May 03

Each day following the Marathon I have attempted to post my thoughts, but alas, the newfound free time and excitement of having actually completed it ran away with me!

So, here I am, a week later, finally sitting down and recalling the day…

Get up time was a 6am, although I had been waking at regular 1.5 hour intervals through the night. I was wide awake come 6am, yet not particularly rested. Breakfast was the reliable and planned porridge/muesli mix, topped with banana and blueberries and a drizzle of honey. A glass of diluted orange juice, and back to bed to sit around and wait for digestion and our 8am taxi.

I dressed according to my lain out kit, topping it off with old trackie bottoms and a slouchy top, which were going to be discarded at the startline.

8am and we jumped in a taxi which took us to Blackheath Station. Being me, we were super early, which meant we could sneak in a quick coffee before I met with team MC (Camilla and Nick) I was nervous, and became even more so when I looked around me and realised that I had just experienced my first fail of the day (the first and last I was hoping) Every single runner was carrying around their red marathon bag with number afixed. I had my regular kit bag with number stuck haphazardly on the front. How could I be so organised yet fail to use the designated kit bag I was  given at the Expo, along with the other 36,000 runners?! Oh well, luckily Ray was with me (unlucky for him) and he had to take possesion of my inadequate kit bag. I felt naked without it, and proceeded to pat myself down every 2 minutes, in a cold sweat, thinking I was missing omething vital. Camilla firmly told me to be cool.

Sadly for us, the heavens opened 30 mins before the start. we queued for the toilets, like everyone elses there, then made our way to the start. A last she pee pit stop and we were ready to go.

I managed to squeeze up a pen with Camilla, closer to the start line. It took us about 10 mins to cross the start line. The first few miles felt really slow – it was very hard to get up any speed due to the volume of people.

The rest of the race was pretty uneventful. There was lots to look at and crowds pretty much along the whole route. I saw nearly everyone I hoped to – Ray first. It was a real lift each time I spotted someone!

Mentally I knew I could run 20 miles, and The Chasers were based at 22/23 so all I convinced myself I needed to do was to get this far, and then I was nearly there! The last 5 miles were tough – I had lost Camilla around mile 18. It was ok running on my own, perhaps a little easier, as were both finding it hard to run together, again, due to the sheer number of people running.

Just after mile 22 I felt my small toe on the right foot bubble up with a blister, it had been a bit niggly since the start. Bizarrely it actually burst as I was running, I had had to change my gait slightly to accommodate the pain, but once it ballooned then burst, my foot felt a lot more comfortable! My usual hips began to groan just after 18, and steadily creaked more as the race progressed. When I hit the Embankment, I looked around me and almost laughed at how laboured everyone’s running had become. (Why are we doing this?, I nearly shouted out) Every single runner was willing it be over.

Big Ben was in sight but played tricks on us, by refusing to get closer. Finally rounding the bend in front of Parliament there were just 600 yards to go. I hard my name shouted from the left, George and Georgia were there on the last stretch. I digged deep and sprinted toward the finish line.

I had done it. It was over. I forced my jelly legs a few steps further, where I was adorned with my medal and ushered toward a steward who removed my chip and was then ushered again toward a photographer – the photo is not the most attractive! The first thing I did was dig out my finishers foil and gingerly make my way to meet Ray under the letter K.

A few hugs later and we made our way, very slowly to George’s flat, where Mum, Dad, Em and Craig were. I had a painful shower, after mum had tended to my foot – the toe was still attached! Walking  and stairs for the next couple of days was almost impossible!

written by Charky