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Well Done buddy thats fantastic!!
Congratulations Mel, what an amazing achievement and such an inspiration
Well…if your going to do a marathon for the 1st time…..this was definatly the way to do it!!!!.....
What an amazing and surreal experience from start to finish…..
We even had our own portaloos, which we didn't have to Que up for!!!!
Leaving the security of the team and leaving Steve behind…..was pretty emotional…..as Sam said, it was like sending her children off to school for the first time…..that was exactly how it felt…..for the last 16 weeks I have had the security of the whole running world group behind me…..and now I was on my own…..yes I shed a tear….I shed many…..But this was it…..no going back!!!!
It was quite a walk to the start…..but with Sarah and Ady we kept each other from feeling too nervous….Alex had to get a wiggle on as he was in the super speedy pen and started a bit before us…..well me anyway!!!.....
It was quite a wait once I got into the pen….I would say a good hour….it was chilly, but luckily I had brought one of Martins old running tops that I never liked on him!!!.....I figured I would have to throw it away one day, so this was a good opportunity to let him keep me warm at the beginning of the race, and then donate his top to the Paris Marathon fund!!!.....so thank you martin!!!...
Before I knew it….we were off….!!!....Wow here we go….no going back…..!!
Sam and I had discussed pacing, and we had decided the night before to go for a tentative 4.15… which would equate to a pace of 9.50….I wasn’t totally convinced I could make this happen, but Sam had been spot on until now throughout ALL the training, so I had to trust her!!!.....
It found sticking to the pace of 9.50 quite hard to start with. With so much going on, I really had to keep reining myself back to slow down so I didn’t overdo it. I was very aware that this was the pacing discipline needed that Sam had been talking about, going out too fast and not being able to complete….!!!......but oooooo….so hard!!!!!
I had broken the race down in my mind. My longest run had been 20 miles within my training which I found relatively easy….. so my thought process was that I was running 20 miles, and I would worry about the other 6 later…..looking ahead to 26 miles was too much to soon!!!
Every thing was amazing…...I was enjoying the crowds, the scenery….the people!!!....Thank you to the two ladies who came and said hello!!!!!.....That really spurred me on!!!!....( I hope you both did well!!!!) I was just allowing myself to be absorbed in where I was and what I was doing and why….it was a great place to be!!!!
It was great having 5k pacing check points so I can see if I was on track…..which I seemed to be…..So all was going to plan!!.....
17 miles…..ohhh….fatigue…..where did that come from…??? I had run further than this before!!....Stop being a sissy…..it stayed with me for about 3 miles….I really had to did deep into the reserves and play mind games to get me through these few miles…..I dropped my pace….and nothing was going to get me back to 9.50…..I saw Tom and Chris the camera guys at I think about 20 miles, just as I was coming out of my dip…..Yehhhhhh….makes such a difference to see a friendly face!!!.....
Then once 20 miles was over….I was on the home straight!!!!.....It felt ok…..hard!!...but ok….I knew then I was really going to do this…..I had no doubt that I was going to finish…..
The miles seemed to go on forever…..mile 23 – 24…..I felt like I was running for years!!!!.....then miles 24 – 25…..I was still running for years….I never thought it was going to end……I was singing Nemo in my head…..’just keep swimming, just keep swimming!!....’ Martin always used to say it when we were doing tough things together…..funny what pops into your head!!!.....
All the support of my girls and my lovely family, all the running world guys, and all the forum followers got me though the really tough bits…..I didn’t want to let anyone down, especially myself!!!
Then once I hit 25 miles…..that was it…..go girl!!!!....the end was so close…..then there it was….the crowds were huge…..I could hear the shouting and the screaming…..all I could focus on was the finish and getting over it!!!!!!.....what an amazing feeling……running towards the finish line….I could here the Runners World team shouting at me…..
YEHHHHHHHH…..I did it….I actually did it!!!!.....Me……I ran a marathon….little old Mel from Arundel…..How did that happen?????
It was really interesting looking back on the lap times on my garmin as to my pacing......
Some of you may find it interesting if you have a pending marathon!!! my pacing was slightly out at the begining which must have had a direct result on the second half of the run.....please dont get me wrong I am certinly not being self critical as I would not change one second of my experience, but from a learning point of view to take forward....my pacing should have been 9.50 give or take a few seconds either side......So even with Sam in my ear, and all her advice, I still went out too fast......
lap 1 - 9.39
lap 2 - 9.39
lap 3 - 9.32
lap 4 - 9.31
lap 5 - 9.56
lap 6 - 9.32
lap 7 - 10.10 - wee stop
lap 8 - 9.47
lap 9 - 9.54
lap 10 - 9.48
lap 11- 9.34
lap 12 - 9.49
lap 13 -9.33
lap 14 -10.01
lap 15 -9.53
lap 16 -9.50
lap 17 -10.31 - fatigue set in
lap 18 -10.24
lap 19 - 10.29
lap 20 - 10.19
lap 21 -10.01
lap 22 - 10.25
lap 23 - 10.02
lap 24 -9.42 - realised the end was coming soon!!!
lap 25 - 9.40
lap 26 - 9.54
Funny how Sam ALWAYS gets it right!!!!.....She must know what shes doing!!!!......x
I am just packing to bask in the Moroccan sunshine for a week.....I figured I needed something nice to follow all this training or I could feel a bit flat after......
But I just want to say a huge thank you to ALL the runners world team for all the support and an amazing experience in Paris this weekend......you all work like superstars!!!!.....Im sorry Sarah and Ruth wernt there to join us.....as they have been amazing too!!!!!......I wonder if Ruth would have scowled at our post race beer????......
.....but especially to Sam for having soooooo much faith and belief in me, when ever I doubted myself, Sam always had a quiet confidence that I could do it, but never pushed me, just waited until I believed it myself.....that is a gift Sam, to allow someone to believe in themselves again.....so thank you so so much...........Im feeling choaked up again....so off to pack my flip flops......
Mel - great race report - so many personal details that let us see how this really went for you. Have a great holiday with your girls - you all deserve it. Impish x
A huge congrats Mel that is an amazing time. I hope you are now basking in the sunshine. I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed Paris experience and that was really my key worry as I have often doubted my ability in shorter runs. I dug deep when I started getting blisters at 15 miles and when the quads were aching but I just told myself its going to be tough so keep working. The crowds got me through it but I also have to say thinking of your story and I made it.. In under my real target of 5 hours....4.51 and am so happy that it was such a great experience. Enjoy the rest and thank you for sharing your running story over the past few months. S x
Have yourself a great holiday! I will say it once again but you really are an exceptional person. Well done on reaching your goal, you set out to achieve a goal at the most difficult time of your life and not only did you achieve it, you did it with such grace.
Best of luck and I will think of you and your girls often.
Have a great holiday Mel. And don't put those running shoes on until Sunday at the earliest! You've got my email, so please do stay in touch and maybe come and do a race down the coast a little way sometime - would love to see you xx
hey wiggly....dont know if you will come onthis thread.....but if you do, I was wondering how you got on Sunday!!????.....