Running a marathon – the kit and last minute thoughts and feelings 

Well here we go again – just a few days away from my second marathon, I thought it was a good time to share where I’m at right now.

But first I wanted to mention something important. As regular blog readers will know, my grandma died just over a month ago after battling Parkinsons disease for her last few years. She was only 76 and was a fit, healthy and young grandma before getting ill. Its a horrible disease – it’s not just the shaking, which is exhausting and painful by itself, but symptoms also include sight problems, incontinence and dementia, among others. Its not hereditary and there is no cure.

I hadn’t planned to run Brighton Marathon for charity. I love running, and I love endurance events, so I was doing it just for me, as I do all my triathlons etc. But after grandma died that just seemed a bit selfish. And so I decided to use this opportunity to raise money for Parkinsons UK – a wonderful charity that not only supports people with the disease and their families, but also funds research into potential cures.

I would really be very grateful if you would check out my just giving site and donate. I have been blown away by how generous everyone has been so far (and have of course also donated myself!).

With that out of the way… Am I nervous? No – not really. I am in fact nervous about the fact I’m not nervous. And I remember feeling this way before Barcelona last year. I’ve done a lot of training, ran all the long, hard miles, and I’ve had no injuries this year so I am one huge step better prepared than I was a year ago. Plus, although I may have forgotten the feeling of the pain of those last four miles, I haven’t forgotten it completely. I know what to expect this year which is another huge mental step up from last year.
Plus there are the goals – at the moment, my only goal is to finish and run it with my mum. That will mean running slightly slower than I could run, so again, I’ll find it slightly easier. BUT. Mum may decide she doesn’t want me to run with her – it can be more tiring running with other people and she might worry that she’d feel she had to run faster than she might otherwise. If that’s the case, I have to go for a 4 hour 15 goal, a 14 minute PB. That could be quite difficult…!

I ran on Tuesday. I ran really slowly and then picked the pace up and ended up with a mile well above marathon pace. Strangely the fast mile felt no more difficult than the slow ones – does anyone else ever get that?! I spent the rest of the day worrying that my ankle hurt, my knee hurt, my foot hurt. I think they’re phantom mental pains!!

I am worried about:

Logistics the morning of. I finally managed to find both mum and I accommodation in Brighton but they are in different places and we will have to make our own way to the start line. I hope all that goes okay.

The weather – please let it not pour with rain all day and not be too hot! 

My kit – what to wear? Will it hurt me?!

Being tired – I mentioned on Monday that I didn’t think I was going to be as rested as I would have hoped. Well yesterday I worked from 7.15am to 11.45pm and the whole week has just been manically busy with lots of stress and rushing around. Its not ideal! 

I am planning on wearing:

Trainers: these Nike ones which are the newest version of my old and much beloved trainers. I had a bit of a nightmare in relation to trainers this training cycle…. I’m going to detail in another post (which I’ve had half written for weeks!) but I ended up with the Nike Lunar Eclipse 5.

These are holding up okay. I have been wearing them in and had a few good runs in them, including my 20 mile run. My feet were slightly sore after which annoyed me because in my head my old trainers never hurt me. In hindsight that probably wasn’t true and I definitely had one blister after running 26.2 so “a little bit sore” probably isn’t too bad!

Tights/shorts: to be decided based on the weather on the day but I am almost certainly going to go with tights as it’s not going to be that hot and it makes life a lot better with regards to chafing. I wore these tights for Barcelona last year, they were really comfy and I don’t think it’s going to be any hotter than Spain last year!

Top: As I am running for Parkinsons UK I have a lovely blue Parkinsons t-shirt to wear. I have only run in it a few times but one of those runs was a hot 20-miler and it was very comfy so I should be okay. My main concern is what to wear if it’s too cold?! A base-layer and then the Parkinsons t-shirt on top?! Will that be annoying?! I just don’t know!

Socks: those lovely green Rapha socks in the trainer photo above. I know Rapha is a cycling make but I swear by their merino socks for being constantly comfortable and never giving me blisters. 

Headband / visor: the good thing about wearing a visor is I don’t have to worry about the sun coming out. But I lost mine and so have a new one I haven’t yet run in. And I have a lovely Parkinsons UK headband. No idea here, going to make the decision on the day!

I wore this one to run 20 miles in Spain a few weeks ago!

Sports bra: I only own one type of sports bra and its the Shock Absorber. Lots of bodyglide needed around the band but it’s generally comfortable and supportive!

So there we go – a real brain dump of my last minute thoughts! If you have any advice or last minute thoughts of your own please do share! And finally, if you do want to support Parkinsons UK on my behalf I and they would be forever grateful 😀




  1. One of my oldest friends was diagnosed with Parkinson’s about a year and a half ago (He’s 33 and had just got married), so I’ve been doing some fundraising over the last 12 months for Parkinson’s UK it is a fantastic charity.

    You should have a read at his blog

    Good luck this weekend, I look forward to you post race blog 🙂

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