It is now nearly a week ago since I ran the Brighton Marathon, there is so much that I want to say about it so it may need to be over several posts…
Running a marathon is almost a surreal experience. I spent over 4 months of my life training for this one race. I went out in the pouring rain, freezing cold, wind and sunshine and ran literally hundreds of miles.
The training brings its highs and lows. Some of the highs are the feeling that you get after a really good run, you know when everything just comes together and you feel invincible as though you could run forever. The low point for me was the 19th Feb when the injury to my knee really surfaced, mixed with tiredness and feeling a bit emotional and I though I was going to have to pull out of the marathon.
Running the actual marathon is an amazing high, yes, it is painful, but I loved every minute of it. I have met people that I wouldn’t have met any other way and made friends with a group of runners whose only aim is to support each other, no matter how fast (or slow!) each person is. I think it is this that has restored some of my faith in the basic goodness in everyone that took a bit of a battering last year.
I know everyone says the stretch by the power station is hard, not that many supporters, a long “stretch” and coming at 20 miles… but I found the quite sound of everyone running quite reassuring, people in front of me, people behind me and people coming the other way. I used this time to collect my thoughts and have a few miles of “quiet” time before returning to the crowds cheering along the seafront.
I can’t get over how many people cheered for me, people I’ve never met, including the guys outside the pub in Hove, pints in hand shouting encouragement; above all I think it is the support from the crowd that made the marathon such fun.
About mile 25.5 I saw my son Ollie who was a marshal for the marathon; It was great to see him, I was beginning to think I had missed him completely. After that I did begin to cry, I suddenly realised I was doing this, I was actually running a marathon and I WAS going to finish ! I had a sudden surge of energy and my legs seemed to come back to life and want to run faster.
I was sobbing as they gave me my medal and then someone asked me what size t-shirt I wanted; all I remember is thinking “How do I know, I’ve just run 26.2 miles, I don’t know anything about t-shirts !”
I carried on walking for a while so I didn’t seize up completely and thats when I realised quite how much my knee was hurting so I took some ibuprofen, had a banana and drink, collected my bag and got changed.
For me it was quite a slow hobble back to the station, bending my right leg was quite painful although I did make it round with only one little blister on my feet 🙂
Would I do it again ? Yes. Maybe not next year but 2014 I hope to be back running a marathon again. I have some other things I still want to achieve but they will be separate posts…
Important lessons learnt
1. I drank too much, it cost me 20 mins queuing for the loos….
2. When queuing for the loo choose the que with no/very few men in it… If they need a wee they normally use the bushes. Enough said.
3. Have your name on your shirt. Just do it !
4. The mental preparation is as important as the physical