Find out how marathon blogger Lorna got on on the big day! Clue, she OWNED it!
Name: Lorna Mann
Marathon history: First marathon – London 2013
Goal: to finish in one piece!
What I learnt this week. I CAN RUN A MARATHON!!!!
What can I say. I cried, I smiled, I laughed, I sang, I danced, I cheered, I high fived, I DID IT. Sunday 21st April, 2013 will be the best day of my life. Ever.
I’ve never been more nervous going into the marathon. Saturday was a nervous blur of eating food and panicking about sleeping. Before leaving home to get to the start all I was concentrating on was not moving around enough to preserve my energy. And then I got to the start. Stomach turned, tears started, nerves at their best. It was then that I wished I wasn’t one of those people that have to be early for everything. The waiting around just made me more nervous.
I lined up in group 9 at the red start and couldn’t believe I’d made it this far. Although I was in the middle of thousands of people I remember feeling incredibly alone – not necessarily in a bad way, but I was definitely aware that I got myself to this point, I was at the start line and it was only my strength and determination that would get me to the finish line. That was a sobering series of thoughts.
Once I’d crossed the start line, wiped the tears away and pulled myself together I enjoyed every second of every mile. If you held out your hand to high five runners I was there, if you clapped I clapped back, if you called my name I said ‘thank you’, I danced to the local sounds systems, I cheered and I whooped. I was never going to have a first marathon again, and I wanted to be a part of every single moment.
I knew where friends and family would be which was brilliant. I passed proud parents at mile 3, which is where I grew up. I passed close friends at Mile 7, Mile 13, Mile 17, Mile 20 and Mile 23 and managed to spot them each time (note to self, I need to perfect my race wave). However it was the kindness of strangers that I wasn’t emotionally prepared for – people calling my name, complimenting me on my leggings (thanks very much!) and generally encouraging me every step of the way was a little overwhelming but very much appreciated.
As much as I was having the time of my life, I do feel I need to stress that it wasn’t easy. Mile 14 was a joke – I could have passed out with tiredness. I was hot, bothered and fed up. Mile 16 was the same. Mile 24 was just the same and rather than smiling and cheering along with the crowds I wanted to punch anyone that said “not long to go now” – YOU TRY RUNNING 24 MILES!! But none of this mattered. I did it, and it was brilliant.
I have some key memories that I hope will never fade. The phenomenal support at Mile 21 from Run Dem Crew’s Cheer Dem Crew – my god I flew past them, and they supported me like I was family. I’ve never seen my parents and brother smile so much when I passed them either and I never want to forget the look of pride on the face of my awesome best friend when I found him after I’d finished.
Marathon day changed me, and it’s changed me for good. Training for this started as a silly drunken bet and transformed me inside and out. Actually seeing it through and achieving what was once thought an impossible goal has given me a huge sense of pride that I’ve never felt in myself before. I’ve learned so much about myself, I’ve made so many new friends and most importantly I’ve realised that I can do anything I want to – I just need to be determined enough to do it.
I want to end by saying thank you – everyone who has read this blog has been a huge part of something I’ll never forget. Being able to share my thoughts, celebrate progress and let off steam has been such a brilliant experience for me. I need to thank Emma and Charlotte for inspiring me, I want to thank Gymbox Covent Garden for embracing me and most importantly need to thank my personal trainer James who got me through it. Together we worked hard, and together we achieved something – I may have a medal to show for what I did and I share it with James – he deserves it for transforming me inside and out. I wouldn’t be half the person I am today if it wasn’t for him. He’s taught me so much, supported me through everything and is the best example anyone needs of what a good personal trainer is.
What’s next? I’m not so sure. All I know is I’ll keep running and I’ll keep training with James. I want to run more marathons, I want to continue on this amazing fitness journey and learn more about myself. I want to keep all these amazing people I’ve met in my life. I want to be stronger, I want to stay healthy and basically be as happy as I was on Sunday.
Read all Lorna’s marathon blogs here
PS, Lorna we’d just like to say you aced it and WE LOVE YOU! (Charlotte & Emma, L&L)