April 6th: Brighton Marathon. I did no running for the whole week before this race, because I wanted to rest my shin. I was so worried about it, but it turns out I needn’t have been - it was fine! I met some people from a Facebook group I joined for runners, which was great; always nice to see a friendly face before a big run like this.
I promised myself, no negative thinking, stay positive all the way around the course!
Before the race the Argus newspaper took my photo, which felt a bit weird. The fundraisers from my chosen charity, JDRF, greeted me and we all had our photos taken together.
It was great to start running with other people from the Facebook group, rather than on my own. There was a fantastic atmosphere - both among us and in the whole crowd. Around mile 13 I started to feel a bit achey so I slowed the pace and plodded a little. The crowd were shouting my name - that’s the benefit of wearing a shirt with your name on it, you get a real boost from people shouting encouragement at you. I thought it would be a weird feeling, but I think I got used to it after Cranleigh. The other runners were a great encouragement too, shouting my name as they passed to encourage me to keep going. I had bought a new belt to carry gels, but it turned out to be a bit of a waste of money as all of the gels fell out! Luckily there were a lot of children around the course giving out jelly babies!
Apparently mile 20 is where everyone “hits the wall” and wants to stop. I was pleased that I managed to keep going. I felt very emotional and wanted to cry but not with pain! Although I did feel some pain, I am learning that most of the pain you feel in these big races is more in your head than your body, and it doesn't last forever. I did slow to a walk a couple of times, but I was just pleased not to need the toilet - when I ran this race last year I had to stop for the loo 4 times!
With 400 metres to go, I hit the wall I thought I’d dodged earlier. I really felt like I couldn't go on. Another runner gently nudged me in the back, and I made it to the finish. As I crossed the line, I just wanted to sit on the floor and cry. There was no familiar face there to congratulate me on one of my greatest achievements. A fellow runner greeted me, I picked up my medal and bag and found a friend I’d met the day before. We ate dinner together, and I caught a train home. I felt a bit deflated to be honest - it would have been nice to have someone there at the finish waiting for me, and to tell me how well I’d done. I suppose that’ll come next time though. I'm really proud of myself, I did so much better than when I ran this race last year! Onwards and upwards!
My work have started following me on Twitter now, and have put my story on their website to try and generate some interest and help me to get some sponsors. Everyone at work is a lot more aware of what I'm up to now, and they keep asking me about my running. I feel like a bit of a celebrity!
Next focus now is the Liverpool Rock n Roll, Ideally I would like to run this faster than Brighton, I have been doing a few sessions with my Personal Trainer / Running coach David Guest well recommended for strength and conditioning and of course weight loss, he deserves a mention as he is the one that's going to help me get stronger physically and mentally. Not much pressure for him now I have taken on a challenge of running a marathon a month