First, and most importantly, I made it around the course. Here’s a photo of me in quasi-delirious state (with wild hair pointing out of hat to accentuate the point):
Honestly, I am sitting here a bit stunned that I actually did it. I’ve completed three marathons. Me, the girl who once finished a 12 mile race, crawled to her car, crawled into her home and thought, “I’m never going to finish the half marathon.” Me, the girl who cried the entire last mile of her first half marathon. I’m now a three-time marathoner.
Some important race things things – I did not have an emotional hiccup on the course! Those who have read my tales know that it is pretty standard that at some point I cry, but I didn’t. I worked very hard on my mental state this race. I also worked on rhythmic breathing, which I literally discovered the night before and so want to work more on because when I got it going I felt like I could go and go! I spent so much time focused on the breath I frankly didn’t have a moment to think of anything else… so it was like I was marathoning in active meditation mode. My knee started acting up at mile 23, which meant the last 5k was walking, but I decided to spend it singing so in the end I was probably quite an entertaining thing to witness.
Some important other things – The marathon expo was way improved over 2013 – it felt like a celebration of running and fundraising, which was so much fun. I scored an extra £5 donation for dancing around like a silly person, but I will not speak of my bowling skills. Also, the support – wow. I don’t remember so many water stations, gel stations, paramedics there to assist if you needed them (I didn’t, whew!). It felt like London showed up in full force to make sure everyone had the best race possible.
And some super important things:
To my friends and family (especially the hubby and the kiddo) – thank you for putting up with me. I was either out running, talking about running, or doing some form of other training to help my running.
To the National Autistic Society, wow, what can I say? I felt like I had a whole extended family this time around the course!
And finally, I wish to officially announce I have retired from London… but not marathoning. I know that people have gone years upon years wanting to run those 26.2 miles and as I have been blessed to experience this twice it is time for me to step aside and let someone else slot in. As it appears I like to do this every 3 years shall we say Disney 2019?
I think by then I’ll just about have recovered.