This was my first marathon ever and the London Marathon was the inspiration which started me running four years ago - standing on the roadside cheering everyone on, being overwhelmed and having that feeling of wanting to take part myself. I still couldn't believe I was there, standing on that start on Sunday. I felt lost and excited all in one; it was an emotional morning.
The best moment for me must have been Tower Bridge. I felt on top of the world at that point and the crowds were amazing; I was smiling and laughing. My worst moment hit me at about 24 miles, I had never felt pain like it. I was totally in unfamiliar territory, I knew it was going to be tough but unaware of how tough this point would be, people can explain to you what it is like but until you experience it you have no idea. When that black moment comes, it really does! My mind was running but my legs wouldn't let me go any faster but I was determined not to walk one step. It was going over in my mind, "Head up, hips forward... it won't last for ever, two miles that's all it is... come on move it, what's wrong with you, are you injured? No... well then get a move on... but I can't..." The minutes were just running away from me.
The one thing I might have changed is going to the loo. I know: who wants to know about that, but... just before the start I couldn't decide if I needed the loo or not. Someone said, "How long ago did you go?" It had been only five minutes before. So they said, "It's just nerves; once you start running you will be fine," and they were right but I kept thinking about it.
I don't think it affected my time, but I should have stopped just to put it out of my mind. Every time I saw a loo I thought, "Not now, the next one," but I never did make that stop! And I just kept thinking that Runner's World said that it's better to lose a few minutes than to feel uncomfortable, go and get it out of your mind - that is good advice I didn't follow.