So it’s coming up to the time of year when people start to find out if they will be running the London Marathon in 2017!! It’s an exciting time for many but a disappointment for few. Getting the letter that you will be running 26.2miles in 6 months can be slightly overwhelming or it can not faze you at all. For me, when i received the letter in October 2014, 26th April felt like months away and i had plenty of time to train etc. I was meant to do the London Marathon in 2014however i injured my ankles and ended up with a mild case of achilles tendinitis and had lumps on the back of my foot which was causing me a lot of pain just to walk, let alone run!! It was a shame, but i managed to rest it and get proper trainers and insoles. I will let you in on a secret now…running shoes need to be perfect. The impact on your ankles and knees when you run is 7 times your body weight in each stride, so a good supportive trainer is essential. I got Asics which are amazing. As soon as i started running in these trainers i no longer had any problems or pain which was awesome as i could train again for the marathon!
I started training in December 2014, having done a fair amount of running before i wasn’t a newbie and if i was to follow the London Marathon training programme it was about the right time anyways. I really enjoyed running. Now not so much as i have completely changed the way i train but i genuinely did enjoy it. I found it therapeutic and relaxing. I felt like i had achieved something after each run when i had gone a bit further then the previous run. In February 2015 i ran a half marathon which was an organised event to prepare me for the day and to test food etc the night before and how it made me feel. It wasn’t the nicest of days but i liked it a bit colder and wetter rather than hot and sweaty. I managed to complete the half marathon, i cant remember the time but i remember i didn’t stop running and by the end i felt good. Somehow i cant imagine after running 13 miles i’d feel good but i did. I didn’t feel any pain, or tired i actually felt strong. I loved it.
I’ll be honest. I didn’t prepare myself for the 26.2 miles as well as i could have. Yes i ran half and felt fine and i think after that in my head i just thought i’d be fine and manage it all again on the day. As the day got closer the furthest i ran was 15 miles. But i am a very head strong person and very determined to finish things i start.
The day arrived. 26th April 2015. It was London Marathon day. I’d run a maximum of 15 miles but i wasn’t going to give up. I was running the distance for Dementia. I was running for my Grandma and thats all i let myself think about. Again, on the day it was gloomy and pretty darn freezing but better than sweaty and hot i guess! As i stood on the heath at blackheath with my parents i was nervous. I didn’t want to let anyone down and i wanted it to be over already! But at the same time i felt proud. So off i went to the start line and queued up. I heard the bell go and we slowly edged forward getting closer and closer to the start line. Bin bags were being thrown left right and centre as people were using them as a thermal to keep warm whilst standing around. Off we go! I didn’t want headphones as i actually preferred running in a crowd without them, listening to the cheering and support of the crowd. Next thing i remember is crossing London Bridge which meant i was pretty much half way through. I felt okay. I saw my family at 18 miles i think it was, i ran towards them got some contact and kept going, i knew if i stopped it would be hard to start again! About 5 minutes later i heard my name being shouted. There on my right were my group of friend all with banners and t-shirts with my face on, it made me laugh and just gave me that boost to keep going.
22 miles…I hit the wall, BIG TIME. I was exhausted mentally and my body was tired. I wanted to stop and walk. I still wanted to complete it but i was going to have to slow down. My hips and knees were playing up and i was drained. I started to do intervals. Walk for a little bit. Run for a little bit. I got to the point where i wanted to just cry and give up. I’d never felt like that before. Soon after i started to break down i saw my family again. I just wanted to run over and hug them but i knew i’d burst into tears and i didn’t want them to see me like that as i knew they would worry about me finishing. So again i just brushed contact and carried on. It was a long way to the finish line from then. Walk run, walk run, walk run. It was horrible. When i got onto Pall Mall that was it. I was getting to that finish line now. Whatever energy i had left was going to be used up right now. I ran until i could see the finish line and all of a sudden i was sprinting to the end. The moment i crossed that line i was so overwhelmed. Being directed to where i needed to go to meet my family. I got there. Hugged my mum and burst into tears. I was overwhelmed i had completed it. Overwhelmed with the support of everyone. Relieved. I’d completed 26.2 miles. Maybe i didn’t run it. But i still got from the start to the finish no matter how gruelling some parts were. I completed it in just under 5 hours which my mum was thankful for otherwise i said i would do it again if i didn’t get under 5 hours. I was thankful i did it under 5 hours.
I won’t be doing a marathon again. But i would 100% encourage people to do it at least once. It’s an amazing experience and the sense of achievement after is phenomenal. Don’t get me wrong my knees and hips were in agony but it was worth it. Doesn’t matter how long it takes, you’ll get there eventually. Don’t give up, remember why you are doing it.
Slightly long post but hey, sometimes things need to be said right?!