It’s been a few days since I completed the Greater Manchester Marathon (#runasicsmcr) and I’m still sort of processing the whole experience – well that and my body is still recovering! I’ll post a longer reflection in a few days, but in the meantime, here is what was going on in my head while I was running this beast of a race.
I actually wrote this “monologue” the day after the marathon so they might seem a little “off”.
10 minutes before the race starts: The line to the toilets is way too long! I’ll never make it to the start line on time! Argh. I need to go.
8 minutes before the race starts: Fuck this line. I’m gonna wait and go during the race.
(Leaves line and heads towards starting line. Waits total of 18 minutes before actually crossing the start line as in 8 minutes until the first wave of runners starts, then another 10 to wait for the rest of the faster waves to go before my group goes).
Crosses the starting line: This is it! I’m actually running a marathon! WOO! But I need to pee!
1 mile: OK…where are the toilets.
2 mile: Toilet NOW. NOW. NOW.
(Finds toilets at mile 2. Pauses Garmin. Waits forever for 3 other runners before me to go. Struggle to exit the port-o-loo because the lock is odd. Manages to escape. Turns back on Garmin. Picks up pace but then slows down immediately to make sure I don’t overdo it).
3 mile: Where’s my group. Wow this is SO much better.
(Eventually catches up with original pacing group around 5 miles. Begins to settle into the run.)
6 miles: This is like 10km. Still good. Still good.
(Basically for the next 12 miles I am thoroughly entertained by the most hilarious runner named “Phil”, the 5 hour pace group leader. He kept checking to see if our group was together, got to know some of our names, and called out to the crowd to cheer us on. Made for a fabulous run.)
18 mile: Is that my butt hurting? Seriously?! WTF?!
(I managed to lightly pull the muscle in my right butt cheek which was really, really weird and completely off putting. I had to slow right down and sort out the cramp by walking the next mile or so. Lost my pacer group in the meantime.)
20 mile: So hungry. Is this the wall? I don’t think this is the wall. Is the wall a thing? Where is everyone? I’m so slow. I’ll never catch up.
21 mile: Aw, no more people! This is not cool. At least the broken arm guy is still running. Why am I doing this? A horse! Nice horsey. Come run with us! And a burger. Horse burger? Dunno. Why am I so slow. I can do this. WTF it’s only 22 miles?! Why do I have to run 4 more fucking miles?
22 mile: “Not long now” they said. Liars. Where is my burger?! The broken arm guy is way ahead of me. I can’t do this. I hate all of this.
(By then the crowds were really cheering and telling the runners “Not long now”)
23 mile: (slowed to a walk to keep the muscles from cramping) WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING. Why did I do this to myself. What is this “not long now”?! Legs come ON!
24 miles: Shit! It’s true. Not long now. Only 2 more miles. Only 2 more. Go.Go.Go.
25 miles: Only one more. One more. Go. Go. Go.
26 miles: OMG I JUST RAN 26 MILES! (I started to get emotional at this point, but then stopped when I realised that I had 200 yards to go).
100 yards (or so): I SEE THE FINISH LINE! I SEE YOU! I SEE YOU!
Crosses the finish line: Oh wow. It’s over. I did it! My legs. My feet. FOOD.
(A mix of “Wow” and “it’s over” and “yay me”. A bit of amazement, a bit of relief and a bit of sadness.)