Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The marathon at last!

What a day Sunday was. More than a little nervous, as I hadn't done so much training in the last month because of work.
So much for the showery, cool, perfect running weather that was forecast - instead it was blazing hot and sunny, fab for the spectators but cruel for the runners. I can't believe that the only two marathons I have run have been in scorching temperatures.
I set off feeling very emotional, there is something about standing on that start line with thousands of other strangers all trying to do your best. Really enjoyed the first 11 miles, ran it all with a big smile on my face and hearing strangers shout your name and encourage you is a very moving experience. Docklands stretch was harder, it's less popluated and seems to go on forever until you loop back to the Highway at Wapping.
Seeing my mum, brother, niece, nephew (who also ran the mini marathon for kids that day) and the rest of my family and friends cheering me on at 11 and 23 miles was pretty amazing, just the tonic you need to keep you going.
From mile 20, it was tough. I had huge blood blisters on both feet (luckily didn't realise until I took off my trainers) and my knees were weak but I thought, there is no way I am giving up after 20 miles!
I crossed the finishing line in 4 hrs 30 mins and 22 secs - 22 minutes faster than my first marathon two years ago - and was so happy I could have cried.
Nell McAndrew, who I interviewed for FR2DAY a few weeks ago, was the fastest celebrity at an amazing 3 hrs 10 mins. Superwoman! And poor Katie Price took over seven hours because of injury, and had to walk the vast majority but she raised £250k for charity so respect to her and every other person who competed that day, as well as my buddy Darren, who did his third marathon.
It's over and I'm saying never again, despite the fact that a few friends have asked me to run it again with them. Don't think I will ever beat that time so what is the point but there is something strangely addictive about that particular race, it really gets under your skin.
So that's it, have enjoyed a few glasses of guilt-free rose since, and it's a lovely feeling.