(Pics from left to right: I won a £5 donation at the expo for getting a strike at bowling…big achievement as I’m rubbish at bowling! Obligatory photo’s at the expo, awkward ‘running,’ shot and champagne motivation)
I don’t know where to start this post or what to even say… The London Marathon 2016 is over and what a day it was. Rewind to a few days ago… The Saturday before race day I felt a mix of excited and nervous about what was to come. I found it hard to concentrate on anything but the marathon (this was basically the whole week leading up to the day) and my brain was going into overdrive. The Friday night and nights in the week leading up to it there was a lot of interrupted sleep. Reading comments on the marathon Facebook page helped me to realise all these emotions are quite normal for first time marathoners and helped ease my mind somewhat. The night before race day I thankfully slept really well and I woke up with a calm feeling, the day had arrived and I was ready (as I’d ever be.)The day began with my alarm waking me up at 6:30am (I’d set three, just to be safe… the maranoia was very real) My clothes were laid out ready and waiting (the decision of what to wear nearly drove me to insanity) a breakfast of porridge, banana & honey with a matcha latte was had and Chris and I were off out the door to head to the start line in Greenwich. A few London underground toilet breaks, some train changes and we were there before we knew it. Time to say goodbye to Chris and join the other nervous runners in my pen.
The atmosphere of excitement and eagerness was rubbing off on everyone as we waited to see what London had to offer. Some shimmying forward and some tentative steps in the right direction we were about to begin. I set my garmin, took in the moment and that was it the race had begun!I won’t go through the arduous task of describing mile for mile the race itself for two reasons: one this account is possibly boring enough and two I don’t really remember it all that well, I experienced it in a haze of euphoria. The marathon itself was two things: one it was not what I expected at all and two it was better than I could ever have imagined or dreamed. You see, my dreams involved discomfort, inner battles, the wall etc. etc. I don’t say this to be smug (trust me most of my previous race experiences were certainly not in likeness to this) but it honestly was an amazing and very happy experience for me.Some of the things I do remember were actually feeling confused, I couldn’t believe I’d got to a certain point, I almost convinced myself I was hallucinating and was really way back near the start or somewhere in between. The time was going fast and I almost felt a little disappointed that it was nearly over. The feeling of time slipping away so quickly made me appreciate each and every moment and mile and soak it all in and I think this really helped me to embrace the whole experience. I can honestly say I didn’t have any moments of battling through negative thoughts or discomfort. I feel this is partly thanks to my beloved medjool dates (although trust me when I say I don’t want to eat them for a good while) they worked really well in keeping my energy even and I used them in combination with some apple juice I made on Saturday with some added salt (I can’t recommend this combo enough.)
From experiencing such an awful 20 mile training run and injury at the start of my training, the marathon was the complete contrast. The training was the challenge, the marathon: the celebration… It was awesome!
I will stop gushing now. Nearly… one more… a HUGE thank you to each and every person who donated to my page, read these posts, text, messaged or offered words of encouragement and support. For everyone who cheered me on, on the day or at home following along the race progress, I really appreciated everyones kindness. In fact I was completely overwhelmed by it all. The running total raised for a hugely worthwhile charity, Children with Cancer UK currently stands at £2237. There’s still time to donate if you would like to please visit my page here. Also a big thanks to the race organisers, participants and all the amazing spectators who make London Marathon what it is.
Thank you again and I promise to stop going on about it now ;)