London Marathon

WARNING very very long post.
London Marathon
Finally !!! I had the chance to run the London Marathon. Thanks to my bestie Kerrie for picking me out of the hat to represent the club.
Kerrie and I arrived at the hotel Saturday at 4.15 dumped our bags and headed over to the excel to go to the expo. It was very quiet and was good to go back as on the Wednesday when I collected my number it was busy and I had no one with me to take photos to keep as memories.
After a quick wander we then wanted to see how I was going to get to the start in the morning. In my race details I had been been told the best way was to head into London on the DLR then to go to Blackheath station. This seemed a long way round and I was sure that I would be better to either go to Greenwich or Cutty Sark on the DLR . We tested it out and it was very easy after getting off at the Cutty Sark we only had a 15 minute walk to my blue start point.
We grabbed an evening meal in Greenwich then headed back to the hotel. Not done with carb loading I had a sticky toffee pudding when we got back as they didn’t stop serving food until 10 (something we are not used to in the sticks). After sorting out my kit and food for the run and also watching the weather I went to bed.
My alarm went off at 6.30. A quick shower then we headed down to breakfast. Now those of you that know me know im not a porridge and banana kind of girl before a race and I was going to make full use of the hotels breakfast. So I started with a croissant with butter and jam, a cinnamon roll and a coffee. 2nd course was a toasted bacon sandwich with ketchup and a orange juice. I was starting to feel quite full now but i had a long while until my 11 o’clock start so 3rd course was 2 more croissants with butter and jam another cinnamon roll and a coffee.
We left the hotel at 8.30 and got on the dlr. We needn’t have worried about checking where to go as we could have just followed all the other runners. We changed our plan slightly and instead of getting off at Cutty sark we got off at Greenwich. The rain was now starting and was getting steadily harder so Kerrie went and bought a umbrella and the shop keeper let me have a couple of binbags to keep me a bit drier until the start. We walked up to the top of greenwich park and this was where Kerrie left me. She was heading back down to Cutty sark to watch the race.
On entering the start area I made sure I knew where my start wave was, where i could drop my jogging bottoms and jumper (thanks kirsty) and by the time i had a toilet stop it was my start time. I was soaked and was glad to get rid of the wet clothes and get running to try and get warm.
It was a very relaxed start, no loud warm up was delivered and I liked it a lot more as it felt just like starting a normal run at home just with lots more people. The first half a mile I was running beside a man dressed up as Chewbacca. It was great but all I could hear was come on chewy. I was glad his pace soon slowed and then I started to hear my name being shouted. I was so glad Kerrie had suggested I write my name on my vest it was such a help all the way round but particularly the last few miles.
I found i was comfortable running around 10.20 min mile pace . This fluctuated but in my head I wanted to stay under the 11 min mile mark. I had caught up with and overtook the 4.45 pacers by about 10 miles and had the 4.40 pacers with in sight from there on. I knew if I could just keep them in sight I would be ok for a PB.
I had missed seeing Kerrie at the Cutty Sark the noise and amount of people was a lot to take in and by halfway I could really have done with seeing someone I knew. Tower bridge was strangely very emotional and the cheers of my name were really welcome as it was hard turning away from the finish line direction and heading to canary wharf.
Canary wharf was the next place Kerrie had planned to try to see me. By this point the front of my thighs were getting very tight and although I was maintaining the pace I wasn’t sure how long I could keep it up. The miles around canary wharf then onto tower hill were definitely the hardest. You know you are counting down now to the end and i always feel better when I get into single digits. I was scouring the crowd for Kerrie in her red coat desperate to see her then I spotted her. It was so nice to see her. All i needed was a quick hug and told i could do it and I was on my way again. I didn’t want to stop as i didn’t want to seize up.
When i reached tower hill i started to try to stretch my legs out a bit but they were not having any of it. So I thought right if you can just keep this pace you will be fine. No walking just keep running. The last stretch I had ran 3 weeks prior in the landmarks and every slight up and down were stuck in my mind. I caught sight of the top of the London eye then after going a bit further could just see the Houses of Parliament. Just a bit further i thought. By this time my legs were screaming there was no sprint finish in me I had given it everything to try to maintain a steady pace throughout the race and although i felt good i knew I couldn’t push anymore. On reaching the last corner I made sure I noticed Buckingham Palace on Kerrie’s advice as she had missed it on her marathon then all I could see was the finish. The screens were telling you to smile for the photographers. I did smile and wave, I hate photos but I would probably never get the chance to do this again. The tears didn’t hit until a lovely lady put the medal over my head. So I completed the London marathon in a PB time of 4.37.33. These numbers are etched into my brain and im so proud of myself. Would I do it again? Yes in a heartbeat. Its a special day and all the way back to the hotel I was being congratulated. There’s so much more I could say about it but I think I’ve gone on enough. Just one more thing thankyou RntS for the opportunity to represent you xxx