The VLM 2011 was my first ever marathon. I was an hour behind target, but I am still really proud of myself.
The VLM 2011 was my first ever marathon and I'm asking myself if it will be my last. Yesterday, race day, I had definitely decided that I was never ever doing another marathon again, but 24 hours later, I am already wavering.
I am extremely proud of myself for having got to the end, even though I was a whole hour behind my own predicted finishing time. As I can run a half marathon in 1:45, I was anticipating running the VLM in under four hours, but I was quite staggered to find how difficult it was. In actual fact, I finished in 4:53:17. I found the whole race extremely tough, right from about mile three onwards. From mile ten, it got really difficult and every single step was a huge effort. Every quarter of a mile or so, I walked a few yards, and I have never done that in a race before. As each mile went by, I got slower and slower. I didn't have any excuses - I have done the training, I had no injuries, was well rested, I was properly hydrated and had plenty of food, so I think the whole thing just came as a shock to the system.
One amazing thing happened: my friend Sherry said she would be cheering at mile 22. I got to that point and couldn't see her. I ran perhaps another quarter of a mile and still didn't see her so I assumed that I had missed her. Than I came to a woman with a big bowl of chocolate cake. As I took it, she looked up at me and it was Sherry! Totally amazing, especially considering the crowds were packed in like sardines. This gave me a huge boost to see her, and her cake was home made, so it was absolutely delicious.
I take my hat off to all marathon runners. You are all wonderful and amazing and I am proud to have joined your ranks. I think I'll always be better at 10K, but my fingers are now hovering over the keyboard considering signing up for the Brighton marathon with my friend Katie. Am I mad?