So, I did it. I completed the 35th London Marathon. It wasn’t pretty. But I am SO pleased to have done it.
I hadn’t run in 3 weeks due to plantar fasciitis. My long run was a half marathon as I had flu as well. I had started to do a 16 mile run, but this was aborted at 12 miles due to the injury. I’m not suggesting that anyone runs with an injury. It’s a pretty stupid thing to do. I’m also not suggesting that anyone attempts a marathon as woefully undertrained as I was. It’s also a pretty stupid thing to do. But I wanted to do the London Marathon so badly and my physio said I could manage to get round, if I was careful. In an ideal world, I would have deferred to next year but as I won my place, this wasn’t an option.
Knowing I was going to be awful, I decided to dress up as the Twitter bird and go round in costume. It was hardly going to slow me down.
My visor is from the Crewroom. It’s awesome.
I got up at 7am, following a reasonable sleep, although the last hour was peppered with nightmares of all the trains being broken and the buses on strike. “Maranoia” was setting in. I got myself ready, had a coffee, enjoyed some toast and plenty of water and then Jimmy dropped me off in Lewisham so I could get the DLR to Greenwich for the Red Start. London was full of friendly people with people smiling and wishing me luck.
I arrived at my start at 9.20am and took some time to admire some of the awesome costumes people were running in. The toilet queue moved really quickly (hooray!), I ate a banana, affixed my tutu with some help from a random man, dropped my bag and made it into my start pen by 10.00am. No fuss, no stress, I was really pleasantly surprised by how easy and relaxed it all well. It was chilly in the pen and I was pleased to have taken a bin bag with me to wrap round to keep warm. Yes, in a world first, I ran a race where it wasn’t baking hot.
The race started on time and it wasn’t long before we were edging closer and closer to the start line. I suddenly decided I needed another loo break and jumped over the fence to dash off to the toilets. Negotiating portaloos with a burlesque tutu is not the easiest thing in the world to negotiate, especially when it is pinned to the waistband of your shorts to stop it moving and chafing. I made it back in time and shortly we were crossed the start line – only 26 minutes after the start.
I told myself to be careful and just enjoy the race. I didn’t know how my foot would hold up and being undertrained, it wasn’t a good idea to try to do too much. When I started training, I desperately wanted to do sub 5 hours and up until mid February, training was nicely on target on this. Unfortunately, on the day, the target was to just complete. I told myself to run slowly, walk the uphills and just see what happened.
I crossed the starting line at the same time as the 5 hour pacer and was surprised that I kept him in sight for the first 10k or so. I was also surprised that the first 5k was quite up and down, but I stuck to my plan of walking the ups anyway.
0-5k: Yay! I’m doing the London Marathon! Who put the hills here? Oh wow, London Marathon. LONDON MARATHON! LONDON MARATHON! Hang on, why did that priest just throw Holy Water over me?
5-10k: Garmin says 1.10 10k. That’s pretty even splits. I feel good. I meant to do the first bit slower though. Oh well. LONDON MARATHON LONDON MARATHON!!! Ok, I need to stop running next to this rhino, I’m not getting any attention. Right, slow down. Oh look, another rhino. Bah.
10-15k: This is really fun! Enjoying this! Those Mario Karts are cool. How is this bloke running along singing kareoke? Sweet Caroline, lalalala, HOW?! Yay, Dave and Michelle bring oranges, sweets and hugs.
15-20k: My foot is starting to hurt. This isn’t so fun. And I’m not Tinkerbell. I also need a wee. Oooh, Tower Bridge is approaching. I’m not walking over Tower Bridge! And run run run run.
20-25k: My garmin says I’ve run more than the mile markers. Clearly my garmin is right and this accurately measured course of many years is wrong. Nothing to do with the weaving and winding for hugs I’ve been doing either. Nope. No way. My foot hurts. I’m miserable. I need a wee. Yay, finally, a quiet toilet. It has no toilet roll. Blast. Yuck. And onwards. Ouch, foot. Yay, medical tent. Massage and tape it is.
25-30k: I’m miserable. I hurt. I’m not a blue fairy. Or Tinkerbell. Oh look, there’s Louise! Yay! Cue much crying and cuddles and some encouragement from Louise the Bandit Runner. Waves from Helen 1. Cuddles from Alma and Rachel. A bit more plodding. Some shuffling. Some swearing at my garmin as it registers 18.5 miles before 18 miles. Cuddles from Dave and Michelle. Sobbing at the side of the road. A dark place. And I’m still not a blue fairy.
30-35k: My garmin dies. I see another medical tent. More massage. Foil blankets. Shivering. Another loo stop. Still no toilet roll. Lament not carrying tissues along with me. Someone playing rap with the lyrics “999 and fight for your life” next to the ambulance station. Man asking if I want a swig of beer. Is the pope Catholic? Of course I want his beer. Drink some of his beer. Take half a Krispy Kreme doughnut offered. Feel much better. Further cuddles from Dave and Michelle who tell me I look like a different person. Shuffle off doing the penguin waddle feeling great. Collide with an elephant.
35-40k: Walking and slow shuffling. I really want this to be over now. Play nip and tuck with a woman who overtakes me when I’m walking, then walks a bit so I can overtake her. Man drops flags and asks me to bend down and pick it up. Like a fool I do. OUCH. Why did I do that? Man on phone to someone “I’ve just been overtaken by a f***ing blue fairy”. I’m STILL not a blue fairy. Woman shouts “tweet tweet”. I grin.
40-42 and a bit k: Spot Helen 1 and Dan. Feel happy that nearly there. Dan tells me to set off the speed camera. Helen yells that I’m actually starting to overtake people. I put on a small sprint to make them laugh. By sprint, I mean a 11 minute mile. Dave and Michelle on other side of road. Cram my face with last Haribo Tangfastic and tell them I’m gonna run to the end. Mile 25. Yay! Shuffle, shuffle, waddle, walk. No, must run. Overtaking people. “Come on blue fairy!” I’M NOT A BLUE FAIRY! “Come on burlesque girl!” Look around, realise it’s me. Shimmy. 800m. 400m. 200m. Run run run! VICTORY!
End: Falls over in medical tent.
What was my time? A fairly dismal 6 hours, 19 minutes and 11 seconds, over 1 hour and 10 minutes slower than my first marathon. But I was undertrained. I was injured. I was in costume. I lost about 30-40 minutes in stops for loo and medical treatment. I could not have done anymore. Ideal circumstances? Hell no, but I wasn’t leaving that course without my medal.
I’ve done London. And now I want more!
Dave, Michelle, Helen 1, Dan, Jessica, Alma, Rachel, Louise, Cathy, Cassie, Hester, Amber, Will, Andrew, Prad, everyone on Twitter, Facebook, UK Fitness Bloggers, everyone who sponsored, the crowds of London, Jimmy, the Queen, Johnny Depp, the ducks in the pond, Pingu the Penguin, I cannot thank you enough for all your support and encouragement. Seriously. Thank you.
It may not have been what I wanted, but from a traumatic birth last year to here…I’ve done it. Thank you.
It’s not too late to sponsor me here for PANDAS (pre and post natal depression) and HFT. Alternatively, you can also text TWEE49 £AMOUNT to 70070 to donate to Macmillan.
And hey, I even made The Daily