The marathon is over…

…and yes, I finished it!

I’m very pleased with myself and not in too much pain today, just stiff and I think a toenail might be about to go, but it could be a lot worse! I didn’t walk at all, which was one of my goals. I missed my time goal by a few minutes, but actually, that makes sense, as some of my training runs didn’t match up to the timings that they should have either. I’m happy that I really pushed myself at times when it would have been easier to slow down.

I didn’t hit the dreaded “wall”, hopefully because I did long runs in training and learned how to keep myself hydrated. I did have foot cramps that kept trying to come on, but I just mentally thought to myself “NO, you’re not coming on now, just sod off and go away”, and do you know what, they did.

My advice if you’ve got a marathon coming up:

  • Thinking¬† about it was worse than actually doing it. I had some real moments of terror of the unknown in the past few days.
  • Trust your training programme. All my training paid off – I saw a lot of people who either hadn’t trained enough or had some kind of disaster on the day. Don’t get me wrong, it was still painful and hard, but it was about what I expected it would be. If you haven’t been able to do all your training, don’t torture yourself by doing the race!
  • Keep eating and drinking your tried and tested fuels, it really helps! Don’t wait until you are hungry or thirsty. And no experimenting on the day!
  • Be prepared to change your planned outfit if the weather is different than the forecast.

There were many highlights of the day, the weather was perfect, the race itself was perfectly organised, and the 100,000 spectators and volunteers were all so enthusiastic. There were some low points on the course and the last few miles were ridiculously hard, but that was the same for everyone around me. I’d definitely do one again (could it be my new yearly hobby??) so it couldn’t have been that bad!

This post feels a little flat, which is kind of how I feel now. There is so much I could say about the whole experience but I think I still can’t quite believe it’s happened and now it’s all over. It really was amazing and if you’re thinking about doing one yourself – do it!

Good luck to those of you who have got your own races coming up!

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20 thoughts on “The marathon is over…

  1. Congratulations on completing your marathon. You are to be commended for pushing through the barriers, both in your preparations and on race day. I am sure this is the start of something wonderful and hope to hear more of your efforts and adventures.

    • I can’t quite believe it – I’m glad there were witnesses! It seems a very long time ago after only a week. Now I’ve got to beat my own time next year! Thanks for your encouragement along the way and believing I could do it.

  2. Hello you :-) How are you doing? I bet you are really proud of yourself for completing a marathon, you have my up most regard. I feel a bit like that about exercising, the thinking about it is 10 times, if not more, worse than when you actually do it. I am starting a 6 week exercise program on Monday. I want the exercise bug back (I lost it when I hurt myself and couldn’t workout).

    I can ask your advice on motivating myself to get back into it, have you any tips??

    I quit smoking nearly 5 weeks ago now exercise works on so many levels, so now I’m off the cigs I can start to build my endurance up, it’s just the ‘Getting started’ part.

    So any advice is surely appreciated. Immie :-)

    • Hi Immie, strangely your new blog posts still don’t come up in my Reader any more, which is really annoying! Bad WordPress.

      The marathon seems like forever ago now! I’m very much out of my exercise and eating regime already.

      I think you just have to start, unfortunately there is no magic trick. Once you’ve forced yourself to do it a few times with no excuses it will just become a habit that you don’t think twice about doing any more. I think the first few times are always painful though. For me the thing I like about running is that it also affects the rest of my life: I have to eat better, it’s a great stress release, it relaxes my body after being at work all day, it gives me thinking time, etc. It might help you to think of the big picture rather than ” I am exercising for 45 minutes”. Let me know how it goes please!

  3. Wow! So amazing – you did it!!! And you didn’t stop. Its something I am terrified of, because once I stop I find it so hard to start again. That’s why I am more a hike, run kind of person. You have inspired me to continue *cough* *cough* start my training again this week with more enthusiasm. What an amazing achievement and very encouraging to hear you are thinking about next year already.

    • I know! It seems like forever ago now and it’s only been 3 weeks. I went out on my first “post marathon” run today. Not much fun, but I just need to keep ticking over for a couple of months now until I can start training for something else again. Thank you for your kind words and don’t forget you’re pretty inspirational yourself with your Kili adventures. I’ve got a friend who did it and it really didn’t sound enjoyable at all.

      I now think that anyone can do a marathon as long as they actually complete their training programme and have learned to eat and drink enough on the way. I really wasn’t sure if I could run the whole thing, but I really think that was easier than walking and having different muscles seize up.

      I look forward to reading about your training! I’ve got to say keeping my weekly diary on the blog about the training was helpful, even if no one was reading it, it just makes you feel publicly accountable.

    • Thank you! Heavy experience is a good way to describe it. I’ve signed up to do the same race again and will just see how the training goes…I’m not very enthusiastic at the moment but hoping it will be more fun when I actually start again (in 2 weeks!!).

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