As you know from my post, yesterday was The Virgin London Marathon. My fellow Hope House Fundraiser, Nicci Shrimpton ran amazingly and completed it in 5:24:59…She blogs at Realbuzz.com and has written a race re-cap…
So here i am m back home in Mid Wales on my comfy sofa after a fabulous weekend in London which involved a small matter of running 26.2 miles (well actually 26.44 according to my Garmin!!)
My marathon weekend began with the drive to London from Mid Wales of Friday through the torrential rain to arrive at a Travelodge in North London so I would be able to get to the Expo early Saturday. Really nervous on the way down and stressing about everything!!!
We were up early Saturday and headed through Londonto the Expo which I really enjoyed, collecting freebies, chatting to everyone and Martin Yelling’s motivational talk, which I didn’t realise at the time but really helped me through on the day!!
So the excitement and stress was building especially as I was navigating to our apartment for the next 2 nights and couldn’t find the damn place as it was in the crease of my A-Z!!(I don’t do SatNav!)……..anyway we found it eventually. We were minutes walk away fromTowerBridge which was fab so went off to the river and had pasta in a restaurant at ButlersWharf which was lovely. My partner Steve and my son Ben then left me at the apartment as I think my stressing was driving them mad and they set off for a walk/pint somewhere in London. I then sorted my self out got all my stuff ready for the morning and felt a lot calmer!!
Wide awake at 6am , porridge and banana and a shower and didn’t feel anywhere near as nervous as I had all week, I was ready!!
We took the train to Blackheath from LondonBridge which was (obviously) full of runners with a gentle hum of ralgex in the air! Once I was in the blue start zone I had my final banana and queued for the loos 3 times!! (couldn’t face the female urinals…..not sure about those at all!) checked my bag in and before I knew it is was time to get penned in!!and we were off…… I did find it hilarious to see people nipping to the side of the road for a wee during the race but especially when the Rhino did it …very bizarre! Needless to say I did stop for a wee but at a toilet stop early on with no queue.
I started the race too fast really but got swept away with the general pace but was brought back to earth at about 2 miles where a man had collapsed and looked in a bad way, I had a word with myself and slowed down. The sun was getting warmer all the time and there was no sign of the promised rain.
The crowd was amazing from start to finish especially all the kids holding their hands out to high five and giving out sweets! and the marshalls, refreshment staff and St Johns brilliant.
I was feeling great for the first half, stopped on Tower Bridge to be interviewed by Denise Lewis (I didn’t realise she was so tiny!) she was in front of my Mum and Sis who had a big banner for me so it was great, don’t think it made it on to the TV??not sure. I had some more supporters at Mile 13 so stopped for a chat and photo there too!!
Was really soaking up the atmosphere it was great……planned to meet them again on the other side of the road at 20 something miles. So I headed off for a few more miles but at about 17 started to feel really tired, the heat was getting to me and I felt like everyone was overtaking me!!! Including a strawberry, a bottle of beer and several Rhinos!! Anyway this is when Martin Yelling appeared on my shoulder saying ‘don’t think about anyone else….run your own race’ so I fixed on that blue line and focussed on my race…..it was hard going until I got through 21 miles and felt like I was in the home straight then….before I knew it I saw my support troup again for another hug and pat on the back, they then told me they were off to the pub!! So I thought a few more miles and I will be off to the pub too…….. Martin was still in my ear ….’focus and run your own race’ and then I got to the embankment and im not sure whos legs I had but the combination of the incredible noise and support and the thought of only a couple of miles gave me a massive second wind. I felt amazing going into birdcage walk, the clouds had started gathering and I thought I need to get a move on if I want to finish before it hammers down!! As I came to 800 metres to go I felt like I was flying, no idea if I was going faster but it felt good and as I rounded the corner by Buckingham Palace ‘I’ve had the time of my life’ (Dirty Dancing)was blaring out of the large loud speakers which was amazing and so apt!
Anyway I beat the rain and the lorry cleaning the blue line off the road!! and made it to the pub for a very large glass of red wine!!
So I finished in 5 hours 24 mins and 59 secs…………(minus a toilet break, time hugging the crowd and chatting to Denise Lewis!) but for me it wasn’t about the time, it was about taking on the challenge, doing it my way, achieving the result, remembering a special little girl and raising as much cash as I could in the bargain!!
It was amazing……..would I do it again?? ……..if I were 20 years younger maybe…… but I think once is probably enough, 2012 was my marathon year!!
Im off for a chinese and a soak in my hot tub tonight!!
Nicci’s Just Giving page is here…feel free to make a donation. Well done Nicci…you are awesome!
Today is World Book Night and I have been chosen as one of this year’s givers. The book I have chosen is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I have been given copies of the book to give away so please let me know if you would like a copy.
A quick smoking update while I am here…I have now made it to day 22…I am extremely happy about this…I have another appointment at the quit clinic tomorrow.
I am off now as it is St George’s Day and I am going to kill a dragon in World of Warcraft to celebrate 🙂
Happy St George’s Day to you all