Sun, Apr 22/90
Marathon # 51 – Country # 4
I had just finished my 3rd Boston Marathon in 3:24:24 on Mon and now the Sports Manager and I were flying to London to run my 2nd marathon in six days. I had run Boston ‘easy’ knowing that I needed to save ‘something’ for London.
We were using AA miles to fly for free and staying at a Marriott hotel near Hyde Park for free using Marriott points so the trip was relatively cheap. We left Dallas on Thu so that we would have a few days to recover from jet lag and explore London before the race. We took a few tours of the city to enjoy most of the tourist sites such as the British Museum, Tower of London, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and of course Buckingham Palace. I would get to see most of these attractions again along the marathon course.
Sun was ‘M’ –day! The race starts at 10 am in Greenwich. There are three start lines and the three routes merge near 3 miles at the Royal Artillery Barracks. There are so many runners (35,000 +) fighting for space that it is necessary to use elbows to keep your own space. I became trapped immediately with the group of runners in my start corral and I had no choice but to run/maintain the 7min pace of the group. We passed the Cutty Sark near Mile 7 in 52:46 and a split of 6:57. We crossed the Tower Bridge near 13 miles and I passed the Half in 1:36:30 and a split of 7:13. And I finally had space to push the pace under 7 min/mile without knocking runners down. Around 18 miles we ran through Canary Wharf, one of London’s financial districts. I reached Mile 20 in 2:25:35 and a split of 7:21 and continued on past the Tower of London near mile 23 in 2:47:25 and a split of 7:20. I passed Mile 25 in 3:02:20 and ran past the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben before finishing at the Mall across from Buckingham Palace in 3:11:20. I had run negative splits and finished 13 min faster than Boston six days earlier!
Nicole had been using the Tube to travel underground and pop up at various locations along the course to cheer me on and she was waiting at the finish line. She had met another woman (Sports Manager) doing the same thing for her husband and they kept each other company.
After a hot shower we enjoyed a great dinner of fish and chips - washed down with ale of course - in a 400-year old pub! We stayed in London a few more days to explore more of the city and enjoy the Phantom of the Opera in the West End. I loved that musical! Then we took a 4-day bus tour up through the historic walled city of York in North Yorkshire to Edinburgh, Scotland and returned via Liverpool. It was a short and busy tour since we had to return home on the weekend.
One month after returning my left foot started to hurt. When anti-inflammatories and cortisone shots couldn’t relieve the pain a MRI revealed a small tear in the plantar fascia. The doc ordered me to rest the foot and cross train. NO running – and absolutely NO racing! I had to cancel a lot of planned marathons over the next five months. I had another international marathon scheduled (and paid for) in Oct so my goal was to be ready for that marathon/adventure!