It’s been two weeks exactly to the day and I’ve only just got my head around the fact that I actually ran the London Marathon. I honestly still can’t believe it. Sifting through the pictures makes it more real I guess, but I’ve not quite gotten over it, nor do I want to!
I decided to watch some of the BBC coverage a couple of days after and I totally felt like I was just another spectator, as if it was all a dream. They then mapped out an aerial view of the route and my jaw just dropped, “That is mad! Did I really do that? That surely wasn’t me??!”
Anyway, as for the actual day, well what can I say. I have been finding it really hard to put into words when people ask me, as “amazing” doesn’t quite cut it. I can understand when previous runners have said that you will get addicted to marathons, but I can’t imagine anything living up to your very first one. On hearing my name being chanted after 10 seconds I felt such an enormous rush, “god, I wish all my long runs were like this,” I thought to myself. They would be a piece of cake if they were.
Yes, we were very lucky with the weather that day, has to be said. It felt like I was running through the longest carnival ever and at some points was gutted I couldn’t actually stop and join in the fun. It was a real eye opener to what really goes on for spectators across London during the marathon as I seriously had no idea. I obviously lapped up the crowds and made sure that I hi-fived every single child that had its hand out and whenever I felt myself wavering, I made sure I drifted over to the sides to feed off them. Coincidentally, I rarely followed that all important blue paint, which probably indicates that I ran a lot longer than the 26 miles. Oops!
My injury, thankfully behaved itself pretty well throughout the race. Legs just felt very tight from the start and throughout but I soon enough forgot about it and the possibility that my leg may buckle at any point. I was also so excited to cross the starting line that I completely forgot to tap my stopwatch! Doh!
Is there a wall? Well, yes sort of. Generally I found the section after CanaryWharf through Whitechapel/Aldgate quite torturous. Probably because I was on a high after seeing my family and knew I wouldn’t see anyone else I knew till embankment, probably because it’s not the most picturesque part of London and yes, it was coincidentally around miles 20-23. However, it wasn’t as bad as I had thought, although photographic evidence will tell you otherwise. Thanks to Virgin for planting cameras around the Tower of London, mile 22, by the way, where we all look our absolute worst! I am really going to treasure those pictures of me looking like a puffer fish next to a storm trooper forever
Mile 25 was just so indescribable. Knowing that you’re almost there, you start sprinting but at the same time want to absorb as much of the crowds as possible before it’s all over. You see BuckinghamPalace approaching and red arches peering through the trees, am I nearly there? “600 yards to go”, Christ that was annoying! Then a few more arches with the count down. Then as I turned that corner by the palace, the crowds start to roar and erupt, partially prompted by my “come on” arm waving and what does the DJ start pumping through the speakers as I approach the finishing line? “YOUNG MEN! Are you listening to me? I said, YOUNG MEN!” Yup, not quite the chariots of fire type tune I had been dreaming about for months, but it didn’t really matter, did it? Tears of joy and laughter started pouring down my face and I had done it. Wow. Just wow.
So sadly, this will probably be my last post for a while, since I have no immediate plans to do any other runs for the time being and I am still carrying that injury, but I’ll definitely be back…missing those running shoes already.
Cheers everyone for your support and for reading!…it’s been emotional
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