Posted: 09/04/2014 at 22:27
Monday (7th April 2014)
I dreaded this morning. I didn’t know if I would be able to walk. As it happens I could and I made it down for breakfast. It was a relaxed affair and in simple terms - I stuffed my face. Eggs, bacon, sausage, bread, cheese, coffee, toast etc etc. I was starving.
The Eurostar back was quiet. I think most people slept and then it was goodbye. I felt emotional but kept it all in. Everyone went their separate ways and Louise and I made our way over to Paddington for the next stage of our journey home. I was returning home as a marathon runner.
That evening I found my official time - 5:22:22 - a bit gutted. I felt low. I’d failed in my attempt to hit the Sub-5 target. I wondered whether the voters that put me into the competition would feel let down. I struggled on Monday evening and for most of Tuesday. It is now Wednesday and I’m feeling a little bit better. The post marathon slump is passing and I’m thinking of where to go next - where shall I go next? I’m not sure but I know that I have a new marathon PB that needs beating. I also have a new set of friends who will help me and encourage me.
So that brings me to the end of this story. From that first phone call from Andrea 18 or so weeks ago, through the bootcamp, the voting stages, the injury and the training days - never did I expect to be part of such an amazing competition. I am grateful for the time and effort people have put into getting me to Paris.
To my fellow team mates - I salute you. You are an amazing bunch of people. Inspirational in many ways. They have helped me through highs and lows and have been there with messages of encouragement. Thank you. I hope we stay in touch.
To Sam - you are an amazing coach. She put up with a lot of questions and begging from me during my darkest three weeks. She told me what I needed to hear and I think sussed me out very early on in the training.
To Physio Sarah - you have hands that can make a grown man cry. Like Sam you put me in my place when my own mind threatened to make me run. If I had not listened to you both I would not have made it.
Victor - your words about expectations helped me through the days following Sunday. Thank you.
Steve - I’m not a fast runner but listening to how you have coached Roger and Malcolm is brilliant. I’ll never be good enough for your categories but maybe one day I will get faster.
The Runner’s World Team - what an amazing bunch of people. Yes they had a job to do but each one of them were amazing. Their personalities shone out during the weekend. They made us welcome. They welcomed our wives and guests into the team. They are a special bunch and created an experience that I will probably never experience again.
Asics - there are many sports companies around but they have been brilliant to work with - providing so much kit and looking after us. Thank you. Never have I had so much.
The last people to thank are my family. Louise has supported me all the way through this campaign. She has put up with moments of desperation during injury and kicked my butt when I’ve felt like packing it all in - and not just with the running.
My son Gwion has also had to put up with a Daddy that is always popping out for a run instead of playing with him. I know he is proud but I hope one day when I show him the pictures and talk to him about this experience - he will understand why I did it. Hopefully I will inspire him to run and eventually we will run a marathon together.
Thank you everyone.
With the race finished and the VIP area packing up it was time to get changed and head back to the hotel. My legs were very sore so Katie offered to stretch them for me. Who am I to turn that down. She soon had me on my back (ooer) and digging her thumbs into my calves. Awww it hurt - but it was good. I managed to be interviewed and eventually made it back to the Metro.
I hobbled off the Metro with Louise and found a McDonalds. A Big Mac never tasted so good. I felt sick after eating it and didn’t finish the fries but the burger was lovely as was the drink.
We eventually made it back to the hotel - my legs getting better as we walked. I then fell asleep on the bed for about 90 minutes. Louise woke me at 6:45 ready for our 7pm evening meal. A three course affair with some beers - boy did it taste good. I think we eventually got into bed around 12:30 after saying goodnight to everyone.