I’m feeling happy, sore, tired and a bit frustrated as well.
Yesterday was an amazing day, it started early as we had to get a bus
pickup at the finish line to take us to the start at 7:30am which was in
town (about a 30 minute drive). So wakeup was about 5:30 and the fun
It was freezing cold in the morning and leaving home in shorts was a
little scary, but considering what the weather was like the day before
we were hoping for a good day. On the drive up the day prior we had
70mph winds, lots of rain and it was freezing, I was actually wondering
if the whole thing would be cancelled! Anyway it turned out to be a
beautiful day, not quite what I’d call warm but good to run in.
So the day started with an hour bus ride to the start of our running
track along the Loch Ness. We actually ended up leaving an hour late as
some of the buses didn’t turn up and somehow they had to get 3500
people to the start. The bus ride was an experience in itself, all
glamour goes out the window when people are running a marathon! On the
bus ride we ended up having to stop for someone to go to the toilet, as
everyone had loaded up on their sports drinks only to be sitting on
the bus for an extra hour. It was hilarious when we stopped as the
whole bus (double decker) ended up getting of (men and woman) all peeing
on the side of the road, that kinda set the tone for the day, he, he.
Plus with the tubs of Vaseline getting handed around and people rubbing
it all over their body and most importantly their nipples it made for an
interesting bus journey!
So after two hours sitting on the bus we finally arrived to the
middle of now where and yet again we were all needing to go to the
toilet, although we had the luxury of portaloos here!
We all lined up in our places and we all slowly got away, it’s a bit
slow going at the start as 3500 people need to cross the line. I was
lucky enough to have a couple of running buddies, Mark and Phoebe who
just made the day so much more fun!!! It was Mark’s second marathon
(crazy boy) and mine and Phoebe’s first. So anyway the first half of the
race went well, I ran with Phoebe and we had a nice pace and just
chatted along the way (plus phoebe was texting, taking photos and
updating her facebook all while running, crazy girl, got some good pics
though!). I was a little surprised though at some of the pains I was
experiencing in the first few miles, my foot hurt and I was having
trouble jogging properly, oh well only 20 more miles to go. Anyway we
managed to get to the half way mark just past 2 hours when we ran into
Mark again and then we all ended up going our separate ways. Phoebe
bounded off and that was the last I saw of her and Mark and me plodded
along for a bit longer together.
When I hit the 17 mile mark it all started to go downhill (not
literally unfortunately)! I had just taken a Gu but made the mistake of
having some Lucozade to wash it down (I knew I wasn’t suppose to but
there was no water at the station), after doing that I got severe cramps
and was kinda hunched over, not happy Jan and to make it worse ahead of
me was a hill from hell! We had been warned about the hill at the
18mile mark and the stories were true, it was straight up and most
people ended up walking it. As stubborn as I am I didn’t want to walk it
but I did have to stop for a minute so I could at least stand up
straight and try and run, the gu and energy drink weren’t quite having
the effect I had planned! So I plodded up this hill and was seriously
wondering how I was going to make it to the end, although pure
determination would get me through.
I made it through the last 8 miles forcing every step, at times I
wondered if I would be quicker walking but was determined to keep
jogging. At this stage I was feeling a little disappointed as I knew I
wouldn’t make sub 4:30 and my body was seriously letting me down. I was
getting pains that I hadn’t experienced before and was feeling so
frustrated that I couldn’t get it to do what I wanted. I think the cold
weather and the fact that the course was a series of hills made me
struggle. Anyway being the stubborn Leo that I am I had no intention of
giving up and just kept going, I saw that 20 mile marker and was so
relieved only 6 miles to go (about 10km). I knew I could do it, it would
be hard but I could make it through 10km. I counted down every single
mile and was so excited to see the mile markers around the corner, my
ipod was getting a thrashing and I was trying to find any song that
would keep me going for just another mile.
By this stage we had reached the edge of town and out of never,
never land and it was great to have some people cheering on the
sidelines, it seriously makes the world of difference just hearing
someone clap or say something as you run (sorry maybe not the best
word), hobble past!
It got down to the last 3 miles and I really wanted to give it my
all but I just couldn’t make my legs go much faster, just going from the
road up to the footpath seemed like a huge task. From here every step
was mental, I thought about all the money I’d raised, my little sister
and my gorgeous hubby. I knew how supportive everyone had been and there
was no way in hell that I would not finish this thing. For sure I was
disappointed because I felt like an 80 year old woman running and it had
taken me longer than planned but I would still finish this thing. The
last mile I kept listening to the same song over and over again “stand
my me”, it was my wedding song and I absolutely love it. I actually
started to get a bit emotional at this point but realized that crying
and running just made it even harder. I was nearly there!!!!
That last mile seemed to go forever but just around the corner I saw
team Aussie, the other guys we were staying with who did the 10km run
that day, they were all yelling and screaming and it was sooooo good to
see some friendly faces and I knew I was nearly there!!! Then I saw Cam
and just wanted to stop and give him a hug but I hadn’t quite finished
yet. I came around the corner and there was a short run on the track
inside the stadium and I was done!!!
I made it in about 4:40mins, longer than I wanted but the best I
could do on the day. Once I crossed the line I could see all the other
guys but hadn’t found Cam yet, and all I wanted to do was give him a big
hug but I had to get my medal, goody bag and get off the track.
Finally I saw my gorgeous hubby who has supported me through my crazy
desire to run the Loch Ness Marathon, he has been my rock and believes
in me more than I do myself sometimes! He was so proud and he had even
done his own achievement that day and run the 10km in sub one hour (well
done Cam!). Once I stopped I thought I was going to seize up, I just
wanted to sit down although I knew there would be no getting up again.
The whole team was there once again, 13 crazy Aussies with a desire to
run in Scotland. Having a group around made the day sensational and just
knowing everyone had achieved their own personal goals was very
inspirational. Some just wanted to finish the 10km, others had a time
they wanted to beat, whatever their goal everyone was just getting out
there and giving it a go!!!!
Last night we celebrated, we are staying out in the hills in these
cottages in the middle of nowhere (spectacular scenery) and the guys all
organized a feast of pizza & wine and we all celebrated our
So I’ve done it! I’ve run a marathon! For sure I would have liked to
have done better but most importantly I never, ever gave up. I set
myself a goal and I did it (I need to remind myself of this as I’ve a
bit hard on myself sometimes). So regardless of how long it took me I
can now say I’ve run a marathon, it’s been an experience and I’m sore
now but I’ve done it! Would I do it again? Right now I’d say no, I don’t
really enjoy the long distance running although the stubbornness in me
to do better might just make me put on the running shoes again, although
for now I’m going to enjoy my holiday!
A massive thank you to everyone who has emailed, text or left me a
message, they all meant so much and really helped me get through those
last few miles.
Also thank you to all my patient clients who have waited a bit
longer for an email reply. I’ll be back on track today and will be busy
catching up (too sore to do too much else)!
So what have I learnt? You really can achieve anything you set your
mind to! Determination and believing in yourself will get you through,
the power of the mind is truly amazing & finally listen to your
trainer, if he say’s don’t have gel and energy drinks together,
Anyway time for some breakfast and then start chugging through my
work for today (if waiting for an email you should have a reply waiting
for you when you wake up due to the time change!).
Thanks again everyone, I’ve attached a few pics for you to check out and I’m sure there will be many more to come.
Lots of Love, Hilds
EMAIL : firstname.lastname@example.org