Well it’s been and gone all things goo & bad do pass & boy did I need last Sunday to pass.
As you'll see from my previous blogs I was not as well prepared for VLM as I could / should have been and hence I was dreading it
Had a nice day on the Saturday booked into our hotel early in the morning on Baker Street and went off to join our "Duck Tour" of the city, very nice trip on land and in the Thames. I'd recommend this to anyone as a nice way to see London from a different angle & learn more about the history.
My sister met up with us later she was also running and we had a nice carb loading meal at Pizza express at about 6pm.
I would say I had no sleep that night with the nerves & my husband’s snoring (he’s getting over a cold) but I guess I wasn't the only runner who would say that.
Got up at 6.00am and forced a banana & a porridge pot down. I'm not good running with anything in my stomach so this was more than I would normally have before a run (I know I know)
What a beautiful morning it was though (nice for a stroll!!)
We met my daughter at Baker St underground then made our way to Charing Cross where we had to leave my daughter as she was a Blackheath start & we were Greenwich. This was quite emotional with it being her first one but she's a big girl so wasn't really fussed.
I couldn't believe how packed & hot the trains were down there plus there were a lot of people on who weren't running which was winding me up. (Grumpy Old Woman!)
Anyway we eventually arrived & decided to get off at Greenwich rather than Maze. The walk to the start was bit long wasn't it & uphill?
The smell of deep heat was very strong in the queues for the loo this always makes me smile. After the loo it was about 8.45 and my sister was very keen to get in her pen - Red 8 I was in 9 so we split up & I stood on my own drinking in the wonderful atmosphere and trying not to think too much about what we were about to do.
The Gun went off (was it a gun I can't remember) but a cheer went up and then we were all inching forward, it was all very friendly & polite, plenty of wise cracks flying around " yes I think I'll be able to sustain this pace " shouted one bright spark (if only - I thought) Anyway pretty soon we were through the start & I started my Garmin and got into an easy pace. Lots of people flying past me, but I'm used to that.
Everything seemed to be going well keeping my pace taking in the atmosphere
Cutty Sark was amazing I shed a little tear & thought wow how lucky I am I'm running in the London Marathon again!
I did take walk breaks at the water stations ( and a bit beyond) as I was worried my hammy might play up plus the furthest I'd done in training was 15 miles so I didn't want to burn out very early. About mile 7 I felt the pain again, a little twinge at first then the shooting pain I'd had before. I walked a bit but then tried to run but it was too uncomfortable so I had to walk mainly.
It is a very mental thing the marathon isn't it? I was fighting in my mind between feeling a big failure for not running & then thinking "but I'm still doing it I'm walking" and then “but what will my finish time be “and then “just go with the flow enjoy it"
The support was amazing, people shouting your name is really inspiring & I always waved or said thank you.
Turning onto Tower Bridge was a nice surprise and again I filled up remembering my last one in 2009 & how overcome I was that I was actually running a marathon and London at that.
At mile 13 everything seemed to ache and my gels were making me feel a bit sick. It was just over 3 Hours and I was thinking I can't do this for another 3 hours (or longer) but somehow I just kept going. Docklands was very hard and by now the field was very sparse around me.
I saw my daughter’s friends at Canary Wharf which was nice they asked if my daughter had come through yet as they had seen she earlier but I had no idea where she was on the course.
I got inspiration from a lovely lady who was walking the whole way at a very good pace. I kept up with her for a couple of miles but then had to let her get ahead of me because she was just too fast. It was only when she was about 20 yards in front of me that I noticed she was supporting the Steps Charity and her lower right leg was a prosthetic. That really made me put things in perspective and stop feeling sorry for myself.
I was looking out for my husband at every "Children with Cancer” cheering point but I didn't see him.
I decided to have a little run and over took the two people on very tall stilts & Firemen running in full kit.
Nothing else remarkable really only that the skies were starting to cloud over & it looked like rain. And yes it did rain & I got wet, until a lovely lady gave me a poncho when I got to the embankment.
I could see Big Ben but it looked miles away and every bit of me was hurting, my legs felt like two wooden poles and the soles of my feet were very sore.
Anyway I at least knew I was definitely going to finish albeit in a very slow time. The support was still phenomenal from the crowds even in the pouring rain God Bless them.
As I was on Birdcage Walk I heard big cheering so looked behing & the Stilt walkers were coming up behind. I tried to up my pace but their strides were far greater than mine so they overtook me. ( drat)
I crossed the line in 6 Hours 31 minutes & 4 seconds. Boy was I glad to stop.
I was greeted by a lovely lady from the charity after I’d picked up my bag, goody bag & had my photo done & tag cut off.
My husband & daughter were waiting for me, he'd got all his timings wrong & didn't see any of us on the course (I was not happy!)
My daughter hadn't been much in front of me she did 6 hours 15. But my sister had done 4.45.
All in all not a great day for me disappointed beforehand about the injury & the training. My last one I had done in 5.30 and I had thought early on that I wanted to break 5.
I don't think I'll be doing another marathon but we have signed up for the Disney Half in January 2013
Definitely not going in the ballot tomorrow.
You can wake up now I've finished.
Really enjoying reading everyone’s Blogs about the day so many different experiences for one event. Think someone should make a film following a few different people (if it’s not already been done)
I was going to run today for the first time but we had a 5 mile walk in Morecambe yesterday and my legs are aching (very strange)
Be interested to hear how the Manchester Marathon went today
Happy Recovery everyone thanks for reading xx
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