Marathon number 2. Second attempt at the Yorkshire marathon, the first attempt back in 2015 I was pregnant and came third last. The experience was not a pleasant one, I remember it well. I can remember each mile, the loneliness, the pain and the exhaustion. I remember ringing my family in tears to talk to me for the last few miles. It was not an experience I wanted to go through again, but I am not one to be beaten. I had demons to settle with that course, that route and to prove to myself the marathon experience could be a much better one.
I had followed a training plan for this marathon. Trained properly, not necessarily eaten properly as I like sweets far too much, but I had done everything I could in advance. The issue was mental. As the date drew closer the demons started creeping in and it became a mental battle better the ghosts of the past and now. I knew I could complete the distance, but mentally I was not sure I was there. I had to do it though, I had to put that course right.
The day arrived and I will admit to nerves hitting me. On the way into the car park I was transported back to 2015. I remembered everything. It all came flooding back. The walk into the university, sitting in almost the same place as before. I was getting more and more nervous.
Standing in the pens I was trying to shake away the nerves. I had the course playing over and over in my head, and I was trying to stop it. Before I knew it we were underway.
The first couple of miles all was going well I felt good, and I began to relax and just ease into it. Before I had had chance to even think about what was going on I had hit half way point. My friend, and expert marathon runner, with me every step and keeping a great pace. We were on for a good time and still having a good giggle.
Stamford Bridge approached and I remembered how it was last time, no one there nothing happening. Only this time it was full of people cheering, laughing and urging you on. I think I might have got a little emotional about how different it was. I was starting to feel tired so I had another energy sweet and continued.
Mile 16 and I remember an intense pain in my stomach, like labour pains, the wave hit my whole stomach and would not stop. I wanted to be sick. I was in a lot of pain. The pain continued and I had to stop. Once you start walking at 16.5 miles into a marathon your legs seize and starting running again hurts. I ran and walked to mile 20, where some kind spectators had digestive biscuits which was what I needed.
The digestive helped to ease my stomach a little. A run and walk technique followed for the remaining few miles. I was so surprised at how many people were out cheering and supporting. It made such a difference from my previous experience when I simply followed empty bottles.
Once on the main road I recognised the route home, in daylight this time and with people, that hill at the end was a beast but the downhill finish made up for it.
I could not believe I had finished. I had finished in daylight, there were people cheering, photographers, and all the things you expect at the end of the race. A completely different experience and a much better memory.
I am glad I did the course again to put those demons to bed, and I did but I am not sure I want to do that course again. More marathons, yes, but the Yorkshire marathon I am just not sure about.
I had badly messed up my fuelling strategy which is what had caused the issues at mile 16, using 3 energy sweets neat when normally I use 1 diluted in water. I also took on too much water. It is all part of the learning curve and I will go back to basics for training for the next marathon and get fuelling right this time! Thanks to my wonderful friend for sticking with me and kicking me round those last few miles!
This day I love another 26.2