Virgin London Marathon 2011 First Timers



  • Hi All,

    Another newbie here! And another Kate. I have been running for about a year and have a place for the London marathon running for the Born Free Foundation. I ran the Great South Run on Sunday and was very pleased with my time of 1 hour 46 as 3 weeks prior to it I injured my calf muscle and could hardly walk!

     I have seen a Bupa training plan which seems pretty good. I try to run about 2 or 3 times in the week and then a long run at the weekend but think I may need to up this a bit. The thought of 26.2 is quite scary but we can do it!

     Hopefully we can help each other along a bit. I will be doing most of my training by myself so will need some extra suppot!


  • Welcome Kate image

    That's a great time for a half - I'd love to get close to 2 hours!

  • Thanks vds, I wish it was my time for a half but it was only 10 miles! I ran a half in June and managed it in 2 hours 30 which I was a bit disappointed in but it was my first race!


  • Oops, sorry Kate, for some reason I keep thinking that all these Great something or another runs are half marathons - no idea why.

    Look at it this way though, you have suddenly moved from being scarily fast for this thread, to one of us slow pokes! Yay! and welcome again.

    vds image

  • This is all great for getting the motivation going although it does make it all so real and I am already getting nervous both with the fundraising and the running!

    Helen that's a great idea 4 fundraising. I have already raided hubbys wardrobe for the suits he hasn't worn for ages - he does get a bit possessive about his clothes tho so I might be in trouble!

    Cheryl that is a lovely story and obviously the ballot place was meant 4 u.

    I am training on my own too and don't mind running in rain or cold but get a bit freaked in the dark so do use the gym for treadmill in the eve's.

    I need to get a training plan organised. I used a runners world one for my 1st half marathon and it was great. I'm going to look out 4 the book suggested earlier too.

    Happy training

    ps. Had some sad news today so feeling a little down. Seems to be so much sad news at the moment image
  • Took my first sponsorship cash today... You are right, now very REAL

    vds - Great idea, love the thought of feedinfg & watering & then extracting the cash... Have also drawn up a little news letter (I hate them, but it's a good cause, so I'm willing to compromise my principles) that I'm going to pop in my Christmas Cards & I'm going to post early, that way they might just pop a couple of quid in a card when they send theirs - Season of good will & all that.

    A friend gave me a fab motivational book called The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer - Well it is actually a training plan, but I'm using it primarily for motivation. It's got some great tricks to help you stay motivated.

    Sounds daft, but one of the recommendations is that when you get that fatigue on a long run you should say to yourself "Ah, there you are, I've been waiting for you. Come & run alond with me"..... Do you know, it actually worked for me.. I was still fatigued, but it didn't overwhelm me & having acknowleged it, I seemed to be able to focus on something else & keep on running rather than spend the rest of the run thinking "when will this end?"..

    The book is available on Amazon with free P&P for around £6... It might be brainwashing in some peoples minds, but hey, I'll take any help I can...image  


  • Hello,

     I am another 1st timer, i have a place though the ballot and am very excited, i am also going to try and raise some money for Macmillan along the way.

    am coming back to running after a nerve injury which put me out for a couple of years, and am hoping that i have not lost all my running mojo.


  • Hi All,

    Welcome to all the recent newcomers! And sorry for my recent absence from the forum! I am still resting my foot, but off to see a sports physio tomorrow in the hope that running again will commence shortly!

    Happy Training!! image
  • Hi new people from me tooimage

    Went for a very easy jog for twenty minutes this morning in the howling wind - very refreshing!

    Nice to see a couple of fundraising ideas starting to emerge - I will take note and use later. Not sure when I should actually start the main push but will probably wait until the New Year before the serious fundraising begins.

    It actually makes me feel really good about myself that I am getting an opportunity to raise (a lot of) money and run at the same time.

    Got some new trainers today so sitting in the office with my suit and bright red Adidas! I look a bit silly but it will help to break them in image

    Helen - that book sounds interesting, although slightly crazy! I do all my running alone but I do talk to myself regularly on a long run (now I sound crazy!) but you know what I mean. However, any assistance whilst I get myself up to these long distance is welcomed by me!

    Keep running image

  • Hi Miggito - I talk to myself when I'm not running image & also train alone, well apart from the dog, who seems set on sabotage... Maybe I should remove the plan from the fridge.. I don't think he can read, but you can't be too sure...

  • Hi sorry about that

    Theres alot of talking to yourself going on - me too!! Its surprising how the miles clock up once you get into a conversation.

    Gibbsey- I stopped running altogether after yet another unsuccessful ballot last year- I couldnt stand the rejection anymore.Had 6 months no running and when i started again I thought I`d never get back to where i was.However 6 months later I`m getting there. I entered a half marathon in November which has really given me something to work towards. Hopefully will not be that far off my pb.

    vds - U know u should enter Norwich...its quite flat and it will make you run that distance! You still have 4 weeks left!!!!

    Just done a quick 4 mile run... would have been a good one if I had not got stopped by the police asking me if I had seen a dog.. it comes to something when you are flagged down by the police... believe me i am NOT that fast!!

  • I talk to myself too! Try to encourage myself to move a bit faster!

     Went for a 4 mile run today and took it easy after Sunday's race. Saw the physio and my calf seems to be all back to normal again which is great (tore my soleus muscle 3 weeks before the Great South Run).

     Will do a couple of weeks or running for runnings sake and then am going to get into my training schedule for the VLM in about a months time!


  • Hi everyone - i'm running VLM for the 1st time next year for The Rainbow Trust and feeling both excited and terrified!!

    Like you Kate im running at the mo to get into the habit of going out in the dark 4/5 times a week and then starting the schedule in a month! Glad to hear your calf seems better - that must have been a worry.

    Helen - i've got that book as well as it is great as a motivator! some good tips in there too! and your idea about selling bits and bobs on ebay is great - that's my weekend sorted!

    Cosmic - i've also entered the Silverstone Half as a test of race pace for the VLM - looks like it should be a good race!

    I don't know about everyone else but the Christmas period i think is going to be a big test for me and whether i can keep the momentum going - although I am planning on asking for a Garmin for Christmas so maybe the prospect of a new running gadget will get me out there running instead of sitting on sofa niblbling cheese and watching Forest Gump which always seems to be on at Christmas!!

  • Hi All,

    Great news about the calf Kate, I've got a little calf niggle myself so I'm off to the Sports Physio before it becomes something else - My own fault was busy being awestruck by the magnificent sunrise over the sea from the Downs & I slipped a rabbit.... burrow! image

    I'm thinking of signing up for the Eastbourne Half which I think is the same day as Silverstone, so if anyone fancies a jog along the prom come & join me.. (Don't believe a word they say about slight inclines though, slight incline my foot, it is a socking great hill & it is early in the race. It's a killer!)

    Well godders you are right about Christmas, so here's a little inspirational thought by way of a conscience prick:

    "Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'" - Peter Maher, Canadian marathon runner

    Good stuff eh?

    Having said that.. I'm wimping out to save the calf for another day .. Hx 


  • Just found this, and it strikes me that this is a metaphor for all us VLM Virgins, cos we're all gonna finish.. Right?

    "The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."
    -John Bingham, running speaker and writer<!--/gc-->

    I've stuck it to my screen. God we're great!

  • godders - Did the Silverstone Half last year for a bit of fun. Good run but the lack of crowds around the course does not appeal to some. Not very exicting scenary, but are we there to look a the views?

     You should definatley be asking Santa for a garmin, made all the difference to me. Was clocking an average 2hr half before I had my garmin. With my watch and downloaded workouts from Runners World my first Half having trained and run with the watch was 1hr 46 and my second half last weekend was 1hr 45, put it all down to the watch as it gave me the incentive to go out and run.

     Am still  trying to decide when to start the fundraising? It seems along time to go, but I.m sure it will soon be here.  Thinking about sending a link to my Virgin Money site with all the Christmas cards the Wife sends out.

  • Helen those quotes are great! may well print them out and stick them next to my alarm clock for an added prod to haul myself out of bed on these increasingly dark and cold morning!! have to admit i wimped out this morning but i will definately go tomorrow morning!!!

     cosmic - that is a huge improvement!! definately will get one now - ooh christmas cant come soon enough - well for my running gadgets that is - from the bank account perspective christmas can wait a while!!

  • Well treadmill is now set up in the garage so I can run when its dark - there aren't many well lit reasonably populated areas round here so i don't like running in the dark - but no time to run on it today, and no time to run yesterday either.  Really getting fed up now as i want to go out and run but work is getting in the way.  Very frustrating.  I'm going running tomorrow though whatever happens.

    I must confess not only do i talk to myself if it gets a bit tough, normally up a hill, but I also sing to myself to.  it makes the miles pass quicker and hills disappear.   And i do seem to find the answers to all my deliemas and problems when I'm out running too.

  • lightning lucy - i sing to myself too, all the people I run past do give me some slightly odd looks! but never mind!

    i've been having trouble getting out this week too - managed an hour yesterday evening but that was the first run of the week so a bit lame image' /> Maybe I should start trying to go before work but really not a morning person!

     Cosmic  I don't know when to start fundraising either, seems too far away to be real at the moment, and until I do some proper training not sure I deserve it! Good idea with the xmas cards though.

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    Gosh. Haven't logged in for a few days & read back over loads of posts - brilliant.

    Feel as though I'm dropping of the 'pace' already though.

     Loved the quotes Helen - really good.

    Hi      * waves*   to all others.

     Did the Border Reivers 1/2 marathon in Cumbria ( RAF Spadeadam ) on Wednesday - tough, but still good to do.

    Very hilly, very windy & exposed at times, mixture of tarmac & forest tracks. Bit bizzare to pass mock up tanks, army vehicles with 'dummy' drivers, etc. - all used as decoy practice for RAF training.

    Depot used to be used as testing station for Bluestreak missiles ( see photo of me 2nd from rt. with 5 other club mates ) .

    Quite pleased with time ( 1:55:38) and was 47th out of approx 80 runners.

    £10 entry fee - got medal, technical tee shirt,loads to eat -  buffet meal c/w soup, chips , good showers.& changing facilities

    One to do again next year for anybody in the Haltwhistle, Cumbria area

  • Sunderland PArkrun run for me at 9.00am tomorrow morning ( 5k )

     will try to do a slow run on Sunday as well if poss.

    Hope everyone else has a good weekend & their runs 'go to plan'

  • Godders & Little N - I sing too... Thought I was odd, but obviously if I am I'm in good company. image' />

    Fundraising wise, I've started, but being a Project Manager by trade, it is phased & I confess there are a few milestones.. ok, ok I know it's sad but hey whatever gets you up and out the door, right? So, just in case there is any inspiration for anyone else who's committed to raise a sizeable sums, here we go:

    1. I've secured a donation from my employer - £250, great start! 2. I'm listing all that rubbish, I mean quality items that I don't need on e-bay over the next few weeks. 3. Christmas card begging letter drafted for inclusion in the cards to go out first week of december (might get a few quid back in cards if I post early!) 4.Chilli & Beer evening mid Jan - No friend leaves without donating, obviously I won't mention that on the invite. 5. More e-bay listing by asking friends to donate a couple of items from their wardrobes. 6. February - e-mail out all those work contacts, especially the ones I've given business to in the last 12 months. 7. Sweepstake - Prize for whoever guesses the nearest finish time. 8. DD Cup Cake sale (I'm running for Breast Cancer Campaign) at work & yes the cakes will have nipples! 9. Collection box on the bar at my local pub. 10. Chase up everyone who hasn't responded to previous requests!


    Just need to train & run 26.2 miles now..So, fave running songs anyone??? 


  • Serious training dilema...

    On 8th March next year I'm jetting off for two weeks in the Maldives. I realise there will be little sympathy so far! We're witnesses for a friends wedding & it was booked when the posability of running the VLM was a pipe dream..

    Now I get home just over 3 weeks before D Day. So, should I train to run my long run the weekend before I go & use the treadmill & pool to keep up maintenance while I'm there, then knock out a longish 16/18 the weekend we get back, or plan to do my long run the week after I get back i.e. 3 weeks before hand?

     image' />HELP!

  • holds hand up too - i sing when running! and when it's raining im usually laughing as well - get some very strange looks!!

     ooh i might have to use some of those fundraising ideas Helen! i've emailed everyone at work and on facebook - ebay the next stop i think!

    Helen - training wise i would perhaps do a longish run before you go and then another one when you are back - you can use treddie at hotel and also lots of swimming which will be good cross training and yuo wont lose hardly any fitness in 3 weeks - especially if you are using facilities out there!

    as for fav running songs - i do like the fairly standard dance tracks for motivating me (Basement Jaxx and the like!) but then also some soundtracks are pretty good for running too like Pirates if the Carribean! What about everyone else?

    Geordie Nick - that was a really good time and sounds like a challenging course as well!

  • Well done on the half Nick - great time for what sounds like a difficult course!

    I had a good laugh to myself reading over these posts about everyone talking / singing to themselves as they run, hope no-one gets locked up before the event!  

    Quite jealous you are going to the Maldives Helen, was there as part of my honeymoon for a week and would love to go back! I personally think you should just stick to your training plan and just get the miles in on the treadmill. I think the biggest problem you will have will be motivation (very easy just to go and lie in the sun from dusk till dawn) but if you do maybe three runs a week and "swim" as oppossed to standing in the pool drinking a cocktail your general fitness levels will be fine. Be careful if you have been doing all your training on the roads and then you switch to a treadmill as you don't want to injure yourself. I think by that time though you will be so fit that you will be have been knocking out 16/18 miles runs for a couple of weeks before you go image' />  Seriously, I don't think it would matter - if you can do 20 miles before you go, still run and then do 18 miles when you come back, you're pretty much there! Hope that makes some sort of sense but enjoy your holiday whatever you do - you don't want to be stressing about training plans when you're in the Maldives!

    Anyway, I was at the physio last night to get my calves rubbed - this POSE stuff is playing havoc with them and I can only run 20 minutes at a time as I build myself up image' />  Not to worry, off to Espana tomorrow for a few days of relaxation, will maybe be doing 30 minutes by the time I get back image' /> As long as I can run 26 miles in April, it's all good!

    PS - Fave running tunes - best ones ever for me are:-

    M Factor - Mother (original instrumental)

    Westbam - Wizards of the Sonic (original)

    They always give me that extra lift when I need it!

    Catch everyone when I get back - keep running image' /> 

  • Thanks Miggito & Godders thank you for the reassurance. You are right about the motivation though Miggito, I'm gonna have to keep a check on that. I've been before & didn't wear shoes for two weeks, so the only shoes I'm packing will be my Asics..I'm hoping by March I'll be such a running "machine" that I'll "need" to run at least 3 or 4 times a week.

    Hadn't thought about the change to treadmill running from outdoor though, so thanks for flagging that. I confess that I'm not mad keen on running on a treadmill but needs must I guess. I've just read the article in this month RW so maybe knowing that I've got the VLM to train for will help me with my focus & I can use the treddi to track my intervals etc. Off to sign up at the Gym this after.

    Went for a little run on Thursday evening, roads were quiet & I was having a little sing to myself, sans ear phones - Queen, 'Don't stop me now' came on the MP3.. I was about 3 miles in, legs were transport & I felt good.. I love it when that happens....... Anyway, I turned a corner singing the line 'I'm having such a good time, I'm having a ball' & ran slap bang into a group of hooded teens! Could not stop giggling all the way home - The look of sheer horror on their faces as a slightly portly, red faced sweety 40 something year old woman wearing a high vis tabard, pink hat and belting out Queen lyrics seemed to put the fear of god into them, I've never seen them scatter like that.. Didn't even know hoodies moved that quick...

    Running tunes - Queen - Obviously!

    Lust for Life - Iggy Pop

    Faithless - Insomnia

    Milk & alcohol - Dr Feelgood

     Don't stop believing - Journeyimage' />


  • Great description of how you assaulted the hoodies Helen image' /> Still picturing it in my mind and grinning as I type this.

    I try not to sing to myself when I run though like most runners I love that moment when the beat of a particularly favourite song matches my pace and you can just float along feeling on top of the world.

    I really don't understand the traditionalists who frown on running with music in your ears.

    Those moments don't work quite so well on a treadmill, but as you say, needs must.

    That said, lovely blue sky outside my window right now...

  • morning all from sunny manchester image' /> glad to see this thread is busy !!

    as mentioned am also reading the non runners marathon training book , its well worth getting as just not a training plan but also good for motivation as well . am still struggling with a sore calf from a 4 mile run last week , was hoping that a few days rest would help but started a run yesterday and was sore again so did not risk it . also went to the shop " decathlon " and purchased all my winter training gear , a fleece , hat , gloves , a jacket for the rainy manchester weather as well ! so have no excuses not to go out on those dark winter nights .

    love the story about scaring the hoodies helen image' />

    hope everyone has a good weekend

  • helen I can't stop laughing at your 'hoodies' story!  Just off out for a run and to make the most of the gorgeous weather. 

    Have a good weekend everyone

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