The mind is a very powerful tool. It can talk you out of things you like and love to do just because it wants to. It can also make you do things you never thought were possible!!
Going back to the start...
Last year I did the London marathon, and it was the hardest thing I had ever done. After I finished I said never again. A few days later the ballot opened for this year. "Come on" my husband said, lets both enter it and I will run around with you? After a bit of talking me into it , I agreed!!
Several months later when the places were given out, I received a magazine claiming "your in" where my husbands was delivered one day later saying ''don't be blue'' essentially meaning 'you're not in'! I was shocked. My first thought was that I can not go through this on my own again.
From that day on my mind was set...
Over the following months I made every excuse under the sun not to run. My mind was telling me I can't do it, I believed it. Long run days I was ill, short on time, or had something planned. I just hated the thought of running and hated running.
As the date got closer and closer, my guilt (for not running) continued to rise.
2 months before the marathon I knew I had to get some training in. That month was great, lots of 6 miles, an 11 and a 14. Yeah I'm on track!
Then the month prior to the marathon I got ill, became weak, tired out and exhausted. 'I can't do it' I thought 'I'm not fit enough'.. The last month was so bad, I barely made it out of the door.
Last week, just before the marathon was so much stress. Shall I do it? yes! no! I could defer it until next year?No its not fair on people who wanted to get in, lots of thoughts were running through my head, they alone wore me out.
Finally I decided to race. Everything was already planned. The hotel was booked to pick my race number up, my husband had arranged time off work, a hotel was also booked for the night before the marathon, and everybody was counting on me. Yes, yes I have to do it.
The day before race day as we travelled back down to London, I felt the symptoms of a cold. All afternoon and night I was shaking, my temperature seemingly going from boiling hot to freezing cold. Race day morning I woke up with a migraine and feeling sick. No, no I can not do it.
I did not want to let all my family down who had come to support me. My husband and 2 youngest children had planned a fun day out to watch me and all the other the runners travelling to and from tube stations along different parts of the course.
'I must do it' I thought. My only other choice was to watch the race, feel guilty about not racing and stand around feeling ill all day. I decided to do the race and promised to pull out if I felt too ill at any time.
With only minutes before making my way to the start, I found myself in the queue for the toilets which I eventually realised were women's urinals! I soon rushed off to find somewhere to have a good old fashioned wee. The thought of me using a urinal at least distracted me from my nervous state.
The atmosphere at the start was amazing and I was surprised to officially begin the race after a few short minutes (unlike last year which took me over 20). The first 5000m of the race felt slow; however I found out hours later that the pace was only a minute or so slower than my personal best for the distance! My husband thought I was going mad when I passed him a lot earlier than he expected. How can you not get carried away when there are hundreds of runners all around you with deafening support from spectators.
I just loved the first 10 miles of the race, my head was clear and my migraine had gone soon after the start.
Why had I been afraid of running and training up for the the marathon, when I was loving it so much today?
However, when I reached the 10 mile mark, the race began to get tough. I soon had to endure 3 miles of stitch followed by 13 miles of knee pain. It has taken me 2 marathons to realise why I get knee pain. Last year both went, this year only 1.
I realised yesterday that half way through my feet must have swelled with being hot, which makes your feet slightly swell making your shoes seem tighter. This year only 1 trainer was tight and painful, the knee that went. Surely when your lace goes tight it restricts you knee? Getting your trainers properly laced up is one of the small that need to be considered before a race. The second half of the race was hard work, painful and I was so pleased to push through it.
After 26.2 I realised I absolutely love running!!
Buzzing for the rest of the day, feeling very proud of myself and what I had achieved.
What could I achieved if my mind had let me train properly?
Maybe I will try and get in next year?
If you ever want to run a marathon, London is the one to try, so amazing. The crowd support is absolutely fantastic, 26.2 miles of cheering you on , (just make sure your name on your shirt). The cheering you get from everyone is unbelievable. At 25 miles I started to cry, made up with it all. I was in knee pain and the crowds were shouting my name "come on Claire" and when I started to run again they all cheered out loud. This is simply an amazing feeling.
The water stations were all a welcome sight, Lucozade sport drink were aplenty and simply perfectly timed, and gels were spot on. I could not praise this event enough...
A fantastic day in all...