If you haven’t read part 3 of Norma’s blog, find it here.
The weekend of the marathon finally arrived. My longest training run was 35km. I tapered for the 2 weeks before with longest runs of 18km and 12km. The last few days before were all about resting and eating. We traveled up to Edinburgh on Friday by train. We booked into 2 nice Italian restaurants on Saturday for lunch and dinner with an afternoon nap in between – this is the kind of preparation I could get used to.
We were worried about the weather as it was looking unusually warm for Scotland. However, we shouldn’t have worried as when we woke up on the Sunday there was lots of clouds and the temperature was around 10 degrees. It was perfect!
I had prepared my marathon play list and applied my Vaseline and had all my gels / nutrition plan for the race. My biggest worry was the blisters I had on each big toe from the training over the last few weeks.
The start of the race was downhill and it was a good way to start. There was a good atmosphere with quite a few spectators, bagpipe players, and people running in fancy dress.
I got a shock at around 20km when the first blister on one of my toes exploded. Then a few minutes later the second one went – like a stab wound on the toes. Very, very painful! However, I managed to keep on running through the pain which faded after a while. During the run it was nice to see all the different causes that people were running for. I also thought about all the training I had done and how a few years ago I couldn’t run at all due to my knees and couldn’t even have dreamt of doing a marathon.
Towards the end there were quite a few people walking, vomiting, and having problems with cramp. So I just concentrated on keeping running as I knew that if I stopped I probably wouldn’t start again.
The last 5km was definitely the hardest. But I managed to get round in a time of 3hr 51 minutes which I was really happy with as it was under my 4 hr target. So all the weeks of long training runs paid off and it was a great feeling to cross the finish line.
I really enjoyed the experience and it was a great achievement for me to have done this. Maybe next time I can do it quicker! I will have a break from running now for a week or so to let my blisters recover and concentrate on the cycling and swimming which I have neglected over the last few weeks!