Final prep and Marathon Expo

A wall of names. Tamsyn Smith is highlighted in the middle.

My final week of light training ahead of London Marathon has been tough. I haven’t lost as much weight as I’d hoped to and don’t feel well enough prepared.

Monday night training with Lordshill Road Runners – Avenue of Pain

On Monday, I went to my usual Monday night training session with Lordshill. My heart sank when I realised it would be a hill training session. Even more frustratingly, Group D (the group above mine) had a track session so several people from Group D joined Group C.

I decided to do the session but I didn’t want to push too hard. I jogged up the hills and walked when I felt tired.

In 55 minutes, I managed to run about 8km. My average pace was quite slow, but I thought that was sensible.

London Marathon Expo

On Wednesday, I had the day off work to visit the London Marathon Expo. I’ve been several times before, and was looking forward to it.

The first thing I had to do when I arrived at the expo was to collect my race number and bag. I also collected my friend’s race number and bag. They were the only ones I took a photo of, to reassure my friend that I had been successful.

The marathon bag and race number that I collected for a friend.

The first part of the expo that I walked through was the New Balance area. It had a range of London Marathon clothing. I really liked the floral running jacket, but couldn’t justify buying another running jacket. I chose a running T-shirt and a casual T-shirt. The T-shirt below appealed to me, but I wasn’t sure M would appreciate it.

Cute bright pink children's t-shirt that says 'future marathon runner'.

After that, I saw the Run London wall mural. Some other LRRs had signed in, so I added my name to theirs.

A red and white background that has 'Lordshill Massive' written in it with some names: Ian, Pete, Dan, Chris, Anne & Tamsyn.

The next part of the expo, was a really grand entrance with archways and screens. Lots of people were posing for photos. At this point, I started to feel a little sad that I was on my own with no-one to take photos.

In contrast to previous years, there weren’t many samples of energy bars, gels and drinks to try. I saw one electrolyte drink and beet-it shots. I’ve read lots of research about the benefits of beetroot and have tried it in the past, but I just don’t like the taste.

I was given some vibram hand sanitiser and won an Aftershokz cooling towel. There weren’t a lot of eye-catching running clothes on sale. I bought myself some magnetic clips for my race number.

Next, I visited the rock tape stand. I’ve had some niggles for the last few weeks. I’ve been using my massage gun to try to ease things. I thought it was an IT band problem, but was told it was likely to be a knee problem. I figured that getting it taped up probably wouldn’t do any harm, might be beneficial and could act as a placebo.

I had nearly finished at the expo, when a spotted a friend: the legendary Mark Brocklehurst of parkrun regional ambassador and With Me Now fame. It was great to have a catch up about parkrun and running in general.

Selfie of Tamsyn and Mark Brocklehurst.

One of the last things I did was find my name on the wall of names.

A wall of names. Tamsyn Smith is listed in the middle.

I didn’t see the event T-shirt when I was at the expo, but saw a video online in the evening.

Thursday night endurance training with Lordshill Road Runners

On Thursday, I went out for my final training session with LRR. I decided to try out what might be my marathon outfit. M asked me if I was going to go out in it, which surprised me as she’s not usually critical of my clothing choices. She then softened it by telling me she thought everyone would be jealous of the rainbow tape on my knee!

Tamsyn wearing a Team Soas t-shirt, turquoise and green leopard print shorts. She has rainbow tape on her knee.

There were only four of us and Coach Ben at the training session. I quite enjoyed it and managed to average 6:21/km for 40 minutes, including the warm up, cool down and recovery sections.

Volunteering at Southampton parkrun

To rest my legs, I decided to volunteer as a barcode scanner at parkrun today. M was also volunteering. It was great to talk to other friends and volunteers. It was also lovely to talk to lots of runners who I recognised, but have never spoken to before.

Email from parkrun saying thank you for volunteering at Southampton parkrun event number 491 on 22/04/22. You've now volunteered at this event on 133 separate occasions.

After I got home from parkrun, I decided to enter the ballot for the London Marathon 2024.

Screenshot saying 'You've applied to 2024 TCS London Marathon'.

As I type this, I’m in a hotel room in Bromley. I’m as ready as I’ll ever be for tomorrow’s race. The weather has been so changeable, but it’s now looking like heavy rain. I’m glad it won’t be too hot, but being wet can cause chafing. As a consequence, I’ve gone for a complete outfit change. I’m still dithering about shorts vs leggings but think I’ll wear my leggings.

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