London Marathon Blog 1 by Stephen Ralston

Hello and welcome to my first blog post in the run up to the London Marathon later this year.  I hope I can make this as un-original and include as many running analogies as possible, after all life is a marathon not a sprint! I was delighted to learn I was lucky enough to be drawn from the club ballot to run the London Marathon; unfortunately I was not at the Christmas party and was recovering from a close friend's Xmas shindig when I got the news...enough to give an adrenaline kick to shake off the after effects of a heavy evening. 

I am sure everyone says this, but London is a true bucket list event and one I had targeted from starting to run in 2016 and joining the Eagles.  Previously I had done loads of cycling and was pretty fit from competing in big European Sportive events in the Alps and Time Trialling, but a start in running came after my wife gave birth to twins, adding to our current 2 children.  Four kids put an end to 3 hour cycle rides and I saw running as a more convenient, and evening based solution and joining the Eagles was a way to make new friends and start a routine.  So I ran a bit in 2017, plenty of club runs, solo runs, hills training, half marathons and an eventual marathon that I ran in York (Yorkshire Marathon) in October. I managed to get a ‘good for age’ qualifying time for London, however this would only work for application for the 2019 event and I had signed up to run the Great Wales Marathon (in Llanelli) to fill the 2018 gap as my expectation to get a place for London in the club ballot was low.

So, training had already started in November to get back into some form of shape after enjoying the Yorkshire marathon for too long after the event (Five Guys) and the London Ballot news spurred me on over the Christmas holidays. I cant say I watched what I ate or drank (Five Guys), but I got out and ran with a view that I can be more prudent (no Five Guys) alongside a dry January.  I look forward to seeing you on week based club runs in the coming months. Sunday mornings aren’t easy for me given I take two of my kids to the Pitshanger Jnr Parkrun, but I intend on doing double laps on Monday and Wednesday evening club runs, so if anyone wants to join me, let me know. I tend to run the first lap at a good pace and the second lap at a more moderate conversational pace, so I would be happy for the company.