I was lucky enough to get into the VLM this year through the ballot system, but I still decided to raise money for Breast Cancer Campaign as my cousin sadly died from the disease in March.
My training went like clockwork and I religiously did every scheduled run - even through the bad weather. I had my fuelling strategy all worked out, my gear all 'worn in' and I was confident that everything had been planned to perfection. I was so fortunate not to have encountered any injuries during training and was really excited about doing my first marathon. I felt as prepared as I could be.
Everything was going great until Mile 15. I hit halfway in 2:04, which was on target for me to finish in around 4:00 - 4:10. I felt great, full of energy, legs still bouncy and really enjoying the buzz of the day.
At Mile 15 I trod on a discarded waterbottle and jolted my ankle - not too badly but it did hurt a little. Anyway, I carried on running but over the next five miles an intermittent twinge in the side of my leg, just above my ankle, got gradually worse and worse.
By Mile 20 I was in agony and simply could not run any further. It felt like my ankle had seized up and I couldn't bend my foot properly. I was absolutely gutted. A doctor grabbed my arm and offered to have a look. He thought I had possibly badly bruised the tendon but didn't think it was broken and let me go on my way after some ice treatment and massage.
By Mile 22 I was still in an awful lot of pain and knew I had no chance of being able to run. I was so disappointed and upset. Another doctor looked at me and said he wanted to X-ray it. He knew that I probably wouldn't go though, so offered to strap me up and give me painkillers instead (on the understanding that I promised to get it X-rayed when I got home!)
I hobbled the remaining miles, with huge support from the crowds and eventually finished in 5:28 - desperately slower than I had trained for. I was desperately disappointed. However, having put so much effort into training, and as I was running in memory of my cousin Marion, there was no way I would have given up.
I went to the hospital as agreed on Monday morning only to discover that I have an unstable spiral fracture to my fibula and am now in a full leg plaster for six weeks! Everyone was amazed when I told them I had still managed to complete the marathon!
So, instead of being disappointed, I am proud to have raised nearly £1,100 for Breast Cancer Campaign in memory of Marion and wonder how many people have done the last 11 miles of the London Marathon with a fractured leg?!
I would very much love to thank all the spectators that shouted and cheered me on and also several kind runners who stopped to ask me if I was OK, whether I wanted any Ibuprofen and told me how proud my cousin would have been.
My only big gripe about the day though - other than the bad manners of some runners wearing iPods and having phone conversations - is that the marathon is way too congested to be able to run properly. There seemed to be an awful lot of people walking very early in the run, blocking the way for those of us who had trained seriously.