Part 2 – Nichola’s marathon
For the most part it was the same people around me most of the way, but i think we slowly started spreading out even more. I talked to one bloke who told me he had only done 2 miles in training! I wouldn’t have dared start if I’d only trained to 2 miles. As it was I trained to 20 with no problem, and that obviously wasn’t enough.
It was amazingly lonely out there so every little cheer, chat, or even someone calling me Wally (grr) was welcome. I tried putting earphones in and listening to a podcast to make it feel more like it did in training, but I couldn’t really hear it. All I could do was keep putting one foot in front of the other and hope that I made it to the end in time to get a medal.
At Mile 21, James was there waiting for me again. He had decided to walk the last 5 miles with me (thank you). By then I already knew they put about 5 different layers of chemicals onto the road to clean the blue paint lines off, the toilets were being taken away, and I was wondering if there might be any water left anywhere before the finish. (I did manage to get some, phew!)
So, off we went (not that I’d stopped) and soon got told we had to get off the road. They were cleaning the road more, taking down the signs and barriers and I was pretty worried we wouldn’t know where to go. We managed though. People kept getting in the way on the paths, but then when they saw my number and realised I was still doing the marathon, they would wish me luck and tell me to keep going. I must have had tears in my eyes every time someone said kind words.
I had forgotten to keep taking the energy gels I had so was getting more and more tired. James reminded me to have one and it was amazing how much it helps once I’d drank it. The roads seemed to go on forever. We’re both absolutely positive we passed mile 22, then 23, then 22 again! I could eventually see Big Ben in the distance and I knew that I had to go past that then it was nearly the end. It looked so far away though, how was I possibly going to get there in 35 minutes? I told James about the time cutoff of 8 hours to still get a medal, and he was determined there was no way I was going to do all of that and not get a medal. He encouraged me to run again. So for the last 2k we ran, and ran, and ran. There were still lots of people milling around in that area, and we were still not allowed on the roads so James was having to shout at people to get out of the way for us. Good thing he is tall and loud so people saw us coming and moved to let us through, and they cheered
I was off crying again lol, we got to the sign that said something like 385 metres to the end, and I couldn’t see which way we needed to go so I stopped, still crying and not knowing where to go. We found gap to get onto the road on the mall with the finish just in front of us, and we sprinted (kinda) to the finish line hand in hand. We made it! I got a medal and a goodie bag, but no tshirt, they’d ran out.
The relief of it all being over was amazing, I’m so glad I didn’t give up halfway like I’d thought about. So I can now say I completed a marathon!
Apart from having kids, that is probably the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but I made it. Thank you all for the support you have shown to get me to that finish line xxxx