An experience of a lifetime!
Challenged by sweat, tears, like an emotional roller-coaster! It was hard work and the dedication to train for more than 16 weeks makes you happy after crossing the finish line when you know it all payed off.
After all the hard work and shaking nerves I finally woke up on the day I was waiting for so long. Luckily I was able to stay in Blackheath with my friend Gyongyi, just 10 min away from the start line. Travelling from North-West to South-East the day before was stressful, so I was glad to be able to wake up at a reasonable time at 7:30am.
Porridge, Banana and a coffee for breakfast – ready to go…
- shirt with name printed on it,
- sports bra,
- running tights, depending on weather,
- Accessories like sun glasses, buff,
- long sleeve shirt for start line depending on weather,
- bin-liner for rain while waiting at start line,
- HR and GPS watch,
- small waist bag for gel and snacks,
- running shoes for marathon,
- cloth for after the race to keep warm,
- recovery protein drink.
Pre race support from Gyongyi and Adam.
The start was in Blackheath/Greenwich and split into 3 starts: blue, green and red.
Finding my way to the startling was already another kilometre of walking.
That was my warm up.
Perfectly organised! Everyone handed in their bag. All bags were moved to the finish line.
Blogs separated each start wave inkluing pace markers.
In my blog number “8” I had pace marker 4:45 – 5:00 finishing time.
I had big hope to finish under 5h.
More than 38,000 runners and wheelchair racers started that day.
Start line selfie!
Just before the start line everyone got rid of their bin liner, long sleeve or jackets.
All went to a charity afterwards.
View onto the start line. Grey and cloudy, but it didn’t rain! Perfect running weather.
Right after I ran over the start line, the first person called out my name and I nearly had a tear in my eye. I was super surprised, nervous, excited. I haven’t even started running yet and I heard my name already. This was absolutely a new experience and I really had to hold my emotions together. Unbelievable. I was not used to this!
Oh and I saw costumes you can’t imagine. This was one dinosour in the beginning I just had to capture. There was also Big Ben, birds and Jesus running barefoot with his cross on the back.
Managing the kilometre/miles mentally:
- km 1: Easy warm up. Too many people were around me, we all had the same pace.
- km 5: Checked the time and pace and felt still in the warm up mood. I felt my knees.
- km 10: I took my gel just before 9k and checked my time around 10k. Was happy.
- km 20: Just before Tower Bridge I was aware of my knees, my right ankle muscles and chin were bothering me. I also had my bar as a snack. Felt a blister coming up!
CLICK HERE for the video when I crossed Tower Bridge!
- km 22: Half Marathon distance was behind me. Relieved but disappointed about the leg muscle issue. I couldn’t believe that after being just at half way I was already challenged by the known weakness of my right leg. I wouldn’t say that I was mentally challenged as I had this in my training before and knew how to handle it. Sadly my GPS stopped working but HR monitor was ok.
- km 26: I had another gel and was annoyed by the right leg. The only way was concentrating on the running technique and get distracted by the cheering crowed. I slowed down but kept on running. No walking as the real pain might start! Just stopped for a quick pee behind a bush.
- km 30: Proud feeling being so far. I felt emotional again just because I never run that long before in one go. I was proud and adrenaline splashed into my veins. I was so happy. I thought, hold on there are just 12k more to go. I can do that. A 12k easy! From that moment onwards I reversed my thinking. 12k more to go instead of adding the kilometre 30k, 35k, 40k and 42k.
- km 35: I remembered a colleague that suggested take an Ibuprofen if you suffer from pain. I don’t like tablets but thought I try and took 1 pill. Around 35k the pain was gone and with another gel incl. caffein I felt so strong like never before. I speeded up and pushed. Only 7 more kilometre to finish! I can do it!
- km 40: I still felt strong and ran. Checking the time it looked like it was going to be tight to finish under 5h. I still kept pushing with a hope. My friends were tracing me online and knew I would be at the finish soon.
- Finishing 42km/ 26.2 miles: I saw the finish line and still had so much power in my legs that I sprinted and it felt like I was flying. Yes, this was just amazing. That strong finish made my decision for participating again!
The Tower Bridge was one of the Highlights and the people were screaming and cheering as you will see in the video I took. Oh, yes, crazy me I had to slow down and record this very memorable moment.
Finished! I felt so strong that I was able to speed up when I saw the finish line!
What a feeling!
To be honest I felt just amazing without any pain and still able to walk. My friends said that I didn’t look like I ran 42km. My legs felt better than after the last long run of 27km. This showed it to me that your mind can do it and the body will follow. However the body can only follow with the strength gained during the 16 weeks of training. Here is the example that everything payed off and especially the last week rest and tapering down. I felt I had a breakthrough!
This is one of the most important moments: Friends at the finish line! You need the support, just to be able to talk about it and share your moments with them to process what you archived!
Gym around the corner, refreshed and ready for a glass of Champagne with my lovely friends.
Thank to everyone who supported me though out the training period and the race day.
A special thank you to my colleague Daniela G. who gave me training advice and emotional support on a daily basis.
Result split by distance.
Race course: My finishing position when female winner finished and 10k split.
Finisher details by devision.
Finishing position at finish line and average speed information.
What a brilliant event and experience. VMLM reported that this was the biggest London Marathon in history, with a record 37,675 people crossing the Finish Line and I was one of them. The winner was Wilson Kipsang 2:04:42.
I have already decided before finishing that I want to do it again. Join me and grab this awesome medal and Adidas T Shirt in 2016!
I think it can be addictive! More challenges to come…