I remember first posting about my “exciting news” like it was yesterday… fast forward two years and I am lucky enough to be receiving the same news! Albeit under slightly different conditions, but with the same outcome…
I have a London Marathon place for 2020!
After being unsuccessful in the ballot I secured a place and booked a hotel for the Liverpool Marathon in May 2020. I did want to run London in 2020 as it is the 40th year, however I didn’t want the pressure of fundraising again. To my surprise, I managed to get one of the three places which were allocated to my running club, Birchfield Harriers. Obviously ecstatic, I spent the rest of Sunday night searching for a reasonably priced hotel which wasn’t too far from the start line and had parking. Hotel found and booked, it then dawned on me that the Liverpool Marathon would be 4 weeks after London. Luckily, I can cancel my hotel booking for free until the week or so before race day, however I would lose out on my entry fee. Alternatively, I could drop down to the half marathon. At the moment I’m undecided as to whether I’m going to attempt the full marathon but not aim for a personal best time, drop down to the half, or just drop out and lose my entry fee. Having to pay for hotels in London and Liverpool in the space of 4 weeks is pretty hard on the wallet!
To be honest, this could be the news that I really needed to help get me back onto the right track with my running training. I knew that I wanted to hit sub-5 for Liverpool, but it still felt far away, and there’s just something so special about London. Although I loved experiencing it for my first marathon, I feel like I have some vengeance needed as I wasn’t happy with my time. I also have the pressure to want to do well as I have one of my club’s places and want to do the best that I can. Obviously, this is always the case, but knowing that I’m representing the club more than usual is an extra incentive!
I came so close to my sub-5 goal at Blackpool (5:06), however I have lost all of that base fitness since getting married and the honeymoon period, etc. it also means that I have now lost a month of training essentially as I was expecting my next marathon to be in May, not April! I have put together a plan which will incorporate tempo sessions, speed intervals, hill work, lots of easy runs, and the all important long, slow runs. Hopefully I can regain my base fitness pretty quickly and try to get back to the fitness level I was at before my hiatus.
To celebrate getting a London place and to also act as some additional motivation, I decided to go shopping for a new pair of running shoes. No, I don’t necessarily need a new pair at this point as I still have a few miles left in my Nike Zoom Elite 8s, plus my Pegasus 35s, Pegasus 34s, Vomero 12s, Odyssey Reacts, Zoom Elite 10s and Galaxy Trails… but hey, Black Friday came along! I had been looking at the Pegasus Turbo 2s, with the intention of putting some miles in them and then using them to race London. On sale they were coming up at £78, which didn’t seem too bad, especially with Christmas and my birthday coming up. With them in my basket, I decided to just have another quick look for any more Black Friday deals. I then came across the Reebok Floatride Energy. Now, although I have a pair of Adidas trail shoes, I haven’t actually worn them yet… yes, I have had them over a year… whoops! I decided to do some research and found a lot of positive reviews for them. Then I also discovered an additional discount code taking them from £50.97 in the sale (£85 RRP) to £35! At that price I figured I didn’t have much to lose. I could always return them if I didn’t like them, or just use them as casual trainers for walking the dog.
When I first started running, I didn’t go to a shop and try on any running shoes. Instead, I went to the Nike website and picked two pairs that were a “good” price and looked nice! As a child my grandparents used to buy me a new pair of Nike trainers each year, so I was used to wearing Nike and instinctively went there for my running shoes. With that being said, I haven’t experienced any major issues with my running shoes. Sure, I’ve had a few blisters, show me a runner who hasn’t, but these were more from my socks being wet and rubbing, or my shoes not being laced correctly. Some people have said that I should stick with what works, but I really like trainers and feel like I may be missing out on something more comfortable by not considering other brands.
The Reebok Floatride Energy arrived today so I decided to take them on a 3 mile, easy-paced treadmill run to see how they felt. I’ve started going with size 6.5 in non-flyknit Nikes as the toe box can get a bit narrow when my feet get warm. I read that the sizing of the Reeboks tended to be a bit big, so I went with a size 6. Straight away they felt light and cushioned. Chris actually put the shoe box away without realizing that I hadn’t taken the shoes out yet, that’s how light they are! I haven’t weighed them yet to see how they compare to my Elite 8s, but they feel slightly lighter. Despite only being a short run, I noticed that the forefoot cushioning felt softer than the Elite 8s, which was nice. Even when I occasionally landed more on the heel the shoes felt responsive. They do run a bit bigger, and I experienced a little heel slippage. The heel cup also chafed the back of my heel slightly, although I felt no discomfort, I noticed some redness as I went for a shower. I enjoyed my first run with them, however I have decided to return them and opt for a size 5.5,.
I’ll be doing a full review of the Reebok Floatride Energy (bit of a mouthful!) once I receive my size 5.5s (hopefully Tuesday 3rd December) and have logged some more miles in them.