Post Marathon Reflections

It is now 2 days since I ran the London Marathon and I have this urge to document all my thoughts as I am scared that I will forget the extreme feelings that I have experienced over the last few days.

The predominate feeling I am experiencing is one of LOVE – please let it be put down on record that I absolutely, categorically LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE running!! I cannot get enough of it – when I run I feel that I can take on the world and make it a better place. It enables me to feel strong, healthy, happy, empowered, alive and at one with the world and life in general. Running London – I felt like I was on top of the world, super-charged and super strong. Key moments like running over Tower Bridge and past Big Ben, seeing my family at 22 miles, hearing the crowd shout “go MC, go MC” and running  through a tunnel to “BONKERS” booming out from a sound system gave me such an adrenalin filled high and feeling of compete euphoria.

If only I could have bottled this feeling , I would make a fortune doing the festival circuit this year (“,).

I also feel so much LOVE for my family who all came to support Joanna and I in London. Despite there being numerous challenges including a vomiting Charlotte and misbehaving children – I wouldn’t swap them for the world. They are my world and the support that Craigy Boy, my Mum and Sisters give me constantly is priceless. I would, however, like to apologise to the people in the coffee shop at the Expo for my emotional, rather loud outburst on the Saturday afternoon following one particularly bad episode of poor behaviour from the cherubs!!

Following on from this emotion of love is a deep sense of GRATITUDE – I am very grateful that I am able to run and was given the opportunity to run the London Marathon. A friend told me yesterday that only 1% of the world’s population can say that they have ran a marathon – so yaaayyy go me!!! This feeling of gratitude also extends to the massive support that we were shown in the run up to the marathon and also afterwards. I was and still am totally overwhelmed by the messages, gifts and kind thoughts that were sent our way – it really makes you appreciate that this world is a great wee place to live in and that there are more people out there who are kind and loving than those that have turned to the dark side. I would just like to share a particular message that a very close friend sent  – it has absolutely blown me away and given me a massive sense of pride.

“Hello ladies wot run – I was going to write something before you went off to the Smoke, but what to write?? Good luck/Go for it/Blah blah blah?? Naa, Knew you two would smash it even if you had to crawl the last few miles, no doubt in my mind. So – something straight after then? Looked at the posts you got, and they all said much the same thing. So I could add to that but just be a little bit ‘beige’. So a day later….. I would like to say thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Not only for what you achieved, running 26 miles , the training, the dedication, the application and the sacrifice, but for everything. I have never properly thanked the two of you for everything you did for Jen and I when she was ill and, during some of the darker days, of which there were a few, I knew if I needed it you would be there, and you were there and I owe you a debt that can never fully be repaid. But, by doing what you did on Sunday, you have helped give to people who may not be blessed with people in their lives as generous as you, as Jen and I were and are. By being the sisters who run, you have supported a foundation who can give hope to those during their darkest days who have no one else. You didn’t just run a marathon, you helped give comfort, a shoulder to cry on, a safe refuge to those who need it. As, without probably realising, you did for Jennifer, me and Sam. So, that’s what I wanted to say – a simple ‘thank you’ with much love and admiration for you both xx”

This message has put into perspective that we didn’t just run a marathon (which was an individual personal goal that we set ourselves) but we also raised a lot of money for a charity which helps millions of people each and every day to get through a bitch of a disease. The people at MacMillan Cancer Support are incredible at what they do and shine a light for so many people who are trapped in darkness. The fact that we were able to help them do their job that little bit better by running a marathon makes me feel so very PROUD!

Now – life would be pretty boring if all we ever felt was positive emotions (would it??) and I am also currently experiencing the negative emotion of feeling DISAPPOINTED in the time that we ran the London Marathon in. Yes, I am being all philosophical and saying what you should say like “hindsight is a great thing”, “it doesn’t matter how your training goes, anything can happen on the day” and the classic “it was the finishing that mattered” but deep down I am (and I know Joanna is too) very disappointed in the time we took to complete it. It’s niggle niggle niggling away at me. Our training went amazingly to plan and for the first 10 miles of the marathon, we were on absolute fire – then disaster struck and Joanna’s calf blew which meant for the last 16 miles our pace was a lot slower, we had to stop and walk at times – taking us over the finish line in 4 hours 38 minutes – a full 45 minutes slower than our target time. God bless her – Joanna is portraying me as a saint on social media – telling the world that I stuck by her side selflessly the whole way round without a thought for myself. I honestly wish I could say that this was the case, however, there were times during the marathon that I wanted to just go for it and get that sub-4 time that I have dreamed of getting. At one point my legs all started to seize up with the walking and I had to run on to loosen them off. The little devil on my shoulder was like “keep going, keep going” – but thankfully the angel on the other shoulder rightly convinced me to turn back and support my sister through the toughest run of her life.

Which brings me on to another feeling that I am experiencing – that of CONNECTION. I feel so much more connected to people as a result of running the marathon –particularly Joanna – we have completed the journey together – through the good times and the not-so-good. We have had to juggle children, fitness classes, husbands (nothing dodgy might I add!!) and social events for the last 7 months to allow us to train for the marathon and complete our fundraising commitments. I am proud to say, hand on heart, that we have been able to do it without falling out once – an achievement bigger than the marathon itself, I would say. We are #sisterswhorun!!

Additionally, I am more connected with everyone who has supported us – it hasn’t just been Joanna and I on this journey – it’s been a massive team effort – and we couldn’t have done it without everyone’s help and support, which takes me back to gratitude – thank you all so much!!

Finally, I also have a massive sense of HOPE for the future. That sub-4 marathon will be mine – oh yes, it will be mine. Once the feeling returns back to my legs I will be setting myself a new marathon goal, I will be taking massive, consistent action and I will follow and achieve my dream.

LOVE – your life and those in it!

Be GRATEFUL for what you are given!

Do something every day that makes you feel PROUD!

Accept that things are going to happen in life that will make you feel DISSAPOINTED – then move on!

Build CONNECTIONS with like-minded people!

Have HOPE for the future!

And RUN BABY RUN!!!

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