My London Marathon Story…

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…

Claire Justine

Hi, I am Claire and I created Claire Justine in 2011. I hope you enjoy reading my posts as much as I love writing them. Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us.

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  1. amy mayen
    19th April 2014 / 5:25 pm

    Sounds absolutely amazing CJ. I can barely "run" an aErrand, so I'm so impressed and proud of you!

    • Clairejustine oxox
      20th April 2014 / 8:12 pm

      Aww thank you Amy 🙂

  2. Kezzie
    19th April 2014 / 11:13 pm

    What an amazing account Claire!!! Well done, you did so well!!! I have never done any running event other than a Race for life 5k with my church (and being too competitive, I was the first of our group to finish!) and felt like dying after that! x

    • Clairejustine oxox
      20th April 2014 / 8:13 pm

      Thanks Kezzie, it has taken me all week to write 🙂

  3. Debbie Stinedurf
    20th April 2014 / 11:53 am

    Congratulations!!! You did it!

    • Clairejustine oxox
      20th April 2014 / 8:13 pm

      Thanks Debbie 🙂

  4. Barb
    20th April 2014 / 6:49 pm

    Good for you! I'm training for a 10 mile race and a half marathon, both about a month apart this spring. I would love to do a marathon some time. Your experience sounds amazing!

    • Clairejustine oxox
      20th April 2014 / 8:14 pm

      Aww great goals, my next goal is to pb at half marathon 🙂

  5. Sprout's House
    21st April 2014 / 6:12 am

    Well done you!! I can't ever imagine having the guts to do it and I quite enjoy running!! Hope you feel really proud of yourself!! xox

    • Clairejustine oxox
      23rd April 2014 / 8:26 am

      Aww thank you 🙂

  6. Spencer,s Arc
    21st April 2014 / 8:39 am

    Thats Fab well done and some great pics!

    • Clairejustine oxox
      23rd April 2014 / 8:26 am

      Thanks, my son and husband took these for me when I was running 🙂

  7. Jaime Oliver
    21st April 2014 / 9:53 am

    wow Claire you are truly inspiring what an amazing achievement! i so cant wait to hear if you do next years too! thanks for linking up with #MagicMoments

    • Clairejustine oxox
      23rd April 2014 / 8:27 am

      Aww thanks Jamie… I'm in the ballot for next years 🙂

  8. BurntApple
    21st April 2014 / 12:41 pm

    Great job! I just thought my knee pain was old age! I've only run half marathons and swear I will never be able to run a marathon but we'll see. I totally admire you. Good luck next year!

    • Clairejustine oxox
      23rd April 2014 / 8:28 am

      Aww thank you, I like half marathon distance, that my next goal a half pb! 🙂

  9. Margarett Murphy
    21st April 2014 / 2:22 pm

    Well done….your right to be so proud of yourself….and all your family and friends are so proud of you too !!!! Great account of your amazing day !!!

    • Clairejustine oxox
      23rd April 2014 / 8:28 am

      Aww thank you 🙂 xx

  10. Leanne Rain
    21st April 2014 / 3:04 pm

    Oh well done hunnie!!! Such a Proud Moment! 🙂 #MagicMoments

    • Clairejustine oxox
      23rd April 2014 / 7:51 pm

      Aww thank you 🙂

  11. Julie Corbisiero
    21st April 2014 / 3:38 pm

    Wow are you amazing or what! Congrats on the marathon Claire!

    • Clairejustine oxox
      23rd April 2014 / 7:53 pm

      Thanks Julie, was so hard work, ha 🙂

  12. Winnie
    21st April 2014 / 5:25 pm

    Claire – your are wonderful!! You did it – CONGRATULATIONS !!The word "running" scares me so I'm simply proud of you :)♥

    • Clairejustine oxox
      23rd April 2014 / 7:54 pm

      Aww thanks Winnie, ha running scares me too, so why do i run?,hehe 🙂

  13. Shay Noble
    22nd April 2014 / 9:30 am

    You are fantastic!! A massive well done!! I've been running for around 3 years but not attempted anything more than a 10k, maybe it's time to start thinking of bigger plans too? x

    • Clairejustine oxox
      23rd April 2014 / 7:55 pm

      Hi Shay, i love 10k distance, it is my favourite distance. I am training up for a good time now 🙂 half marathons are a good one to try?

  14. Emma Iannarilli
    22nd April 2014 / 8:17 pm

    Claire – you are amazing! It sounds like the most exhilarating experience, but walking upstairs kills me so I will just enjoy your glory.#MagicMoments

    • Clairejustine oxox
      23rd April 2014 / 7:59 pm

      Aww thanks Emma, I so get tired walking upstairs too, hehe 🙂

  15. Annie
    23rd April 2014 / 3:53 pm

    Your accomplishment is amazing, especially with pain and all. Running is not for me and I am always amazed by people who can run. I think your family being proud of you is one of the best rewards you can get!

    • Clairejustine oxox
      23rd April 2014 / 8:01 pm

      THanks Annie, the look on my husbands face, full of pride was amazing 🙂

  16. Morgan Prince
    23rd April 2014 / 6:32 pm

    OMG Well done you! That is really amazing. Years ago my dad ran the London marathon and said it was wonderful, I'm so glad you pushed through your doubt and that the crowd spurred you on so much. Congratulations. #AllAboutYou

    • Clairejustine oxox
      23rd April 2014 / 8:03 pm

      Aww thank you Morgan 🙂

  17. mum of three boys
    25th April 2014 / 11:49 am

    Well done Claire, we was there cheering the crowd on as my son had run in the mini marathon that morning. The day is so special, watching so many people run for a cause, your an amazing person x

    • Clairejustine oxox
      25th April 2014 / 9:16 pm

      Aw thanks for the lovely comment 🙂 it is such an amazing day as so many inspiring people …

  18. SarahMummy
    25th April 2014 / 3:27 pm

    Very well done! It sounds so tough, but you did brilliantly.

    • Clairejustine oxox
      25th April 2014 / 9:17 pm

      Thanks Sarah 🙂

  19. Patrick weseman
    28th April 2014 / 4:46 am

    Very cool. Very happy for you. A superjob well done and great pics.

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