Ran a marathon on Sunday.
I RAN A BLOODY MARATHON!!!! HOLY SHIT, IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED!!
After nearly a year of boring my friends and family about injuries, mileage, food, trainers, posture, gels and that all encompassing fear of not finishing, I only went and bloody finished! Proof? They wouldn't have given us shiny, shiny medals, a free pint and bright yellow T-shirts if we hadn't!
....I'm the one who looks like I'm on my knees on the left. I am, in fact, stood up and, no, the marathon didn't shave a few inches off my legs. If it had, you would be seeing only my forehead.
The last time I had that level of sick-maky fear before I did something was when I was seventeen and about to take my driving test. I giggled, babbled, nearly wept through bouts of swearing and had to pee every two seconds. Sunday was no different.
"HahahahaHAHAHA, what are we doing? Where is my gel belt? What if I don't finish?! HAHAHA this is so stupid! Fuckfuckshit hold my things, I have to go pee!"
Didn't help that with each wave of nerve induced nausea I felt, my knees went a bit wobbly. Like in a cartoon. I kept having flash forwards of myself getting to the start line and my knees just giving out under me.
"3, 2, 1... Nope!"
Mercifully, that never happened, and myself and Amy (my long legged compadre from above picture) made it over both the start and finish line without incident. I say without incident. At one point, I jabbed myself in the eye with my own finger whilst trying to remove a fly from my face, and a small child sprayed me right in the gob with a water gun. Oh, and I went to gleefully high five another small child on the side of the road and in the process knocked a big bag of marshmallows out of its hand... Sorry, tiny human. I hope most of your squashy treats stayed in the bag!
The most surreal thing about the whole experience (bar the fact that we actually managed to travel 26.2 ACTUAL MILES on our own, human feet) was how it didn't suck. At all. I spent the whole thing waiting to hit the wall, but it never happened. I took my time and walked when I needed to...Which was often, and I was more than fine with that.
I firmly and comfortably (and proudly - I've learned that it takes a fair bit of grit to keep moving for that much longer than the speedsters already enjoying their pints at the finish line while you're still sweating in places you didn't know could sweat. finished at the back of the pack with the last few hundred marathoners (eek, I'm a marathoner!!). Perhaps the trick to never hitting the wall is running behind it. Maybe the wall has little wheels on it like a trolley, and it's pushed along by all the faster people? Thank you, faster people for keeping the wall a safe distance away from me!
The route was lovely - dipping in and out of park lands so I got my greenery fix, and threading around ginormous, significant looking buildings that screamed "I am historically important, even though you have no idea why, uncultured swine!" And those hills I feared for the first 8 miles? Come on! They were mostly gentle inclines in the end. When you grow up in Wales, your expectation of what a hill is is a little squiffy compared with others'. Liverpool has merciful, friendly hills that don't want to see your legs shredded into a thousand tiny, hurty fibres, and for that, I am grateful to whatever deity is responsible for hills. It's nice to have the odd incline to keep your brain from flat lining, but not so much when you feel like they're breaking the laws of physics and never actually coming back downhill. I'm looking at you, Tenby Half Marathon!
The finish line was awesome. After three miles of the longest flat I have ever traversed, I somehow managed to find the energy to sprint through the resilient crowd who should have been given medals for clapping for over five hours straight, and into the Echo Arena, where I fell face first into my goody bag and pint.
I still don't quite believe it's happened, because I'm not hurting as much as a tough CrossFit session would be hurting me, and I suspect that the two days of pizza and napping that followed the event had more to do with the Jager Bombs and wine that I happily chugged right after it. Amy and I somehow had plenty of energy left for some Sunday night merriment (still wearing our medals, of course). I think that the slight soreness in my backside is more due to my showing off that I could still slut-drop after that kind of distance than as a result of the race. Weird. Adrenaline and the musical stylings of Kesha have a curious numbing effect when combined.
The fact that I managed to do this insane thing has more to do with other people than myself. If it weren't for the Run Like a Ninja course at Outcast Crossfit Swansea I was able to sign up to, and regular trips to Rosie the Magical Osteopath at Swansea Body Kinetics, I would never have made it to Liverpool, let alone the finish line. Same goes for my nearest and dearest who put up with my months of blathering without once telling me to take my moaning elsewhere and take up a hobby that required less effort (despite my already having watching TV box sets, sleeping and eating in my list of passions). If I could break off bits of my medal and chuck them at you like that bit with the tiara on Mean Girls ("A piece for Gretchen Wiener..."), I would. But I can't. So I'll just have to keep it for myself!
Wanna see the medal? It's got glitter on it!
You go, Glen Coco!
So... What the hell do I do now?!