With the London marathon being run this weekend, it reminded me of a time just before I started running back in 2004. I was sitting at home watching the race on the TV and thinking to myself, what on earth would possess a person to run 26 miles for fun? Really I just didn’t get it. Back then the thought of me doing something like that was just, well unthinkable. If you had asked me “do you think you will ever run a marathon” the answer would have been a definite “NO NEVER!!!”
I remember a guy that I worked with actually ran it that year with a friend. I say ran, unfortunately it was more of a walk as his friend injured himself very early on and it was a slow painful 7+ hours to the finish. He was gutted after all the training he had put in, and this further reinforced my view – marathons are certainly not fun!
It was just after this that my friend persuaded me to train for the 5k run (remember, the one who pulled out two weeks later?) and after my initial resistance I realised that I actually did like the challenge of racing. So I did a 5k, I did a half marathon, I did a 10k (yes in that order!) and got a little bit addicted.
I had started training at weekends with some of the ladies in the group on their long runs, a couple of whom were entered for London marathon in 2005. You can probably guess where this is going….
Around January I start thinking to myself, hey if these girls can run a marathon then maybe I can too? That lack of self belief in myself that had always held me back from really pushing myself had started to break down and in the back of my mind I was wondering “what if?”.
What if I actually could do it? What if it actually would be fun? What if I never actually find out?
To cut a long story short, a year to the day when I had sat at home saying to myself that I could never do that, I did it!! I ran my first marathon at London in April 2005. It was hard work – I hit the wall around the 20 mile mark and the last 6 were slow with a lot of walking but I got there!
I was pretty proud of my time of 4.37.50 – I had hoped to go under 4.30 but it was close enough! Finishing was a very emotional experience. I was completely exhausted but I still had to make my way through the crowds to where I had agreed to meet my partner. Had it not been for that time spent calming down I probably would have been a blubbering wreck!
Of course once I was finished I was able to tick that off my bucket list – been there, done that, no need to do another one….. Well look at how that turned out!
Never say never 😉