Wednesday, 5 October 2011


So, I've finally got round to doing my post-marathon blog post. It's taken me this long partly because I've been so utterly exhausted and dog tired, but also partly because it's taken me until today to really appreciate and enjoy the fact that I RAN A MARATHON!!!!

What was that? You want to hear the gory details? Oh, well - ok, if you insist...

We arrived in Inverness on Saturday morning and after a bit of a shaky start with a mixed up hotel booking, we soon got ourselves sorted with our race numbers and headed off for carbs. Which we found in the form of fish and chips for Frances, and baked potato and chilli - with some extra chips - for me. (I'm really going to miss that carb-loading, you know!!)

We also sorted ourselves out with our rehydration therapy for the next day - none of these, but it was a bottle of Talisker in honour of Paul - the reason/inspiration for our marathon challenge.

And then it was time for an early night and bed. Bed rather than sleep, that is. I was far too nervous to get a good night's sleep, but actually having Frances there meant I was less anxious than I would otherwise have been. I was amazed that I managed to get to sleep at all but it wasn't the best night's sleep I've ever had.

All too soon it was morning and time for us to a) try to fuel up and b) head off for the bus to the marathon start. The former wasn't very successful and the latter was just long and boring. Not helped by the walk across the wet playing field on the way to the bus leading to us getting wet feet (you should ask Frances about wet feet!).

But then we were on our way and it was too late to turn back. To be honest, it was too late to turn back when I registered for the damn thing! But by the time the bus left, it was definitely physically too late to turn back.

[Apologies, this is turning into a marathon post...about my marathon]

To speed things up, from arrival at the start line it went a bit like this...

Leave bus
Long Q2P
Heavier drizzle
Huddle at start
And we're off....
5 minutes later we cross the start
1 mile later we realise we're running way too fast
Rain now
2 miles after that we're still running too fast
Heavier rain
1 mile later, hail
Downhill stops
1 mile later, uphill starts (repeat for 20 miles!)
Suddenly we've completed 6 miles (almost quarter of the way there)
13.1 miles, half way. Yay!
OMG, still another 13.1 miles to go...

18 miles, is it time to stop running yet? What do you mean there's another 8 still to go? Surely it must be time to stop now? You could just stop, you know. No-one would mind. Just stop. It will feel so much better. Stop running. No-one needs to know. SHUT UP!
[Repeat for 8 miles, 2 hours]
19 miles, will this hill ever end? At least the sun's out now. I wish those cyclists would disappear. Do you think anyone would notice if I jumped on the back. Another ambulance? How many retirals are there? Do you think anyone would notice if I jumped in the back?
21 miles, there's Frances ahead. Wonder if I can catch her up? Hmm, chirpy. What's she taken? Can I have some? Do you think she'd notice if I jumped on for a piggy back?

22 miles, and she's off again. How can she still run after 22 miles? At least I don't have pretend to be chirpy now. I don't think my pretending was very successful. Damn, now I'm going to have to cheer myself up. God, I hate this. Who's daft idea was this?
23 miles, only 3 more to go. You can walk 3 miles in an hour. If you run a bit, you could do it faster. Just run a bit. Go on, just move your legs a bit faster. Up and down, that's it. Don't stop. Up and down. How hard can it be? Ok. That hard.
24 miles, starting to come into Inverness and civilisation. I'd better start trying to run again. 2 minute running spurt, yay! Let's try another one. Break it down into 10 minute chunks. Run for as long as you can and then walk the rest of the 10 minutes. You can manage longer than 2 minutes...well, maybe not.

25 miles, it's only 1 mile to go, just ignore the 0.2. There's people around, at least try to run. Oh, cheers. That helps. Wave. Run, that would be more effective. I'm not going to stop now
25.5 miles, I can run the last bit. It's not far. It is far. How far is that finish line? Still can't see it. Yay, Frances, Dave and Emma, Anna and Charlie. Epic support team. I'd better look like I can run at least some of it. Head up, photographers around.

Fall across finish line. Hands up in surrender, that should make a good photo. Burst into tears (again). Never doing that again....

Well, you did ask!


ebbandflo said...

i am in total awe!
will file this post away for inspiration when i attempt my first marathon around the age of 55-60

Old Runningfox. said...

Well done Bex, and smashing pictures of you in action. You actually look to be enjoying it! What's next?

Bex said...

I think next will be sticking to half marathons and under. I really can't say I enjoyed the marathon - too mentally demanding for me. Both the training and the run itself.

Half marathons and 10k are my races I think. Maybe I'll be able to get back to enjoying running with them...

And as for you, big sis. Stick to your triathlons - more variety, more fun...!

Old Runningfox. said...

Quote; "I think next will be sticking to half marathons and under. I really can't say I enjoyed the marathon - too mentally demanding for me. Both the training and the run itself".

I thought the same after my first marathon, but after a few weeks I began hankering after a sub 3 hour. That thought persisted for 7 more marathons until I'd eventually broken 3 hours (twice). Then I stopped!

Bex said...

Scarily, OldRunningFox, you could be right. While I'm still saying, Never Again, I do find myself thinking - well, now that I've done it once, surely next time would be better...

Must stop that line of thinking!

My partner in crime, however, has plans for a race a month for us in 2012 - mainly 10ks with a couple (or more) half marathons thrown in for good measure. So who knows?!