To celebrate all the people who took part in the recent London Marathon 2017 I would like to share my post from April 2011, soon after I ran my 1st marathon, the London Marathon!
6 years ago…
“Almost one day ago I ran the Virgin London Marathon. Long months of preparation were definitely worth it. I slept OK the night before, and when I woke up at 5.50 am, I wasn’t very nervous.
I got ready, had some porridge and daddy took me to the station. The first nice thing was to find out I didn’t have to use my Oyster card, as travelling for Marathon runners was for free that day. There were a few guys with the same VLM bags waiting at the platform. I was very calm, and soooo excited.
When I got to the Greenwich station, there were crowds of runners everywhere already…so early in the morning. I just followed the crowds and soon was able to see the Nestle Pure Life gazebo, where I was supposed to meet the other members of the official Nestle Pure Life running team for a group photo. I was desperate to use a toilet, but the only toilets I could find were “women urinals”….Please don’t ask me about that experience!
Then I found Jo, the Nestle Pure Life PR, and suddenly started crying….it was just too much, finally it all got to me. What was ahead of me? She was so nice and calmed me down and soon we had the group picture taken.
After finding my blogging mate Maria, I became much more relaxed, as she ran a marathon before and we have known each other for a while, so it was great to have someone next to me to keep me calm.
We ran and walked the first few miles together, but then I lost her. It’s true I just felt like everybody was getting ahead of us, but Maria kept on saying, not to worry about it, that we needed to save energy for later. And we did.
I was amazed how great the crowd was and loved people shouting my name. We also had a good laugh, when people thought we were some celebrities. We were very lucky and got into the green celebrity zone, so our green numbers were suggesting we were famous. I heard a few people shouting my and Maria’s name and then asking…”Who were they?”
So the first half of the marathon was, I would say, quite easy. I felt really well, we managed to keep a conversation pace with Maria. Then we split up, as I was doing a bit different running strategy than Maria.
Some of you will ask, so when did it start to be really tough? I hope I will not sound strange, but “hitting the wall” never happened in my case and to be honest, if you check my running progress, you could see, I was running faster in the last third of the marathon. I was full of energy and thanks to the crowd didn’t realise I was running for 5 hours.
When I passed mile 23, I had so much energy I started running very fast, then I reminded myself that I still had another 3 miles ahead, so I slowed down. The last mile was amazing, running around the crowds, towards the Buckingham Palace, just beautiful.
Daddy, my mum, Isabelle and her 2 aunties were supposed to be sitting at the grand stand at the finish area, so the last 400 metres I was sprinting. I still had so much energy and I just wanted to be faster and faster. Unfortunately, nobody saw me, due to the crowds but I have the medal, that’s the proof I ran it!
After having a picture taken behind the finish line, it took me a while to find my family, and when I did, I was so proud to see them. Isabelle’s first question was: “Mum, did you win?”
Well, I could have answered yes, we all are winners as some of you suggested on Twitter, but I didn’t and explained that just finishing the marathon is very hard and that I was happy to take part and complete it in just over 5 hours. She nodded her head and reached for my medal.
Daddy cooked some delicious pesto chicken pasta, which was really handy, as I was starving and after all these energy drinks and gels, jelly babies, haribos and chocolate just wanted a proper meal.
One thing is for sure, it was one of the most amazing days of my life and I loved every minute of it. My knee was OK for the whole 5 hours, so maybe next time I will try not to include my walking sessions and aim for a bit better time.
Running is my huge passion and Isabelle seems to be very interested in it too, so am hoping that one day we will run a marathon together.
I am very sore today, and if you saw me walking around, or up and down the stairs, you would probably laugh. But it was worth it, and would love to do it again!
I would love to say a huge thank you to Maria for helping me on the day, to Karen for being such a fabulous personal trainer and for all her support.
I was very lucky and would also love to say a huge thank you to “Nestle Pure Life” for sponsoring me and giving me the chance to run the London Marathon 2011, and just a little reminder, I would love to run it again next year, so, please, keep me on the list!
Last Sunday I watched the London Marathon 2017 with both my girls, and was crying for most of the time. I will never forget the amazing feeling and atmosphere, and I will be trying to get in for 2018, wish me a good luck! The London Marathon 2018 ballot entry opens on 1st may, so good luck anyone who will be applying too!