Having stayed overnight with a friend in Greenwich on Saturday night, I woke up super nervous but eager to get on with THE MARATHON on Sunday morning.
I’d been ill for the 2 weeks leading up to race day, so wasn’t sure how it was going to go, and despite A LOT of medication, inhalers and positive thinking, my lungs were still gunky, and that was really causing me some worry (not enough to make me pull out though – you know how it is ).
My original goal had been 3:30, but because of aforementioned gunky lungs and a few missed runs, I’d downgraded that to 3:39 (my previous PB) or – if it was really not happening – “whatever”.
Anyway, I walked the mile to the blue start, put my race number on, took a couple of selfies, stashed my gels/phone/blister patches/inhaler/kitchen sink, handed my bag in, went for a final wee, and joined the crowds in pen 4.
The start was slick and I was over the line within 3 minutes, but it was busy. I was trying to just go with it – no weaving, conserve energy, etc – but some dodging about was required and it was difficult to get into a steady pace for a good couple of miles.
I wasn’t really feeling great from the start – my lungs were tight – and the 5 min/km pace which should have felt easy never did.
I was thinking a lot about stopping from very early on, but managed to keep talking myself out of it, using the crowds shouting my name, high fiving kids, trying to relax and enjoy it – whatever it took!
The half way point was a good one for me – usually I think “shit, I’ve got to do the same again” but today I was more “all downhill from here”!
I knew my husband, kids & friends were at mile 15, so I had to keep going till then, and then to 20 because more supporters (who I missed), and then I decided (3:30 was long gone – 3:39 was still possible) that my new goal was to run all the way, even if I had to really slow down.
By 22 my legs were really hurting, but I just kept counting down the km – and I knew I would do it, and it was pretty likely that I was going to get my PB.
The last km was amazing – the crowds, the countdown (600m has never felt so far!!), the finishing straight……
And then I was at the end. And I cried because I was so happy to be finished, and so pleased that I’d run all the way and that I’d got a PB and because everything was awesome.
And then I got a medal, and threw a sweaty hug on Jim and carried on bagwards.
Breathing was suddenly a rather big problem, but I managed to suck in enough ventolin to open me back up, had a hug and some tears with another random crier, got my bag, stumbled to meet my family – and then I was very happy
So I finished my 3rd marathon in 3:38:17 – over a minute faster than my last marathon – which was 10 years and 2 kids ago – will it be 10 years till my next one?
We shall see…….