This post is in collaboration with Black Tower Wine.
It made me a little sad to see how many people were posting on Instagram or sending me DMs (or whatsapps for the people I know in real life) about their disappointment in their London Marathon finish time.
However, the response to my instagram post – read it here – and the conversations between other runners congratulating each other was awesome. People talked about how they had totally missed their time goals, but were now looking at the day and race with a different perspective. I hope it helped people re-evaluate how they feel about the race. Looking back and being proud of their achievement. Proud that they fought for that medal. That they listened to their bodies rather than being dictated by what their watches said.
Sunday was about getting safely to the finish line.
One of the positives is that most of you guys that are disappointed with the time on the clock, or who ran slower than they were hoping, are thinking of their redemption run, planning their next race or marathon.
Personally, I’m taking on my next challenge this weekend with Black Tower Wine, the official wine sponsor of Tough Mudder UK. I’ve roped in a couple of friends to take on the Half Tough Mudder in Henley on Thames as part of Black Tower’s Mudder Tribe!
I loved their ethos of celebrating our achievements with their #CheersToMe campaign. Something I think is super important for everyone that completed the 26.2 miles on Sunday (or any marathon/endurance event!). On Saturday, my friends and I will be celebrating our Tough Mudder achievement, that’s for sure…
We work so hard to achieve our goals, and they don’t always go to plan. Four months (or more) of work, and it all comes down to one day. As my insta friend Hollie said, ‘we need to race for the day, not the ideal one’. That one day does not dictate how much work we’ve put it. It doesn’t necessarily reflect the sweat, blood and tears. The time on the clock might not reflect the fitness, and the mileage, the strength and the determination.
‘You can’t control what happens, but you can control how you react.’
As the temperatures rose on Sunday, runners had a decision to make. Listen to their body and slow down to get to the finish line. In my opinion, that shows more strength than powering onwards regardless.
And that is what we should be focusing on…The mental strength that kept us putting one foot in front of the other. Letting go of the ego to prioritise the finish line. Coming home safely with the medal around your neck, rather than ending up in the medical tent.
This is something that goes beyond just this one marathon. It’s about celebrating the small victories within training too. Like running that first mile, or finally seeing a 7.XX min mile on your watch. Or getting up for that early morning run in the rain. For those like me, it’s making time for and sticking to a strength/yoga plan as part of a training schedule.
Celebrate these victories by posting them on social media (share them with #Cheerstome, I’d love to see them!), Reward yourself with a sports massage, a delicious post-run breakfast, relaxing bath or a glass of wine (Black Tower have actually made an exclusive Tough Mudder wine) -just make sure to hydrate after your session before enjoying a well deserved glass of vino!
Unfortunately not everyone made it safely back to the finish line on Sunday. Sadly Matt Campbell died shortly after receiving medical attention on the course.
I’m donating my compensation for this blog post to Matt’s charity, Brathay Trust in memory of him. I’m also taking part in the group run on Sunday, running the last 3.7 miles of the London Marathon for Matt. Meeting at the Eat by the Tower of London…10.30am on Sunday 29th April. Join us or run your own Miles for Matt this week/weekend. x