My journey started 2 years ago training for the London Marathon. Unfortunately 8 weeks before the race I got injured and wasn’t able to compete. It’s been a long road to recovery trying to find the problem but with a London marshal ballot space secured for 2017 I was determined to try everything.
I started following a training plan at the start of the year but didn’t get excited about the prospect of the marathon, convinced my injury would resurface as the miles increased. I did most of my runs solo, sometimes meeting up with my neighbour for company. I religiously used my foam roller and regularly did exercises for my core, neither of which I did previously. After my final long run I was finally convinced that I’d be able to do this!
I went up to London on the SJ runners coach which was a nice chance to speak to people I hadn’t seen for a while. The weather was lovely and we were all sat around chatting, eating and constantly using the toilets! In no time at all it was time to dump the bags and get into the starting pens. I was fortunate enough to run the 1st part of the race with Ian Watson and 11 miles soon went by. Ian then spotted his family and I carried on.
At about 15 miles I queued in the tunnel for the toilets as wasn’t feeling too good. Started having hot and cold sweats in the queue due to a rumbly tummy but had to let the feeling pass as there was no toilet paper (rooky error!) For the next 5 miles I kept getting the same feeling and just had to stop until it had passed. Not a nice experience!!
Thankfully after mile 20 I started to feel better and was so busy searching the crowds for my family and friends I didn’t see the 21 mile marker. There was me thinking I was coming up to mile 21 when in fact it was mile 22. Bonus- I’d just got a free mile! The weather was pretty warm so I made sure I took on plenty of water, which has never tasted so good. Whilst going through the tunnel of shame at around mile 23 I managed to help up a runner who tripped and fell in front of me as well as checking on another guy who was limping his way to the finish due to his knee packing up halfway.
After that I just focused on ticking off the final miles and making the finish line. The closer I got the more energy I seemed to find and managed to increase my pace once I’d rounded the corner. I was delighted to finish my debut Marathon in 4hrs 36 minutes. My favourite sign around the course was at mile 6 which said ‘Nearly there! #fakenews’ and my favourite supportive cheer from a complete stranger said with such determination was ‘Yes Tracy, you F***ng legend!’ Really made me laugh and helped me keep going. I was given my medal by Lisa Harrold. Really looking forward to coming back to the club on a few more runs. Have missed you lovely lot! X