This story starts at the end
I completed my first marathon on Sunday 4th October 2015 in 4:39:18, on a lovely sunny day in Chester. However, what I experienced at the end what was not what I expected..and frankly I’m still a little confused.
So, here my my story….
Usual pre-race routines went to plan. I ate a low diary content pizza the night before (pasta would have been ok too). I slept as poorly as I usually do before a race. I was well hydrated and taper had gone very well! The morning of the race, I had a little walk before breakfast (fruit, dry bread and ham) then wandered off to Chester Race course to meet @trenthamfolk, my running partner.
So far so good, no nerves and feeling fairly relaxed.
Lining up, I felt like a we were a herd of animals, about to be let loose. A surreal moment for me which quickly passed as we got going.
Now this isn’t going to be a mile by mile account of what the race was like. What I will do is highlight a few key points in the race which have really stuck with me. So here we go….
- Mile 12 I really needed a wee! At the next water station there were 3 portaloos that were FULL. My portaloo reminded me of the ones at Download Festival and if anyone has ever been to that festival, then you will have a pretty good idea of the state it was in!
- I discovered I am happy to run with someone….but I am not a talker. This surprised me. I thought I would chat the whole way as I intended to take it easy. After a few miles, I lost any desire for conversation. Conclusion…I’m miserable!
- Around mile 14 I felt tired. Not leg tired, just upper body tired. No idea what that indicates! This also meant I felt it was quite difficult to eat or drink.
- Mile 17/18 stomach ache from hell hit…and it hit hard. It was at this point I had to tell my running partner to go ahead without me. I had started to introduce a few walk breaks at this point. I decided to walk until my stomach had settled down, not knowing if this would even happen! Weirdly no panic or worries set in. I felt calm and in control.
- Walking for nearly a mile did me the world of good! My stomach had settled and I started to feel alive again. I managed to drink again and with the heat, water was definitely needed! Shriveled up prune sprang to mind.
- Mile 19 I felt great and I started to get into the swing of running again. I still had no desire to push the pace and I was very content to just plod along in my own comfort zone. I put my music on (aftershockz), had a bit of a sing song and played air drums. I recommend everyone to play air drums at least once!
- Miles 19-25.5 I had lots of random short conversations with a variety of people and topics ranging from ‘impromptu toilet breaks’ to ‘how much cake is too much’. Needless to say we all agreed you can never have too much cake. This was by far my favourite section of the race. Yes, I did walk the hills 😀
- Mile 25.5 and people were shouting ‘come on, the last bit is easy’. I was not a happy bunny! Yes, the race wasn’t hard, but it wasn’t easy either! Being told that really changed my mood but as soon as I saw that racecourse finish line, I was happy again. I am so fickle!
- Mile 26.2 and crossing the finish line. I expected to feel a wave of emotions flood over me. What did I feel??….Absolutely nothing. No elation, no ‘thank F*** for that’ ….nothing. It was just like I had finished a training run. An uneventful end. I crossed the line, grabbed my medal and goody bag and waited at the side to see my husband, all the time wondering when I was going to feel something. I gave up waiting for the flood of emotions so I went home
So, what I have learnt from my first marathon? I have learnt I am an emotionless robot that isn’t that much into talking during races. But I am good at remaining calm and focused.
Perhaps I was cultured in a lab?