Thank you for your amazing support
Posted in ECB
I’m not going to lie – I feel bloody awful. I’m currently on my sofa at home with my compression clothing on and a bottle of ibuprofen next to me.
My feet are sore, my toes are sore, my calves are sore, my thighs are sore and my dodgy knee is sore.
I have felt better, I have to say, but I do feel an immense sense of achievement for having finished the London Marathon yesterday.
My overriding feeling when I crossed the finishing line was definitely relief. I’ve been genuinely nervous for the last few weeks because I did not get in the volume of training I wanted due to tearing my calf muscle.
Would I get round? Would the calf stand up? I need not have worried as after 14 miles I could not feel anything from the waist down.
It was a fantastic occasion though and the atmosphere was brilliant. The weather was really nice which attracted more people out.
The crowds were remarkable and for most of the race they were five deep behind the barriers.
Their support was fantastic and that definitely helped everybody. There were banners, including one from an elderly lady saying: “Smile if you’re not wearing pants!” I could hear people shouting out my name, others gave me sweets - there was a real carnival atmosphere.
During the first half I tried to take in as much as I could, like coming around the Cutty Sark. The crowds there were unbelievable, as they were at Tower Bridge. Those two moments were unforgettable.
My original plan was to go under 4hrs 30mins. Well, that was until I tore a calf six weeks ago.
Anyway, I was really pleased with how it started and I reached the halfway marker in 2hrs 14mins. I felt comfortable, but that did not last for long. Unfortunately it began to get really challenging after that and it became a case of just finishing.
It was amazing how quickly I went from feeling good to feeling very uncomfortable. At 13 miles I was fine and in a good rhythm, but a mile later I was really struggling.
I stopped to walk a dozen times and each time I restarted my legs felt like concrete. After 20 miles, the distance between each mile felt further and further apart. Graham Gooch once told me that 20 miles feels like halfway and he was right. It got so tough.
I saw my family at 24 miles - I was flagging then so that was a nice boost. Luckily I got a second wind and ran the rest.
I did perk up towards the end. Running down the Embankment was great, turning right at the Houses of Parliament towards Buckingham Palace, past the 26-mile mark and then over the finishing line. It was a sense of pride, satisfaction and relief.
The support I’ve had has been absolutely fantastic. My target was to raise £5,000 so I’m absolutely chuffed to bits to have raised £11,300 at the time of writing. I can’t thank people enough.
When things did get tough, just thinking about the support I’ve had and what the money will go towards was enough to keep me going. The money will go towards funding research into the causes of head and neck cancers, including those of the nose, mouth, throat and voice box, and all at the charity ‘Heads Up’ are extremely grateful for your support.
Running the London Marathon before I was 50 has been on my bucket list for some time. It just felt right to do it this year, not just because I am 49, but more because it’s 10 years since I completed radiotherapy treatment for throat cancer.
Knowing I could get through that treatment was a real source of encouragement when I was struggling during the marathon.
It’s my biggest sporting achievement for some time. What I really admire about people who run the marathon is the months of preparation before the actual race. It becomes part of your life with the training and commitment that’s involved. I’m really pleased I have done it.
I’ll be back in the ECB office tomorrow. I just hope the lift is working as I don’t fancy walking up two flights of stairs!