24 hours after completing my first ever marathon, I decided to check out the photos Luke had taken of me post run. I was horrified and immediately made them black and white, despitely trying to make myself look better.
Five days post marathon, I'm ready to show a pic to the world (or at least my 17 readers!), because hey, this is what I looked like after running 42.2km, and I need to be proud of that. So here I am in all my sweaty, shattered, fuzzy haired, exhausted, nauseated, tear stained glory.... I'm with my bestie, Gemma, who'd done the half as part of her training for the (gasp!) New York Marathon..... I'm sure she'll be totally thrilled that I have shared this with the world (you'll keep it to yourselves right? All 17 of you!), but hey, next to me she looks like a godess.
So now that I've frightened you, I will spare you all the details of my 4 hour and 23 minute run. However, I do want to share a couple of things I learnt.
1) I learned that determination will get you anywhere you want to go. The lovely Amy of Giggleberry Creations, who is also an avid runner, asked me post race how I'd coped with the pain, how my mind had coped and if I'd wanted to stop. The answer for me was quite simple, I wanted to get to the finish line having run every single step, so the pain was inconsequential, just a side effect of the big picture. Therefore stopping was not an option. I just kept chipping away, knowing that with every step the finish line was gettng closer, and so was my dream.
2) Realising a dream is a very emotional experience. When I reached the little marker that said 1km to go, a big smile crossed my face, and then quite unexpectedly a big lump formed in my throat. I spent the last kilometre fighting back tears as I realised I was going to do what I'd set out to do. It got harder and harded as I got closer to the finish line as more and more people were there clapping me on, telling me how well I was doing, that I was almost there. I could barely look at my family as I ran past them to the finish line, the sight of Luke and the girls almost made me lose it. I grimaced as an old man put a medal over my head at the end, telling me "you deserve this, you've worked hard for it". I held it together until my Luke put his arms around me and said "Baby, I am so proud of you", then I came undone....... probably contributing to making that picture of me above even more unattractive.
The support I have received in the last couple of weeks has absolutely blown me away. I have cried a lot of tears, over these last two weeks, pre and post marathon. The encouragement from people I have never met has warmed my heart. Apparently I have even inspired some to give running a go, or to run further.
What I have achieved with my running isn't for everyone. But having a dream is. Realising your dream is too........ Now what should I aim for next?