Well, I did it, yey!! Albeit very slowly, but I DID IT! Here is my story ...
We were staying in a hotel in Victoria so after a bowl of porridge I toddled off to get the train to Maze Hill. Journey was fine, but I had forgotten how big the hill in Greenwich Park was, haha!
My stupid cough was still bothering me so I took my painkillers and used inhaler, then dropped my bag off and got ready to go. There were plenty of times during training (and even during the final few days) when I wondered if I would ever make the start line, so I was really pleased if a little nervous at what lay ahead.
I had a lump in my throat as we set off, thinking about all the mental and physical preparation I had done to get to the start. I paused to think about my motivation for doing the marathon in the first place - my mum, who died 30 years ago this year. I hoped she was looking down on me.
A few of us in the crowd wished each other good luck and we were off – and I loved it from the very beginning!! The atmosphere was AMAZING – the crowds clapping, cheering & shouting my name, the bands, the DJs, the sweets, the kids doing Hi-5s (I tried to do as many as possible!). The people of London were fantastic from beginning to end, thank you all.
I used to live in Surrey Quays so the memories of a previous life kept my mind off the running for a few miles. I saw my friends and family at about mile 9 and it was great, their excitement and smiley faces gave me a real lift, I was so chuffed to see them.
I saw them again near Bermondsey tube which was a nice surprise and then off I toddled to the half way mark, Tower Bridge. It was packed full of cheering people and atmosphere.
By about mile 14 I was over half way and realised I was actually going to do this - and it felt pretty good!
By mile 15 I was starting to feel it a little and I didn’t like the underpass much. Annoyingly my legs were ok but it was my lungs which were struggling. By mile 16 I stopped to walk for the first time, just a little one! I found miles 17-19 pretty tough going, but then I saw my family again which was lovely. I stopped to take more painkillers as it was hurting every time I took a deep breath or coughed.
Then there I was at 20 miles. I walked for a little bit alongside another runner and we chatted about the fact that there was a mere 10k left – a short training run, easy – and we just had to go for it. So we wished each other luck and off we went.
Then 21 miles. Then 22 miles. Really getting there now. I saw the Cancer Research UK cheering station at about 23 miles which gave me a real boost, and was into the last few miles. The sunshine had gone by this time and it had started to rain but it really didn’t matter – especially as we had been expecting rain hours earlier!
The final run in ...
At 25 miles I had another lovely surprise cheer from my friends to spur me on for the last mile or so. And I knew Mr C and the girls were waiting at the end, just up the road!
Then came the ‘800m to go’ sign, then ‘600m to go’ – so close now. I had a quick chat with a great lady called Amy and we spurred each other on to sprint from the ‘385 yards to go’ sign to the finish line – the FINISH LINE ladies and gentlemen – wooooo hooooo!!
And there we have it. Job done. I have done the London Marathon, and I have a lovely shiny medal to prove it. Happy days!
I said all along that this was my one and only shot at a marathon. Now? I’m not so sure! Dammit!!
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