TCS London Marathon 2023 superimposed on a pink 'You're in!' website message.

It’s been a long time since I blogged consistently, so I’m hoping I’ll magically find enough time to change that over the next six months. Why? Because I’ve finally got a place in London Marathon!

What’s going on in my life?

I’ve got a lot going on in my life. I still work full-time, but I am back to working 5 days a week. I mostly work from home, so I no longer have a lovely daily cycle commute.

M is at school, so I take her when I can. I also collect her and take her to various after-school activities (ballet, tap and gymnastics). I tried cycling to school with M last academic year. There was a 30-minute window between breakfast club opening and me starting work at 8am. We rarely left home on time and I found it stressful cycling home (up a huge hill) on a heavy bike towing a smaller bike, so I gave up. We’ve bought an e-bike for commuting, but are waiting for parts so that M can ride on it. I’m hoping it will give me an opportunity to get active before work every day.

Not only do I miss my cycle commute, but I also miss my daily activity levels from walking between university buildings (and campuses). I easily walked 10000 steps a day before I worked from home. It was a fairly long walk through my building just to get a glass of water or hot drink or to visit the loo! I’ve got a standing desk. I rearranged my home office earlier this year as I was unable to lift the desk. I need to get used to being on my feet for long hours, so I need to use my standing desk more. These days, I also miss my lunch more often as I spend so much time in meetings for things that would perhaps have been more casual interactions through being in the same place as others and also because I’m in a different role from 2 years ago.

To add to my challenges, I’m starting a work-related course in January, which will take up my limited free time. I’m excited about the course, but I also know that it’s going to require a lot of hard work and commitment for a few years.

What are my plans?

Anyway, I have decided that I need to lose weight (again) and get fit (again). I’m desperate to be able to run 5km in under 30 minutes. I’ve been going to Lordshill Road Runners training consistently since the start of the academic year. Although I’m not running 5km in under 30 minutes yet, I’ve just moved up from Group A/B to Group C… there’s still quite a way to go to get back to Group D. It seems unbelievable that at one point I used to Run lead Group D (50-55 minute 10km time).

On Saturday, M stayed at home with my mum, so Stu and I ran together at parkrun. I was feeling tired, so was pleased that I ran my fastest time at Southampton parkrun since February 2020 (pre-Covid). I’ve run one parkrun faster in the intervening period – at Victoria Dock, roughly a year ago. That’s a very different event as it’s completely flat, so I was pleased with my time this weekend.

My results email from parkrun #463 on 22/10/22. It says my time was 29:41.
Sadly, a batch of tokens was handed out in the wrong order, so my actual time wasn’t sub-30 minutes. My time was 30:31.

Getting a place in TCS London Marathon 2023

I was already feeling motivated to get fitter and faster when I received an exciting email this week. After entering the ballot every year since 2011, I’ve finally got a place in London Marathon! I’m so excited but also daunted. I’ve been desperate to do this race, but I’m now unfit. I used to love doing long runs with friends, but I don’t really have any running friends these days. I enjoyed chatting with a friend for 2-3 hours. If anyone living in Southampton is planning to train for a spring marathon and is (optimistically) hoping for a 4:00-4:30 finish time, I’d love to have a training partner.

TCS London Marathon 'You're in' message on a pink background.
Email from TCS London Marathon saying 'Congratulations! We're thrilled to offer you a 2023 TCS London Marathon place.'

Setting some goals

So – how can I fit in the London Marathon training that I need to do? I’m determined that by the end of 2022, I’ll be:

  • confidently running 5km in under 30 minutes
  • able to run 10-13 miles
  • doing some strength and conditioning training every week.

I’m going to incorporate parkrun into my training and I’m going to continue running with Lordshill on Monday nights. On Wednesdays, I’m hoping to run with Hannah. Other runs will probably take place during my lunch hours.

I'd love to hear your thoughts...

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