If you remember a while ago my friend Kirsty Dudley was training to take part in the Shine marathon for Bowel Cancer research. I made a plea for people to donate and some of you did! For people that don’t know Kirsty her comic timing is spot on and I have always said she should blog; well low and behold I have got her to write a guest blog on her experience of taking part in the marathon.
One Woman and her Ipod!
No story is complete without a beginning, middle and end. At the beginning it was going to be a group thing, a few girlies walking through London trying to raise money for a good cause, well, turns out that I was the only mad one who for registered it; everyone else donated really generously after realising one cannot stroll 26.2 miles without training. I made the decision that if I could finish it in 8hrs I would be well chuffed with myself.
For weeks I trained every Sunday (ok almost every Sunday!) and even managed to get to 18 miles a few weeks before the event. 18 miles isn’t far off the total distance – don’t let numbers fool you, I speak from experience!!!
Well, before I even realised the day was here and off to London to buy a magazine, oh I mean, walk a marathon…
My friend volunteered for the event so she could drive us there and back. So basically she was on space blanket and water duty, both would come in very useful for people. So there I was on my jack jones with my ipod – dance tunes at the ready to get me through the biggest I challenge I have ever faced (apart from getting up for work on a Monday) and found myself in the ‘power walkers’ section. I know I walk fast, but, Power Walker – not sure if that’s classed as false advertising, but, turns out I wasn’t far off!!
There I am 9pm, at the start line, some bassline track killing one ear drum and some stranger talking at the other. Off go the fireworks … now the journey around London begins!
What I have forgotten to say is I have never been sightseeing in London, so not only do I choose to walk a marathon but I choose to take in the sights too. I am getting well wishing texts asking where I am, London I reply – sarcastic you would think, but it was because I didn’t have a clue. Sarcastic would have been ‘walking in London’. One text asked for a progress report and if I’d passed the London eye, my reply was ‘nope – not seen it yet’, only to press send and see it above my head – observant!
I managed to do 8 miles in 2hrs, not bad, not bad at all, I had already passed people doing the half marathon – then something horrible happened – I HIT THE WALL, man alive, I hit it, bounced back and hit it again. For keep fit people you know what I am talking about, for those who don’t it’s like a really bad hangover, you want to lay down and die and potentially boff – not attractive! So I put my best foot forward (pun intended) and walked through it … Mile 9 came and went, still sitting on the wall, mile 10 came and went, still the wall – and then I met another lone walker – he was looking at the map (that and the number on his top gave it away). He clearly felt sorry for me and talked to me, and kept talking to me, next thing I realised mile 11 had passed and we were heading to mile 12 – by pure fluke my ipod was now redundant and I had a marathon buddy!
Even though I passed old Queenies house still feeling like I was going to boff, Marathon buddy chucking his banana skin into the grounds was enough to make me laugh.
We then high fived at mile 13 and that set the tone for the next 13 miles, high fives happened at every mile marker and all we did was talk general gubbins and laugh at all the drunk people coming out the pubs (yes we were secretly jealous).
Along with the high fives came time checks… consistent 15 minute miles, next thing we realised that the true target of 7 hours was actually on target – the wall by this time was long gone so now it was all about the clock. However, my buddy was just hitting the wall, now the tables had turned and it was my turn to motivate, how did I choose to take his mind off the wall, talk about a show I went to see called puppetry of the penis, and you know what it did the trick, we talked about all the shapes and laughed – next thing we see – mile marker 25 – seriously people it was like an Oasis!
It was about 3.40 – this meant that the target was really in sight – I have no idea where the energy came for this but we walked our little socks off and turned the corner into Battersea Power Station and walked towards the finish line, my friend was waiting there with a space blanket for me as we crossed the finish line! We made it in 6hr 55min – how did we celebrate … a high five of course!
What a way to see London and make a friend! Oh and raise over £1100 for charity.
When we had crossed the finish line and gotten ourselves a hot drink a lady came up to me and Marathon Man and said ‘thank you’ – she then explained that she was walking behind us for the last 7 miles; laughing, joking and our high fiving motivated her to the finish line, as rewarding as it was to finish, to know you can motivate others without knowing it, was even more rewarding … cue warm fuzzy feeling.
The one question I keep being asked – would I do it again, you know what … YES!
Oh and one last thing – Thank you to everyone who donated! Every penny makes a difference!
I’d Like to thank Kirsty for writing this guest blog and I hope she will write more for me – check out my last blog post for details on how to donate!