That number will forever be my marathon PB. I am done with that distance but I am also an official London Marathon finisher. I have to say, writing that feels pretty good. So here is how it went.
Today seems to have started in another life time. After a pretty bad night’s sleep we got sorted, did some yoga and set off. The tube and DLR ride took about 30 mins, the walk to the assembly area another 15 or so. We went to the loos, sat for a bit and then handed in our bags, then we sat a bit more. We entered the starting pens about 9.45 and soon we were moving forwards and then we were off, just like that we were running the London Marathon.
The first 5 miles were fabulous, we kept going with the flow for a while and then stopped at the loos just before mile 1. The early loo stop strategy had really worked for us during Dopey so we adopted it here. Then we went on. I got to just before mile 6 and suddenly felt really poorly. I couldn’t really explain but it felt like I was going to pass out. It wasn’t poor fuelling or hydration, I know from training runs that feels different. I actually thought I was going to have to stop there and then. I took an extra walk break and then we were at the Cutty Sark and the crowds lifted me a bit and I could keep going. I did have to put in extra walks though. Again the thought I might not make it crossed my mind.
Just before mile ten was the Too Fat to Run cheering station and I needed that. I got a big hug and lots of high fives and then we were gone. I was ok for a mile or so and then the funny feeling came back. Not quite dizzy, not quite nausea, not quite anything but most definitly not quite right. Kath said she thought I should stop. I didn’t want to. We pushed on. We walked most of Tower Bridge, I’d wanted to run it but I just couldn’t. Half way came. There were other runners going the opposite way on the other side of the road, they were at 22 ish miles and I longed to be there and wondered if I would be, didn’t seem likely.
At 14 miles I was ready to quit. I just didn’t feel right. I don’t know why I didn’t stop, too stubborn maybe. I just kept walking and crying, I did a lot of crying around mile 14. We agreed we’d keep walking for a bit and see if I could continue. So we did, we walked, we walked fast, as fast as we could and every now and again I managed a little jog, just to the next traffic lights, just to the km or mile marker, just to the bus stop. Every bit of me was screaming to stop but that’s how we ticked off the miles, one after the other, 15, 16,17 and then we saw 18 and I’d decided I wanted to finish. I felt better in myself, no longer not quite right but just fatigued and my hips, lower back and thighs had had enough, but 19 miles came and so did 20 and then it began to seem possible.
I walked most of the Dopey marathon and that was miserable. This wasn’t really miserable, we had a few giggles along the way and I tried to take it all in. The crowds were fantastic and hearing people call out your name helps massively. So no, not miserable but also not quite what I’d had in mind. I didn’t want to be in this much pain and this knackered at 20 miles. But then maybe I should have got my arse of the sofa and trained more…
21 came, then 22, 23 seemed to take forever but it did come as did 24. Just over two miles left running along slowly but running quite often now, the Thames on my left, the familiar views, the embankment, 25 miles. As well as my lower back, hips and thighs my right ankle has now had enough and my left calf is seriously unhappy and still, somehow I jog more in the last mile than I have the previous 12. Somehow, I make it, somehow I run across the finish line. And cry, and then giggle and then do both at the same time.
All the time Kath has been by my side, talking to me. I know she’s in pain, she must be if my back is this bad but she keeps pushing me on, keeps reminding me that we are Dopey and that together we can do anything. She’ll never get the credit I do for running the marathon because she won’t shout about it as much but really she ran it for us both today. She broke through her pain barrier and mine and kept us putting one foot in front of the other.
Could I have done better today? I could have trained better but as things stood going into the marathon, no I couldn’t have. I had nothing left, I didn’t hold anything back. I left everything I had out there on the streets of London and I am bloody proud that we finished, finished running across the line.
We were meant to go to an after party for the Ron Pickering Memorial Fund but neither of us felt very well and it took us ages just to walk to get our bags. We wanted to come back to the hotel, stretch, have a bath, eat etc. So we did. I’d love to tell you I’m out celebrating but I’ve had a little bottle of peroni, gallons of water and I’m ready for bed!
So not the greatest marathon ever but if you think slogging it out and not giving up counts for something, you can still support me here: My page: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/jessguth