London Marathon 2015: Focused on my mission after 20/20 Fission

Nick with his medal after completing the 20/20 Fission race in Gloucestershire.

Nick with his medal after completing the 20/20 Fission race in Gloucestershire. - Credit: Archant

This weekend’s run will probably the closest I will get to replicating the London Marathon experience before April 26, and I loved every minute of it.

That’s probably a slight exaggeration as running 20 miles is no easy feat, but there was something reassuring about lining up at the start in a small village in Gloucestershire with 150 like-minded souls.

The scales are incomparable, of course, but one thing that stays constant is the mileage.

Saturday’s 20/20 Fission run matched my furthest while training in 2013, and what surprised me the most was my sense of control.

As others headed off at quite a pace, I stuck to my nine minute mile plan and enjoyed the (mainly flat) countryside.

Having managed to forget my Lucozade drink, it also saw me overcome my fear of dehydration which caused me to collapse two years ago.

After a brief panic on the start line, I made sure that at each of the five water stops I took liquid on board and carried a bottle when needed.

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In London there really is no excuse not to drink enough with fluid every mile, but last time my focus on the five-mile Lucozade stops clouded my judgement. Now I know I can manage with just water, if required.

The race itself was pretty uneventful and on occasion slightly lonely as I found myself half way between the person in front and behind.

But at around the 11-mile mark I paired up with another marathon runner in training who going along at a similar pace which really helped give me the drive to continue clocking consistent times.

Then, with four miles to go, we decided to try to pick it up and the result was my four fastest miles of the entire run – including an 8.20-minute mile as I ‘sprinted’ to the finish in just under three hours.

For me, this year, the London Marathon is not about a time, it’s about finishing and repaying a debt to St John Ambulance.

But feeling so strong at 20 miles and running so consistently – with a little help from those around me – has really galvanised me ahead of the big day.

I know I can do it, of that there is no doubt.

And if having a medal and a piece of cake after crossing the finishing line in a Gloucestershire car park can feel this good, I know London is going to be off the scale. I say bring it on.

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