Looking back, a few days later since last Sunday, my view on completing the Virgin London marathon has definitely changed.
At the time when I was crossing the finish line at five hours 18 minutes (slightly slower than I had initially anticipated, but nevertheless, I was pleased to have finished) the only emotion I could feel, if anything, was relief – and even that was slight. There was no pride, no euphoria, no excitement.
I was in agony. My left hip felt tortured – it had begun hurting very prematurely at mile seven which was not ideal, the other muscles throughout my body were in complete shock (muscles I hadn’t even realised I had needed whilst running!); they had been on a different planet to where my head was since about mile 16, and my mind was completely exhausted from fighting against every screaming whim in my body to stop moving, but instead focus on putting one step in front of the other.
This slightest movement was apparently, all my body could muster.
But hindsight is such a wonderful thing and I realise now how much, pain included, I loved it.
Being amongst my fellow like-minded 37,000 runners, each with their own story to tell and midst the wildest and wackiest of costumes and characters; old (I heard the oldest participant was 101 years old!), young, rhinos, cookie monsters, four legged donkeys and barefoot runners (yes that’s right, literally barefoot runners! Come to think of it, one lady I saw was wearing crocs – ouch!), it was a privilege to be a part of the world’s largest and most famous running event.
The London Marathon was without doubt an unbelievable life experience, one that I will never ever forget but I’ll be honest, for the entire five hours 18 minutes I was questioning what on earth possessed me to be there, and I swore that there would be nothing in the world that would ever get me to go through this pain and exhaustion ever again.
From my experience, it doesn’t sound like much fun does it?!
But now I’m recovered and I look back on 22 April 2012, having forgotten all the temporary pain and all the temporary fatigue and I only have long lasting poignant memories of normal everyday people coming together, sharing their stories and passion for a good old challenging run, being supported to the absolute maximum by those that love them and by those who have never met them, and it fills me with absolute pride that I was a part of it.
So, I’m ready to go on my first little run since and I think just maybe one day, I would do it all again…