Tuesday, April 23, 2013

London marathon

So my journey to London started at 4 am Sat morning when I left the house to catch a train to London it was a rather emotional train ride the events of the last week starting to take its toll. I held it together.... Just.
 I arrived in Farningham home of Leeky lee by 10.30 and had a nice brunch and a few games with me ole mucker Fletch.  
We arrived at the expo to pick up our numbers and had a wander around. I  bought some new compression calf guards and blagged a cheap visor and free water body.  The guy we dealt with was Chrissie Wellingtons cousin so I asked him to marry me... He declined(the cheek). The expo was huge and I was starting to understand the full scale of London marathon.  We met Cath (so good to catch up) and a few others for pasta party then we headed back to lord Leek's pad for wine. ( wine I hear you say... Yes I blame that Mrs Bedders such a bad influence) Not wanting to let down the poppyfield challenge down Lee and I did 30 mins yoga. ( no comment on tight pants here either) I was so tired it was such a long day and about 12.30 I managed to get some sleep. (Its here I wont mention the air bed incident....) What happens on tour stays on tour!!!!!
I didn't sleep very well and even though alarm was set for 7 I woke up at 4. It's funny when you sleep at other peoples houses and you try and be really quiet. By the time 7 am arrived I shouted for Lee to get up.
The usual, eating, bumbling around making sure everything is ready, lots toilet visits but we left  at 8.15 ish.

I cried the whole journey couldn't stop myself never normally cry before a race.  We parked up and started the mile walk to the start. Lee left for the red start and I dumped my case and got in the ladies urinal queue.  Now nothing can prepare you for a ladies urinal. You picked up your cardboard wee she and inside there was lots mini urinals. As I turned the corner I was met with lots of ladies bums sticking out. It was a bizarre sight and a source of amusement and laughter for all. But the queues went down really quick and it worked. I decided to jump pens, I didn't want to start at the back so I ended up in pen 5 instead of 8 and had my sights on the 3.45 pacer.

We had 30 seconds silence... Not going to even voice my opinion on that!!! The race started and I was surprised  I  crossed the start line quite quickly. 
The first 3 miles was a nightmare, so many people , very congested and as normal I took at fall at about 3 miles. We turned a corner and I was unaware of the humps and went down after losing my footing and managed to take down a few runners with me luckily no one was hurt and the magical thing was that these arms just came out of nowhere and scooped us up and almost lifted me off the ground until I found my feet.  Such a strange feeling. About a mile previous to that I had rolled my ankle but I managed to get through that as well. We ran through a tunnel quite early where they were playing drums, the acoustics were AMAZING and my whole body tingled with excitement.  

So many people had said they would be in certain places but I knew Mell would be near mile 12. I managed to text her and find out what side she would be on.  I saw her as I went past so did went back for a quick hug.... That hug must have lasted a good 10 mins as I'm sure I could have got 3.45(joking)
That hug gave me a lift and carried on.  At  16 miles I started to feel that my wheels were going to get a little wonky so I risked taking a GU gel.... Small little sips and no reaction.  In my head I needed to get to 20 miles and the miles 16 to 20 were probably the hardest and I often found myself welling up. I kept saying in my head that this was for Ian and it kept me going.  Once I got to 20 miles I  got a second wind .The crowds increased and so did the support there was just a constant roar. 
Lots people have started to walk by then and you had to keep running around them. I risked another GU gel at mile 22 but I didn't really need it so I ended up throwing most of it away I knew that MJ was at mile 24 with Union Jack and as I came out the tunnel I scanned the crowd but couldn't see... I did hear lots/shouting and turned back to see them all... Gutted I was on wrong side. It seemed like I was constantly running past people and when I checked the stats I ran a very constant pace. 

The crowd just got louder and louder... Nothing can prepare you for it and the last 3 miles seemed to fly by.

I saw the 800 m to go sign and knew I was near the end.... That was the long 800 m.... I knew could make a sub 4 and pushed it to the line.  I had done it sub 4... I didn't feel to bad... Legs coped, no burning, it was all good. It was at this time I wanted to burst into tears but I couldn't until I found someone I knew. When Lee turned up at the meeting point it was time for hugs and  tears.

We couldn't find the others so we went for a pint. We got searched before we could enter bar which kinda felt bit insulting she went right through my suitcase.... I told her that she might find some sweaty clothes.  I never tasted a glass of wine that seemed like heaven's nectar itself. 

Time to board the train and make the journey home. Late trains meant missing connecting trains and ended up spending a lot of time sitting around when all I wanted to do was be at home in my bed.

A great weekend meeting old friends and finally meeting with Lee who was the perfect host and gentleman.  He is such a good friend and he helped make my first London marathon experience something I will never forget.
So 4 hours sleep and a bottle of wine didn't deter me from my Pb. Successful nutrition test without any problems and I discovered coconut  and chia seeds gel is quite possibly the best pre race nutrition you can get. What a buzz!!!!!

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