London Marathon – Take Two, 2019

It’s a long time since I added anything to my marathon blog, but the time has come…

I decided post marathon to do the Vitality 10km at the end of May. I ended up not training it for it and used “marathon momentum” but really enjoyed it. I’d avoided going to physio post marathon as I thought they’d put the brakes on the 10km, so it was then time to sort myself out.

“Sorting myself out” took far longer than expected and I was only allowed to return to gentle running on 22nd October; a long time on the physio bench! Various challenges including weak glutes, a hip issue and the ongoing foot/ankle issue which needed sorting. Lots of hard work and exercises saw me more than double my calf length, strengthen my glutes and improve all round.

I realised I was missing my outings, and back in August joined a local gym doing a mixture of gym work, swimming and classes. That’s been going well, and I’d applied for the marathon ballot again. I started to consider if I’d run for charity again and decided yes, but only if it meant something to me. I feel I have unfinished business with the marathon which is what made me start about having another crack at it.

During October, my “sorry you’re not in” magazine dropped but I was offered a place by Dementia Revolution. Dementia Revolution is the official 2019 Virgin Money London Marathon charity, and is the Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK teaming together to power groundbreaking research at the UK Dementia Research Institute. With close family members affected by such a devastating disease, I accepted their place.

April really doesn’t seem too far away, so whilst I’m still only on gentle jogging as interval sessions, I’m continuing to work hard in the gym to cross train and build strength. I make sure I go at least three times a week, including two personal training sessions a week, to build up my strength and use the knowledge I learnt from 2018.

I’m excited to tackle the marathon again in 2019. I’m less nervous this time round, and I’m not concerned about some of the negativity I experienced in 2018; it’ll only spur me on.

Dedicated marathon training will commence in a few weeks but for now regular gym sessions continue ready for the challenge 28th April will bring.

If you’d like to sponsor me for the London Marathon 2019 for Dementia Revolution, you can do so here.

You can also watch a short video I’ve put together here.

suze 2


Rescued from the Rushmoor Targa…

The 18th November had two events on that we wanted the enter; our original plan had been the Bovington Stages, to give Matt a chance to drive on a stage rally in 2018, and then Farnborough District Motor Club announced a new Targa Rally at Rushmoor. We decided to enter the Targa as it was a little closer to home, and it would be good to try a new venue.

Whilst it was an early start, an event just 75 minutes from home is quite a novelty for us. We arrived, set-up and as Car 1 (Matt driving first), made sure we were ready to get going as soon as the crew briefing was over. Up to the line we went, and through the first two tests; slippy and challenging but enjoyable.

It was then my turn, and I was around 20 seconds up on Matt. More seat time in 2018 has improved both confidence (and aggression!) so I was pleased to be on the pace following the targa rally two weeks prior and more events in 2018. I think this time had me around the top five overall.

We went out for the second run, and Matt completed the first test around a second off my earlier time. We pulled up for the second test, were counted down by the marshals, pulled away for a split second and “bang.” Lots of smoke, and no drive.

Having been concerned it could be the gearbox, it turned out it was “just” the driveshaft. Whilst we had a spare with us, it proved challenging to change and so we called a friend who kindly came with a trailer and brought us home; one downside of driving the car itself to events.

A day of what could have beens; good pace, but a frustrating early bath and just two tests for me to enjoy driving on.

Photos by M&H Photography.

12 Car confusion

Sometimes, the least said the better! Luis and I had a good night on the Autumn Leaves 12 Car, but were disappointed and frustrated to pick up a fail for a board that wasn’t on the given route (as per the navigation – we checked afterwards and queried!). A lot of work goes into these events from an organisers/volunteers perspective which we both know, but it’s tricky to have a result affected by things completely out of our control.

Targa class win at Wethersfield

I’d last won my class on a Targa on 13th November 2011 so it had taken nearly seven years for me to win my class again as a driver, but finally it happened!

Winning my class all those years ago in a borrowed car meant I’d moved up to the “Master” class, as someone who had won a class. I sat in that class for five years without ever being near the front, before dropping down a class. After almost two years there, I won the class…

For this event we used Muriel (the Micra). It had turned out that I’d broken a front strut on the Wethersfield Stages, so having had to buy a new pair of front struts (with a slightly different design), this was an opportunity to shake the car down.

Matt drove first and didn’t seem to have much grip so I was a little apprehensive, but I went out and was happy with the car. The confidence I’d found in her on the stage rally was still there and I was happy with my pace.

One of the key things for me was keeping clean and tidy, and that I managed to do. Matt was finding some pace and we were trading times and I was really enjoying driving Muriel, especially her being a little smaller than the MG for twisting and turning through cones.

Coming to the last loop of tests, Matt had pipped back a few seconds on me and was slightly ahead. Having looked at the results, I had over 60 seconds ahead of the person second in class and so decided not to try as hard on the last loop, whereas Matt needed to really try to get a good result as possible.

The end result was a class win for me and 15th overall, 1 min 42 seconds ahead of 2nd in class. Matt was 3rd in class and 12th overall, just 18 seconds ahead of me. This year has proved for me how valuable seat time is as I’m now regularly trading times with Matt, so I’m looking forward to seeing what future events bring!

Photos courtesy of M&H Photography