An adventure over 26.2 miles
Charlotte, one of the marketing monkeys, embarked on her biggest adventure to date last Sunday.
Here she tells her story…
The marathon is a word that if you say quickly and you don’t think too much about, it seems like just another box to tick.
I’m always up for a challenge but when I embarked on my marathon journey I never thought that it would take over so much of my world in its build up.
There’s a hype surrounding that 26.2 mile run that you don’t quite realise until you become part of it.
It started out last summer when I opened an email to say ‘you’re in!’ That in itself is quite an achievement. I then planned how I was going to raise thousands in sponsorship money and got organising quizzes, tea parties and all sorts. It’s an amazing feeling knowing that people are behind you on your journey – it really didn’t go unrecognised.
The hours spent training.
I can safely say that there were many cold, wet and windy mornings when I would rather have been in bed – not putting in the miles on the road!
The week build up.
The week leading up to the marathon was a rollercoaster of emotion, I just wanted to get there in one piece. The slightest niggle saw me go to pieces, I had moments when I thought I’d forgotten how to run and I lost any ability to cope with normal tasks. You don’t want to let people down – and that takes over. I was not fun to be around in the days leading up to the 26th April… so I apologise, maranoia really does set in.
The 26th April.
I was strangely calm – nothing else that can be done. As I walked to the start from Greenwich (…that adds another mile to the day!) I found that you become everyone’s friend and I loved that. It’s London at it’s best.
At the start.
There’s a strange mix of nerves and excitement before you cross the line and you just want to start running to put those long months of training to the test. You settle into a rhythm and try not to think about how far there is to go. But of course, that’s all you can think about!
It wasn’t until I reached mile 11 that I recognised anyone. A familiar face lifts you through the next mile. Through mile 13 – 15 I saw lots of friendly faces and I felt good – the crowds and the noise that they create won’t ever leave me.
The wall (I’d heard a bit about this).
It hit me like a tonne of bricks. At mile 17 my tank was on empty and I worried that I still had 9 miles to go … from then it was an uphill struggle. There were moments when I wanted to sit down and cry – I repeated the moto ‘Pain is temporary, Pride is permanent’ over and over between mile 17 and 21. It was actually more painful to walk than run so I pushed on. The peaks and troughs of the marathon are undeniable.
Every time I saw my wonderful friends and family I was carried a bit further and then it was the home straight. The feeling when I reached mile 24 was worth it – I knew I could finish. So, I picked myself up and forced my legs step by step to the finish. And then with 800m to go (a very welcome sight!) I saw my Dad, a totally unexpected surprise and we even managed a high five!
The day is crazy. The crowds make it. Running is for all, the marathon proves just that. If you want it enough then you’ll get to the finish… and if you finish you deserve to wear your medal with pride – it proves you’re tougher than the average person.
I’m so proud to say I’ve raised over £2,500 for Teenage Cancer Trust and I’ll never forget the day and that feeling as I crossed the finish line.