I did it.
I did it.
So I did it. 4 hours 57 minutes. Just under the 5 hour marker and I think around 10 minutes faster than when I did it in 2012.
I'm not going to lie. It was hard. It was really hard. I have a cough at the moment and didn't really think about the impact of running and coughing for 26.2 miles. It makes you hurt. A lot. And I think I did damage myself when I fell over a couple of weeks ago as my left knee began to whinge around mile 15 which never happened during training.
In some ways I am very sad and disappointed that I wasn't closer to 4 and a half hours. If only I had walked a bit less and upped my pace a bit earlier. Or eaten more jelly babies earlier. Or.....
I'm going to do my best not to beat myself up about this. I look at others I know who did it and did it in a much faster time than me. And I forget to be kind to myself. I don't acknowledge how f***ing difficult this has been for me this year. The fact that I have nearly withdrawn so many times. That I had a really nasty fall two weeks ago and was then ill with a virus. That my energy levels are awful and I just can't do everything that others can.
I would like to say that yesterday was amazing. In some ways it was. The person who saw me around mile 5 or 6 and yelled 'THERE SHE IS' and put his hand out for me and squeezed mine as I went by. I have no idea who that was. I'm assuming someone from twitter. Or someone who thought I was someone else.....
Tower Bridge. Always amazing. The charities go mental for you. The noise is amazing. And then my parents and brother at the end of it. And yes. I cried.
The person supporting Bloodwise around mile 15ish I think who clocked me. Thank you. Maybe the stickers on my leggings worked!
The massive group of Teenage Cancer Trust supporters around mile 19ish I think. Just as I was coming out of a really shit 4 miles. For some reason mile 15-19 hurt a lot with more walking than I would have liked. Not a lot. But enough to slow me down. It was those 4 miles that changes it from a near 4 and a half hour run to nearly 5. My knee really began complaining and shooting pains were going up my left leg. And the aching from coughing. I was eating an orange segment and I heard this incredible noise. I looked up and there they all were. Cheering me on. And the running began again. And it picked up.
Then the best bit. The north bank. You know the end is getting close. There are more supporters out. You can see the London Eye and Westminster. Birdcage walk and then you are done. And also, I can't remember when exactly, but overtaking the man in the rhino suit who sped past me in my rubbish bit. I thought to myself, no way is a man in a rhino suit going to beat me!
So I had a good beginning. A f***ing s**t middle and a good end. I didn't hit the wall. I kept going. And I did it.
I have all my toenails. No chaffing and my usual blister on one of my toes but nothing hideous.
I'm sad to say that I truly think this was my last marathon. The training you need to do alongside working full time and dealing with the effects of chemotherapy are just too much for me.
I want to say thank you to everyone in the Bloodwise running Facebook group for being so great. Thank you to all my wonderful twitter lot who have put up with my whinging, encouraged me and given, I would say, 80% of my sponsorship money. To all the people that cheered me on yesterday, for the orange segments and the jelly babies. The supporting spirit for the London Marathon is hands down the best in the world. I would never do it anywhere else.
And finally. To my family. For believing in me and telling me that doing my best no matter what that is, is enough. And if I did withdraw it was ok that everyone would understand if I did. And especially to my brother who flew over from Singapore to watch me. It is they that make me who I am.
So finally. If you haven't and would like to. Here is my link for two incredible charities who make having cancer just that little bit more bearable.