0 to 26.2 in a year and a half!
Fast forward six months and I was thinking ‘what have I done’, I’m no runner….groan! But because I do these crazy things for Crisis (homeless charity), I had to carry on!
The training went ok until I picked up a ‘niggle’ about six weeks before the race that floored me for two weeks. I was convinced my race was over but with some rest, a bit of physio and a lot of grim determination, I got going again, but with only four weeks to go. I wasn’t sure I was ready for 26.2!
For all the doubts I had, my fellow runners at Elvet Striders had faith in me and a few days before I left for Bonny Scotland, they presented me with two little plaques to put on my trainers. One said ‘DREAM BELIEVE ACHIEVE’ and the other ‘WITH YOU EVERY STEP’! How could I fail with this kind of support…..?
Standing at the start, I just kept remembering some advice I had been given; make it a great race rather than a good time! I wanted to enjoy the whole experience and despite being nervous I was beyond excited!
At last, we were off, the bagpipers a distant hum, it was time to run my Marathon… The first few miles were downhill, great for my confidence and nerves! Apart from a bit of a hill at mile five, I was going great. Around the 7-mile mark, I got my first glimpse of Loch Ness. It was such a beautiful sight. I had to stop and take a photo. This is why I picked this one for my first, I thought, and off I went again!!
The next few miles were fairly flat and I was really comfortable. I was loving it! I talked to people from Australia, Manchester, Stonehenge and Sweden. So many people had travelled such a long way but it was easy to see why. The view just kept getting better; even the rain showers brought amazing rainbows!
Then we hit the hill I had been told about at around 19 miles. I was tiring by then and knew I would struggle to run up it, so I admitted defeat and walked up!
At the 20 mile marker, I kept waiting to hit the dreaded wall that so many people had told me about… I waited and waited, but it never came! I was still smiling and chatting. I was still loving it. Yeyyyy!
Once the ‘nasty’ hill was out of the way I told myself only 10k to go and how many 10k’s have I done!!!
It was a lovely run back into Inverness and despite getting tired and a couple of nasty blisters, I was still smiling! The sun came out and the crowds were shouting and singing along the route and more bagpipes! Just the boost I needed, I told myself to take it steady and you can finish this!
The crowds that lined the finish route along the River Ness were just as encouraging and as soon as I crossed the finish line, I cried. I just couldn’t quite believe I had run a Marathon! Me running a Marathon. I couldn’t run a mile two years ago!!!
And so my first Marathon did turn out to be a GREAT RACE!!