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My Virtual London Marathon

by Linda Cameron - 20:21 on 15 November 2020

Virtual London Marathon 2020

Linda ‘never without an injury’ Cameron

It all started so innocently….just a few short words at the Winter Presentation Evening..

“I’ll put your name in, Linda…” said Joe innocently.

“Ahh, go on then” I replied. Yes, gin was involved..

Of course it was my name that was drawn out of the hat. I mean, if there is a choice between two really good runners and me then Fate was clearly laughing heartily and generally just stirring things up. I think she learned from Joe!

And so it began….with a horrible cold that laid me low for a about three weeks. Aye, Fate probably had a good laugh about that too. Great start.

Onwards and upwards and the training started. It wasn’t fast and it wasn’t pretty but I just kept plodding on. My hubby, Alan, helped with different routes and joining me towards the end of my long runs when I was literally running out of steam and the will to live. Sometimes it helped but sometimes the poor soul bore the brunt of my frustrations and much stamping of feet was done before I simply turned back and stomped home feeling very sorry for myself. How on earth was I ever going to do this. Running long distances is just hard! I know I have done the Glen Ogle 33 Mile Ultra Marathon twice but I treated that like a good day out with a lot of chatting and eating and taking in the amazing scenery and soaked up the great atmosphere from everyone around you (yes, I would highly recommend it). The marathon, though, seemed very grown up and serious and I had huge doubts about whether or not I would ever get through my training never mind the event itself. Onwards I plodded and, to my surprise, I actually started to enjoy it. I know, who knew! I found a good route (with a fair bit of uphill but a nice long downhill too) and just kept adding extra bits into it to get the mileage up. I got lost a few times in the wee country roads but that was all part of the fun.

Things started to go wrong after my longest run of 20 and a half miles which I had really enjoyed. I didn’t run for about 5 days after it because I was so busy at work and when I went to run around Lochmaben Loch with the mad spaniel my left leg just wouldn’t work. I stopped, gave it a shake, started again and the same thing happened. I was a bit confused – I could walk okay but just could not run. It seemed ‘stuck’ and I was dragging it rather than actually using it. Gave up and walked the route and left it for a day or so only to find a horrible pain running from my glute up into my hip and back. Jeezo – what was going on!

Sheila Court to the rescue…well, I made an appointment and decided to rest for a bit. Prosecco helped with the pain and frustration.

The world had other ideas. Coronavirus hit and everything closed down. Including Sheila. Yes, I know there were other, far more serious things going on, but I was still hugely frustrated at not getting ‘fixed’ by Sheila’s healing hands.

Fast forward a few weeks and my pain and frustration was growing. A video call to Sheila had her poor husband thrown onto the kitchen floor as she demonstrated what needed to be done on me. My hip was stuck and this was causing all the issues so Jess played healer and tried her best to copy what Sheila was doing.

Off I went up the Haas Hill with a renewed sense of ability and even managed a wee bit of running. Until I fell and pulled my hamstring …. Fate, she was at it again.

More fast forwarding and three weeks on I tried a bit of running and was managing okay even though it was killing me I was so unfit.

Criffel, you say, well why not. I love Criffel.

Yep, I fell. Twice. Alan Creighton and hubbie Alan literally carried me off the hill (yes, Alan Creighton did sanitise afterwards!) and Johhny Minto ran ahead to get his car to pick me up as soon as we hit the road (yes, his car was sanitised too) so I cannot thank them enough for their heroic efforts (I think I was more heroic by not crying but, you know, us wimmen are brave!)

X-ray and four weeks on crutches followed and lots of not very attractive swelling and bruising. Don’t get me started on the pain..and we all know how horrendous it is when you just can’t run. So annoying. Impatient patient.

And then the London marathon was cancelled.

I was relieved and disappointed in equal measures so when they said they were doing a virtual event I signed up. Yes, gin was involved again at that point..probably prosecco too.

So more routes were discussed and I began to feel really, really nervous and a wee bit sick. What was I thinking – I could hardly walk properly never mind run.

Two days before the Virtual London Marathon I decided I didn’t want to do it on the road so decided on Black Esk. Enter Alan Creighton…….

Always ready to help out a friend and fellow runner Alan Creighton agreed to do an 11 mile loop around Black Esk (with the ever eager Bob) which was to be followed by a normal 7.6 mile loop with Lynsey from Queensberry Running Club and the last 7.6 mile loop with my long suffering hubbie, Alan. Timings were agreed and a plan was hatched….

..and off we set. Note to self…..if you are suffering from agonising back pain for four days before attempting a marathon…just don’t. If you are foolish enough to do it then

most certainly don’t put a heat patch on your back and think that it’s gonna end well after 26.2 miles! Those things burn….

Alan and Bob were great company and we actually made better progress than we anticipated resulting in missing the link up with Lynsey and poor Alan and Bob ending up doing 17 miles with me! That man deserves part of my medal and a borrow of my t-shirt!! Lynsey did catch up with us and finished her part of the loop with me and safely delivered me to hubby Alan and our mad spaniel Holly for the last 7.6 mile loop. I have to admit I was basically done at this point but Alan kept me going and thankfully we walked the hills.

I finished in 5 hrs 45 minutes and was more than a bit broken. I had ‘allowed’ myself 6 and a half hours to do the marathon because of my total lack of fitness and training (three short runs in the two weeks before tackling it….) so was totally chuffed to get a good bit under my time.

Many, many, many thanks to Alan Creighton, Bob, Lynsey and my long suffering hubby, Alan and our mad spaniel Holly for getting me round. Also many, many thanks to ADAC for giving me this opportunity.

Yes, all being well I will start training again next year and hopefully be fit and raring to go come October 2021.

Fate…you have been warned…back in yer box, lass, back in yer box.

How did I recover….with a week in Cyprus and many, many gins :)


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