Well the marathon is all over. I managed to drag myself round in 4hrs, 33mins and 27secs which I was very pleased with. It has been a bit non stop since then so have had only a little time to reflect on the experience and sense of achievement.
This time last year I would not have believed that I could run a marathon but I have proved that wrong, in fact it feels a bit surreal as all my energies for the last six months have been focused on getting round the marathon course.
I reached my goal weight the Thursday before and so this was exciting in itself although my focus has been more on the running than weight loss I really wanted to run the marathon at goal so that was the first achievement of the weekend.
The whole experience was amazing. On the day I got the bus from the hotel at 6.30am, getting to the start at about 7am. This gave me the opportunity to take in the atmosphere although it was a bit cold! At the start I was in the last pen so a distance away from the start line, unfortunately this meant that we did not really hear the call for the thirty second silence for Boston or the start. The way we knew it had started was as the crowd of runners in front began to move. In the initial stages the crowds were quite sparse and I remember hearing only the pounding of feet of all these thousands of runners. As we went a bit further there was the indication of what was to come as the crowds grew and became noisier. I saw my husband at the 5k mark which was comforting and reassuring although I didn't see him again. At one point we went under a flyover and there was a drumming band there, the noise reverberating around was amazing. The crowds were also amazing shouting encouragement and handing out jelly babies. The fire men were out hosing us down in one place they turned the hose full on someone just in front of me absolutely soaking him, that kept me smiling for a while, relieved that it wasn't me they had done it to. By mile 23 I was exhausted and as someone stepped in front of me I found myself walking, my legs felt like jelly and my stomach was sloshing with the energy chews and water. This must have been the wall although I did not think that at the time. over the next couple of miles I must have walked for about a mile and found it difficult to get runniagain by nut I was determined to run over the finish line. In the end the finish appeared quite quickly and the running was over, it was a bit of an anti climax, I had expected to be emotional but I just felt relieved that I could stop and a real sense off achievement. I have to say thati found the running itself really tough because of the amount of people and just as I got into my stride someone cut in front of me or I had to slow down as I couldn't get past people or I hadbto speed up to get through a gap which then closed. However the whole experience is one I will never forget. I am glad that I did it but probably won't be doing it again. I think I will stick to half marathons and lone running although the crowds will not be quite the same!
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