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Retired Mr.Vzi
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Discussion Starter · #201 · (Edited)
Virtual London Marathon 2020

I hope you're concocting an interesting tale about your jaunt around West Lancashire, whilst nursing your aches.
I dunno about interesting but go grab yourself a brew :coffeecup:

Well that's it. My 6th 'London' Marathon is in the bag and the medal is in the post. As I sit here licking my numerous wounds, it is without the recollection of the atmosphere, the sights & sounds and the emotions that a supportive London crowd brings. For this time, my London Marathon was virtual and a relatively lonely affair.

I realise I could've picked absolutely anywhere to do my virtual marathon but the familiarity of my local area (coupled with the available assistance with just one phone call) won the day.

The stop-start, will it-won't it nature of this year's training meant that both myself and my marathon partner (a first time marathoner) elected to walk, feeling we weren't capable of going the distance at jogging pace. As I suspected (having some marathon experience) this did not turn out to be the easy option.....far from it! People always tend to assume that walking some (or all) of a marathon to be some sort of failure but it really isn't. The extra time on your feet required when walking really takes its toll.

So at 4.30 am on race day I awoke to go through my usual marathon ritual; breakfast, stretches, nervous sh*ts and VASELINE....lots of vaseline. Walking or not, this was going to be a punisher and I laid everything out the night before to make things easier at stupid o'clock.

Virtual London Marathon by Andrew Smullen, on Flickr

With my routine complete and no sign of sunrise, it was time to head off to my friend's house and startline for our planned 6am start. Proudly sporting my MDUK colours, the worthy charity that would benefit from this ache-fest.

Virtual London Marathon by Andrew Smullen, on Flickr

Normally I would regale you with my tales of London; the start line atmosphere, the music, the cameras, the sights, the sounds but this year (depressingly) all of that was missing courtesy of the fun hoover that is Covid-19. At 12.5 miles where I would've just seen my family and turned a corner to the grand sight of Tower Bridge there was this....a windswept country road:

Virtual London Marathon by Andrew Smullen, on Flickr

Far less impressive but at least I did still have a smile on my face, as did my friend:

Virtual London Marathon by Andrew Smullen, on Flickr

Still enjoying his first marathon and still saying things like, 'this isn't as bad as I thought'.....and it wasn't BUT I knew things were about to get a whole lot worse. I just didn't have the heart to burst his bubble. I wanted him to stay positive for as long as he could.

At around 14 miles (a little earlier than I anticipated) things started to unravel and the enormity of what we were doing became apparent. This was no walk in the park and our 16 minute mile fast walk gradually slipped in line with our fading energy. Occasional visits from family & friends boosted our morale but by mile 21 my friend was in real trouble and our pace slowed considerably. That's not to say I wasn't struggling....because I was. This had become a fight to reach the finish line but with every minute our pace slipped, the finish line got further and further away (in timescale). Checking my watch and making this realisation was soul destroying but we HAD to keep going and keep going we did.

At mile 24 (with pains almost everywhere) a belief we could make it started to take hold but there was no spring in our step. The spring had sprung and it was a monotonous one foot in front of the other slog, now dealing with an unwelcome increase in heat as well (thanks British weather!).

By mile 25 we were at a snail's pace, the finish line seemingly moving away from us but at least now, now we knew we could make it so some relief came over us. Just without the cheering Embankment crowds that would normally spur us on at this stage.

Courtesy of the London Marathon app, an underwhelming text message heralded our arrival at the finish line; 9 hours, 2 minutes and 17 seconds after our early morning start. The 8 hour target having long since become a distant memory. BUT we did it. We may have been riddled with injuries, blisters and regret BUT WE DID IT!!

Virtual London Marathon by Andrew Smullen, on Flickr

Every marathon is a learning curve and this one no less so. Those lessons being; walking a marathon is not an easy or viable option and that I also need to train harder for 2021 when I hope that the world is largely Covid free and I can to return to the London Marathon that I know and love.

Thanks for all the tremendous support, messages and donations. If you haven't donated (and would like to) you can do so here:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/andrew-smullen

Keep smiling and keep on moving!
Andy
:)

Tubbyrunster (Insta & Faceache)

#londonmarathon #vlm2020 #marathontraining #tubbyrunster #teamorange #musculardystrophyuk #virginlondonmarathon #the40thRace #the40thRaceyourway
 

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Well done Andy - impressive as always mate.

Is this the one I sponsored earlier in the year? I hope so, as I'm currently skint.

If not, please let me know and I'll chuck a few quid in the pot.

Well done again. :)
 

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Retired Mr.Vzi
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Discussion Starter · #203 ·
Well done Andy - impressive as always mate.

Is this the one I sponsored earlier in the year? I hope so, as I'm currently skint.

If not, please let me know and I'll chuck a few quid in the pot.

Well done again. :)
You did mate, much appreciated as always :hug:
 

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Tipping my hat in your direction.

Can I add about the photo in the kitchen. That's the look you give me when I say, 'It's only a small hill'.:D
 

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Retired Mr.Vzi
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Discussion Starter · #205 ·
Tipping my hat in your direction.

Can I add about the photo in the kitchen. That's the look you give me when I say, 'It's only a small hill'.:D
Or 'fear and disappointment' :D
 

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Retired Mr.Vzi
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Discussion Starter · #207 ·
:)

Congrats Andrew! :D
Cheers, further congratulations are in order for my legs who have today graciously allowed me to walk further than ten feet again.
:D

I should also add that my 'Just Giving' donation site is a bit glitchy stating most donations to be 'anonymous'.

Sooooo, if anybody from VZi has sponsored me please accept this as a huge thank you! I normally thank people personally but the website glitch is making this impossible.

Cheers,
Andy
:)
 

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Retired Mr.Vzi
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Discussion Starter · #208 ·
Muttley

Muttley got his medal today.....and another London Marathon finishers' shirt that is too small for me to wear.
:D
 

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Retired Mr.Vzi
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Discussion Starter · #209 ·
Medals

It's an OCD disaster of a line up in all shapes & colours but they're all earned and they're all mine. Now to start training for number 7 in 2021 👍🏼
 

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Retired Mr.Vzi
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Discussion Starter · #211 ·
Nice collection! :D
Not too bad :D Now, next year makes it seven which will never sit well with my OCD so I'll have to go for 8....but then I'll be so so close to ten I'm not sure I'll be able to let it lie.
:rolleyes::lol:
 

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Not too bad :D Now, next year makes it seven which will never sit well with my OCD so I'll have to go for 8....but then I'll be so so close to ten I'm not sure I'll be able to let it lie.
:rolleyes::lol:
OCD you say. I'm going to petition Hugh Brasher to get the ribbons done in lots of different colours.
 

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Retired Mr.Vzi
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23,487 Posts
Discussion Starter · #213 ·
OCD you say. I'm going to petition Hugh Brasher to get the ribbons done in lots of different colours.
It's already an ocd disaster. Look at that line up; different shapes & sizes......and don't even get me started on the silver one :rolleyes:
 

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Retired Mr.Vzi
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Discussion Starter · #215 ·

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Retired Mr.Vzi
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23,487 Posts
Discussion Starter · #216 ·
I had all kinds of grand plans to ‘get ahead’ with my London Marathon training but it just hasn’t happened (unless you count my feeble test run the other week).

Today though, today I made another step....the training plan has been printed out. This plan officially starts in two weeks time on 26th April and assumes I can run 6 miles (I can’t). Watch the full horror unfold here.

292497


Shit just got real.


Keep on er, running!
Andy
🙂

Tubbyrunster (Insta & Faceache)

#londonmarathon #vlm2020 #marathontraining #tubbyrunster #teamorange #musculardystrophyuk #virginlondonmarathon
 

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Retired Mr.Vzi
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23,487 Posts
Discussion Starter · #218 ·

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Retired Mr.Vzi
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Discussion Starter · #219 ·
Thanks. Of all the years, I’m gonna need it this time!!
:D
With nerves akin to my first marathon, today was the start of training proper for the London Marathon 2021 and what a lovely day for it! At the risk of sounding like Goldilocks; not too hot, not too cold, it was just right.

My recent test run had contained some walking but not today friends, no sir. A convincing 5km run, slow but steady and I’m on my way.....again. I’ve certainly earned my first pub pint of the year this afternoon!

Finally for those interested, today’s musical highlights were:

Shooting Star - Flip & Fill
East Bound and Down - Jerry Reed


Keep on running!
Andy
🙂

Tubbyrunster (Insta & Faceache)

#londonmarathon #vlm2020 #marathontraining #tubbyrunster #teamorange #musculardystrophyuk #virginlondonmarathon
292551
 
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