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Sam Goodall relished every moment en route to completing her first London Marathon

I am coming to this marathon from a definite non runners point of view but want to show that if I can do it anyone can if they want to! In January 2015 I read an article about how many steps an adult should do a day and bought myself a fitbit so I could increase my steps to 10,000. I added in extra walks but doing them became boring so I decided to try running!

 

I am the wrong side of young, overweight, run only if my life depends on it and suffer from colitis but hey ho here I go! I donned all my sparkly new running gear and set off! 603 metres later right outside our local senior school I literally died! I hung off a bus stop for well over 15 mins trying to get my breath back, then staggered home bright red and still shaking but 3 days later I did it again! I knew nothing about C25K or running clubs so I just ran a bit further each run and slowly progressed to 5k ready for a Race For Life.

Later that year I saw a post on Facebook with someone asking about clubs locally and heard about SJ so went to one of the meets but you all looked so fit and fast I hid in the car and went home and sulked! I did brave coming back a few months later with a few parkruns under my belt, a bit more confidence and this time joined in. We ran 5 miles and Lance King had to scoop me along at the back miles behind everyone and being the cause of way too much looping for everyone but I enjoyed it and returned.

 

I became happy at 5k level and even 5 miles and life went on until I watched my friend do London last year, got caught up in the buzz and applied for a ballot place, which in October I found out I had won. Gulp!!!!

 

From October I slowly upped the mileage but I found it so hard and at times so boring alone and looking back I should have done more organised races and added mileage around them but I trained up to 16 miles when my blood counts crashed and I pretty much slept through the entire Easter holidays trying to recover. This knocked my confidence and made me question myself but I was also raising money for Motor Neurones so had go on.

 

A few smaller runs, some new medication and a whole load of nerves saw me standing at the start on Sunday. We spent 45 minutes standing in our pen in the sun watching the screen of everyone starting off before we were able to pass the timer and actually start to run. My family were right at the start and a few screams from them and off I went. I remembered everyone saying not to start too fast so was happy to get a pace and ignore others passing me. I ran continuously for around 4 miles but the heat and couple of hills took it’s toll so I walked for a minute and then tried to settle into a run 4 minutes walk 1 routine I also tried to run in every piece of shade I could no matter where it was or how small and this seemed to work. My pace was way slower than normal but I felt calm and steady.

 

Mile 8 saw my dodgy right ankle start to moan but I had expected that and literally moments after that had dampened my spirits I bumped into Tina Acock and Vicky so quick hugs and off I poodled again. The sun was relentless but we had firemen with their hoses spraying us with water, general public with hosepipes from their gardens and even a man and kids handing out free ice lollies. The atmosphere was like nothing I had ever encountered. It was truly amazing.

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I had two sets of family and friends racing round with me via The Tube so hugs, fresh water, words of encouragement, small clothing adjustments and lots of selfies at miles 11, 13, 21 and 25 then MND cheering squads and the infamous Run Mummy Run at 19. I hadn’t realised just how important that becomes and how much it helped especially mile 11 as that was my first fresh water intake since mile 7 as they ran out!!

 

I always knew that I wasn’t going to be a threat to Mo Farah so had planned to relish every moment, hug and speak to everyone I knew and take lots if pictures therefore as I walked on to Tower Bridge I took a picture of the crowd then ran to the top to meet with family, watch a dinosaur propose to his girlfriend, meet Batman and Robin then run down the other side where I spotted my two children who I didn’t know had come up to surprise me!
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Just after half way my good ankle started to moan which was a surprise. It was bearable but what wasn’t was the pain in my hips from mile 19/20 on. I had it in me but my legs simply did not and I ran the rest of the race on very unfit legs. I did still managed a pace of sort.

 

At mile 23 a lovely lady in the crowd was yelling “Only a park run left now” but instead of that helping it just knocked me. How could I run a parkrun on these legs? I then struggled to get any decent pace and have to admit I walked more than I ran for the next mile or so until just before 25 miles someone shouted “you are all amazing, keep that pace up and you will be home in half an hour” and that was it for me I got my third wind and a decent pace back, very quick hug from son at mile 25, round the corner to all the countdown signs, on to the mall and through those amazing red gates. I was home in 25 minutes not half hour!! I beat the dust trucks and road sweepers, I didn’t have to run with pedestrians, I was fairly unscathed and little old me HAD DONE THE LONDON MARATHON!!!!
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