I ran the London marathon…

Yesterday I ran the London marathon.

Despite the fact the medal is laying less than a metre from me, when I look at that sentence it still doesn’t seem real.

Yesterday was an absolute slog and an absolute blur at the same time. I ran for 5 hours and 17 minutes – that is a bloody long time, but there are big stretches of the race I already don’t remember.

To say that I enjoyed running the London marathon would be lying. And I hate that that’s the case. I’m sorry to anyone who would’ve run it and loved every step. I hated every minute of training for this race – once I got injured and I couldn’t do many of my long runs, the whole thing just made me really stressed out.

Yesterday was hard. I had been having stomach ‘issues’ in the few days leading up to the race and on the day itself they didn’t go away. I ran from 8 mile onwards with my stomach constantly cramping. From half way I had to adopt a walk/run strategy as it was so uncomfortable. Stress does funny things to your body.

I wouldn’t have got through the race without two people – Stephanie and Michelle. Steph was with me at my house before the race, made my breakfast, taped up my knees and escorted me to the start. She was then at 14.5 miles, exactly where I needed her and got me round the bleak Isle of Dogs and Canary Wharf section and in to mile 21. She was my marathon saviour.

Michelle then took me from mile 21 to the finish, and was pulled out by a lovely and understanding marshall with 400m to go. She took me through the miles where I just wanted it to be over and reminded me to just take it all in and enjoy the moment – “smile, you are running London”. By this point, I was much happier walking, so we did. We walked a lot of the Embankment stretch and she helped me appreciate the spectacle I was a part of.

For the first 8 miles, I was flying. I was tucked in a few metres behind the 4:30 pacer, I passed through 10k at 1:03 and I loved running around Greenwich and Cutty Sark. But after that, it was just tough. After a loo stop, I never really found my rhythm again. There were several moments where I did not know how I was going to make it to the finish line. But somehow I did.

I’m really, really glad I’ve run the London marathon. I’m so grateful I got pulled from the ballot and I’m over the moon I got to experience my hometown run from the other side of the fence.

But I’m also content knowing that marathons aren’t for me. I’ve run two and although I’m proud of myself for doing them, I have no desire to do another one anytime soon. Maybe that will change at some point in the future, but right now, no.

I’m really thankful I knew I loved running before training for this race. If I had been through all the training and running the marathon in isolation, it would have put me off running for life. Running a marathon is hard. And it’s really quite far. I can’t wait to just stick to halves.

Today I feel a bit dazed and a lot broken.

I’m so glad it’s done.

———-

Massive shout out to everyone who I saw on the course:

Sarah in Rotherhithe and then right at the end

Angharad from my work

Laureen and Lawrence in Bermondsey

My mum at mile 13

Gosia who had loads of balloons for me at Tobacco Dock (so sorry I didn’t see you!)

Charlie who managed to get my attention from the other side of the road

Vicky for the hugs in Canary Wharf

Kiera, Beki, Becca, Jen and Elle – the TNR ladies at 23.6 who gave me a boost for those final couple of miles

Leeanne for the call out over the megaphone at the final corner

And of course my amazing Run Dem family at mile 21 – it was a total blur of noise, tears and confetti but knowing you had my back made my race

28 Comments

  1. April 27, 2015 / 10:37 am

    Hi Lizzy well-done! Just intrigued by the taping on your knees – what’s it for and how does it work?

    • April 27, 2015 / 4:42 pm

      It’s support tape. Had dodgy knees for a while running up to the race. Convinced it’s mostly psychosomatic but my legs definitely felt more supported!

      • May 8, 2015 / 2:45 pm

        Hope these knees are bearing up okay x

  2. April 27, 2015 / 11:06 am

    Considering, you looked great when we saw you! Congratulations… what you did was no walk in the park! Totally inspirational 🙂 x

    • April 27, 2015 / 4:37 pm

      Thank you! Don’t know where I managed to summon that little skip from when I saw you guys! xx

  3. April 27, 2015 / 11:36 am

    Hey Lissy,

    I share your sentiments ecactly re marathon running. I’ve done mysecond one yesterday in Düsseldorf and I feel that while presenting a huge challenge, now we’ve done that and bought the t-shirt and that’s it for a while.

    I love running but don’t enjoy marathon and while I like the idea of myself as a marathon runner, the time, effort and pressure in no way warrants the feeling of accomplishment.

    I can see myself retiring from racing next season, and returning to my own home track for a couple of leisurely and enjoable ks.

    • April 27, 2015 / 4:43 pm

      You put it perfectly – I love the idea of me as a marathon runner too, I just don’t love the commitment that comes with it. I’m so excited to run short and fast(er)!

  4. April 27, 2015 / 2:09 pm

    Whoop whoop you did it, looking fabulous all the way. Be proud of yourself, I am certainly very proud of you xxx

    • April 27, 2015 / 4:39 pm

      Thank you my love, really appreciated your hugs xx

      • April 27, 2015 / 4:55 pm

        I am so glad I managed to see you!

  5. April 27, 2015 / 2:24 pm

    Amazing photos, I’m sure after a few weeks you’ll forget the bad parts and look at them and can’t help but smile 🙂

  6. tessietickle
    April 27, 2015 / 2:38 pm

    ah man, it’s a shame you had such a tough race but well done for getting through it. It takes guts to even stand at the start line if you’re not feeling ready for it, and bearing in mind you run-walked the second half, that’s an amazing time!

    • April 27, 2015 / 4:40 pm

      Thank you! I’m glad I got through it at least x

  7. April 27, 2015 / 4:24 pm

    well done for getting round and not giving up. I ran it for first time yesterday too. I guess a lot of people probably don’t feel this morning like they could ever do it again, some will some won’t but there is an argument that nowadays everyone is too fixated on marathons as the pinnacle of running. If you’re not feeling it focus at improving on the distances you’re stronger at, you can always return to marathon in a few years time if the mood takes you.

    • May 2, 2015 / 12:39 pm

      Thanks. And exactly! Marathons aren’t everything and other distances are definitely my thing.

  8. Ruth
    April 27, 2015 / 6:14 pm

    Have been feeling very similar sentiments after London yesterday too! Struggled mentally from about mile 8, and found the crowds exhausting rather than uplifting. I feel really guilty that I didn’t enjoy it, especially as I’ve been fortunate enough to now do London twice.

    • May 2, 2015 / 12:35 pm

      Yep, the guilt is real, eh? Thought similar things about the crowds at some points, especially when I was walking towards the end.

  9. April 28, 2015 / 10:38 pm

    Hi Lissy,

    Reading this made me really feel for you – even though I’m only starting out with running, I think we all have our limits! In any case, two marathons is mighty impressive – congratulations!

    Besma (Curiously Conscious)

    • May 2, 2015 / 12:34 pm

      Thank you! A marathon is such a mental drain for me, as well as the physical.

  10. April 29, 2015 / 10:04 am

    Well done, amazing achievement regardless of not really enjoying it anyway. I was looking out for you at mile 5, but must have missed you, it was so difficult to spot people!

    • May 2, 2015 / 12:34 pm

      So difficult! I had to ring Steph as I thought I’d missed her!

  11. April 29, 2015 / 9:25 pm

    Well done on completing the race. Several people I’ve spoken to have said how your second marathon is always your toughest. Glad it hasn’t put you off running for life!

    • May 2, 2015 / 12:33 pm

      Can’t wait to be back running – just so looking forward to little distances!

  12. May 18, 2015 / 6:54 pm

    Thank you for sharing with such honesty. Sometimes these races can pretty well break us, but now as you look back you can say “you did it”. You did not give in and have so much to be proud of.
    This link is a US statistics, but 0.5% of the population have ever run a marathon, and Lizzy, you have done it by the sound of it twice. 🙂
    Congratulations! 🙂
    ~Carl~
    http://www.statisticbrain.com/marathon-running-statistics/

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