Sunday, 19 April 2015

Just one word ... WOW!

I'm now sat here thinking, was Edinburgh Marathon really last week?!

I had been nervous for a good 2-3 weeks leading up to race day.  I was emotionally drained without the added trauma of questioning whether I was fit enough, whether I had worked hard enough, eaten correctly, hydrated and all the usual fears that creep into the mind of a marathon runner.

I was worried I would let myself down and even more worried that I would let my loved ones down.  I'd spent months training, weeks on my legs and hours in tears.

Whatever the fears that were swimming around it was too late anyway, we were on our way up to Edinburgh for my first running marathon.  I knew I could walk one - I do one every year for Walk the Walk raising money for breast cancer charities but Sunday would be the day I set off at the start line to RUN my first ever marathon.  I specifically picked Edinburgh because it was there I walked my first marathon, the Edinburgh Moonwalk back in 2009 in memory of my wonderful Dad and I walked it on Fathers Day.

The days leading up to leaving we're very special - I had good luck cards, charms flowers and messages of support coming out of my ears.  I felt very honoured and extremely special.

One of my best friends in the world and my therapist, Suzi said she would come with us and look after Benji and give me the much needed massage therapy to start and end my marathon. Pete and Jo my 'sister-in-law' from Keynsham also came up to support me.

The apartment was in the middle of the city so we settled in and set ourselves up for a quiet night in.  Ray had once again performed his magic in the  kitchen and prepared a chicken pasta dish to bring up with us.  Jo and Pete met us and we spent the evening catching up and carbing up for the task ahead.

In time honoured tradition I set my kit out for the morning then Suzi set-to and gave me a relaxing massage to warm up my muscles and hopefully give me a good nights sleep - it worked!   I slept like a log and woke up 5 minutes before my alarm went off at 6am.

Breakfasted, showered and dressed we were ready to head to the start line at 8:45.  It was only a mile away from the apartment so the walk would be a nice warm up for my muscles.  The messages, texts and calls were once again in abundance to the point I had to stop reading them because my eyes kept leaking! 

The closer we got to the Regent Road the more the atmosphere was building. In time honoured tradition, I queued for the toilet before heading to my start point!  It was time to kiss my boys and the rest of my fabulous support team goodbye and make my own way. They wished me luck and I was in my pen and ready to go.  It wasn't just my mind that was now working overtime, so was my bladder, how come I needed to go to the toilet again?!  The gun went off and we started walking toward the start line and I had to nip out of the railings to a portaloo.

Mile after mile after mile I knocked them down. My music sometimes on and my phone often ringing with my friends, my PT, my wonderful husband spurring me on and making sure I was ok. I spotted an old friend from WLR Martin Reilly and we exchanged a hug and good luck wishes. He was doing amazing, way in front of me and on the loop back to the finish. It was just the boost I needed. To this day I don't think he knows what that hug and wish meant to me......... Priceless!!

Ray met me at mile 24 and ran the last couple of miles with me. Again, it was just incredible.  I'm so proud of everything he has achieved, especially since his operation last year. We got to the 26 mile mark and with a smile on his face and an abundance of love in his heart he told me to finish my race, bring it home and he would meet me at the end. I sobbed, he was amazing and I love him so so much. Never once has he doubted me or my ability. 

5:19:08 was my finish time! Wow I'd knocked over 40 minutes from the time I expected and 20 minutes off the time I wanted. Edinburgh marathon was in the bag and I was over the moon (and back) with my time feeling elated, absolutely knackered but one very happy bunny!!

Did I enjoy it?? I have to say it was certainly one of the hardest things I've ever done in my life and to say there were thousands of people running too it was the loneliest run I've ever done. Your mind plays tricks and you need oodles of self will to literally keep placing one foot in front of the other. 

But I'm certainly not done  -  I'm so pleased I entered the ballot for London. I doubt I'll get in, I can't normally win an argument but here's hoping!!

All that's left for me to do is thank everybody for their wishes, love, help and encouragement. I'm ready  to put my feet up for a bit and decide what my next challenge will be. 


No comments:

Post a Comment