Looking out for Sue Barker.......
I’m back! Almost six months after my rather eventful attempt at the London Marathon, I’m preparing to pull my trainers back on again and head up to Newcastle for the Great North Run on Sunday. It’ll be the first time that I have run a race since I collapsed from heat exhaustion at mile 24 in April. This time I am hoping to get to the end without a visit to St John Ambulance along the way. I can’t quite work out how I feel about running a race again after my experience in the marathon. After all the training I did earlier this year, I’m fairly confident I can run 13 miles without too many problems. But I will probably wear my heart monitor this time just for reassurance. One of the last things I remember before I blacked out on the Embankment was the fact that my heart was racing very fast. I thought I’d just hit that ‘wall’ that everyone warns you about. Instead I hit the floor.
A few months later, I was reunited with Trish, the wonderful and very reassuring volunteer from St. John Ambulance, who stayed with me for more than 2 hours after I’d blacked out. She told me they’d been pretty worried at first. Having since seen my medical records, I can understand why. About 20 minutes after I’d collapsed, I was still out for the count and my temperature was 41.2C (106F). But after plenty of oxygen, ice and endless cups of sugary tea, Trish got me back on my feet again and I was able to finish the race. Clearly I will be doing everything I can though to avoid a repeat of that drama this Sunday. It took me a while to get back to running again after the marathon. I couldn’t walk without pain for 3 weeks and I lost five toenails (which wasn’t a good summer look). But over the past few months, I have been building it up again, running 3 or 4 times a week and really enjoying it once more.
Apart from finishing the Great North Run on Sunday, I only have one real goal. I’m not after a personal best, nor will I try to beat my husband (that’s what got me into trouble in the marathon in the first place...a stupid bet that involved beating his fastest marathon time!) No, the one thing I want to do at the end of the race is see Sue Barker who’ll be presenting the BBC’s coverage that day. When I met her at the start line of the Virgin London Marathon in April, I told her how I’d been obsessing about seeing her face as I crossed the finish line in the Mall. In my head I knew that once I saw her it would all be over. Well as it turned out, she’d packed up and gone home by the time I crossed the line (6 hours and 22 minutes later)! So as long as I see Sue at the finish line in South Shields on Sunday, I know it will all have been alright.
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