Firstly, I owe so many of you a huge thank you for your support in the run up to the London Marathon. From those who donated to my fund-raising page, to those who bought items from my Style Guile Sale. To those of you who bought the cakes that I made, who offered Good Luck wishes via cards, email, text, Facebook, Instagram and twitter and of course thanks to those for the words of wisdom that rang in my ears: "Your brain will always tell you to stop but just keep turning the legs." Wise words indeed at mile 25 when I really DID. JUST. WANT. TO. STOP!
And of course thanks to my friend Libby (I would never have done it without her) and to our long suffering families who endured the journey with us, turning out on the day complete with banners and food for afterwards and by no mean logistical feat, making sure that they saw us as often as they could.
After all of your support, it's only fair that I share a few photos. Not the most flattering but I love them nonetheless. All of them are taken somewhere between miles 14.75 and mile 22 - apart from the last one which, as is pretty evident, was taken at the end.
The day was fantastic. In fact the whole weekend was fantastic. It was really like a girls' weekend away for us with a bit of running thrown in. We were disciplined and didn't do any shopping, or sight seeing as we needed to keep off our legs - but we went to the Mae Deli (Deliciously Ella's Deli) for our pre race dinner of sweet potato, roasted veg, rice and hummus plus (in my case at least) the most enormous piece of peanut fudge brownie - which was delicious.
In our hotel room the night before, we managed to spend five hours doing nothing other than eating, fixing our race numbers to our tops, sorting out kit, attaching the chip to our trainers, checking and re-checking kit and our race bags. Talk about a lot of time spent doing - well not a lot really.
As to the race itself, the volume of runners was phenomenal. The atmosphere was incredible - a bit like a huge party but also tinged with sadness given the causes for which people were running. Oddly the miles whizzed by which sounds crazy. How can you run for 4 hours and for it to go so quickly? A lot of time is spent checking your watch, altering your pace, overtaking, taking on water, remembering to eat, watching for the family, checking you're still both where you're meant to be and so on.
We were really, really lucky. Neither of us got cramp, stitch or blisters. Neither of us needed the loo or hit the wall (well it wasn't likely really given the flapjack, sweets and fudge that we managed to get down us!) and nor did we need to walk. The only real surprise - other than finishing - was that we both got slight sunburn. For those who like a bit of race geek talk, all of our 5k splits were pretty even, averaging about 27/28 mins per 5k. We finally came in at 4.00.13 - just a few seconds more than we would have ideally liked - but not enough to go for a re-match!
You see that's the good thing about having a Physiotherapist for an Aunt. Although it doesn't really look much fun does it? That lactic acid stuff hurts - but only really when I stopped.
And another by product? For a few minutes I couldn't talk, so the only way to retrieve my running bag from the lorries that they are put on was to lift my top and thrust my chest forward with my race number on it to the young man who was handing the bags back. Not once, but twice. Because still I couldn't speak. And now I bet neither can he. Traumatised he must be. Traumatised.
I'm so happy that I managed to raise just over £2000. Thank you again for all of your support. Please do let me return the favour sometime. Beth x