I am the most unfit and unmotivated person when it comes to exercise and yet this year I walked 26.2 miles in the Belfast Marathon.
In January I decided I wanted to walk the marathon and would do it by myself if necessary. I couldn’t get anyone else interested in signing up so paid my money and enrolled and started training.
I walked in my lunchtimes a few times a week and got soaked more times than enough. I then decided that while training I would take photographs on my way round and blog about what I saw in order to both point out the beauty in my area as well as try and keep myself interested.
Roll on May 6th this year and I came down with the flu. I panicked the night just after laying out all my clothes before as my throat was extremely sore and it hurt to swallow. Dawn @ the Moiderer came to my rescue with a Cold remedy which I listened to four times overnight.
I woke up early on the 7th May a bank holiday and I was planning to do exercise! One look outside confirmed the weather was awful, raining, cold, windy you name it. I got myself dressed packed up my rucksack and waited for my lift. My throat was no longer sore to swallow but I was hoarse and felt very unwell.
I wore cargo trousers a vest top, long sleeved t-shirt, running vest and running jacket. I had on my trusty trainers and cycling socks which seemed to work a lot better for me than my running socks. I also had a headband/ear protector things which was great along with MrR’s ipod.
Once at the start I waited around the 40 minutes until the marathon began at 09:00. I didn’t meet anyone I knew and so just played on my phone and sent messages on twitter.
I walked under the starting line at 09:06am. The first few miles were great I was cold and wet but felt fine. Mile nine I started counting down to mile 14 as I knew I would be over half way. The route wasn’t great and involved hills, stopping at traffic lights, trying to cross roads etc. and avoid traffic. At about mile 13 my throat started to get sore again and I drank some medicine to help.
The route took us along the tow/cycle path which was freezing the waves were crashing against the shore and my face was stinging with the cold. At about 19 miles I had no idea if I would finish
At 23 miles I really started to feel sick, everyone was saying you are nearly there but I knew I had over three miles to go. I sent a text to my sister saying I was in agony but would finish. Just after I put my phone away I heard shouts of mummy and looked across the river to see MrR, K, Buster and my mum waving at me. I needed this boost to keep going.
The last 3.2 miles seemed to go on forever but lots of people were out of their house clapping and cheering us on and a group sang to everyone that passed by them at about 25 miles.
At 26 miles I had no idea how I was going to keep going as I couldn’t work out how long .2 of a mile was. I could see the finish but had no idea how to get to it. I finally rounded the corner and saw the gates to the park with the finish line just in front.
K and Buster were lifted over the barrier and walked the last few metres with me. We were all drenched! I finished in 6 hours 22 minutes. I collected my medal and forgot to take my finishing bag. I met up with mum wrapped myself in a fleece blanket and we went and found the buses back to where the car was parked.
Once in the car I realised just how ill I felt, as soon as I got home I went to bed and stayed there for nearly 24 hours. I then had two weeks of a very bad flu which has completely tainted the marathon walk. One good point was my feet were not at all sore and I had no blisters!
I am so glad I completed it and will never walk it again. In hindsight walking while ill was a stupid idea but one I couldn’t avoid as I knew I would never train for another if I missed it.
I raised nearly £1000 in memory of R and as I didn’t have a target I was more than happy with this.