A little confession: from the start of my 12 weeks of training, right up to my long nervous walk to the startline, I was never really properly sure that I’d be able to run 26 miles.
Hence my inane cartoon character grin when I clunked over the finish line at the Mall in 4:41. Things had definitely got tougher after mile 19, but Zest’s training plan - with all its beginner-friendly consecutive short sessions - had got me used to running on tired legs. That’s why I got my sub-5 time - and why I could run the whole thing without stopping.
Along with my medal, I was braced to have a whole bunch of other, grosser, souvenirs to brag about, but sadly this is all the damage: one small blister, one intriguing set of tan lines, and one perfectly rectangular red chafe mark from an energy gel I’d hooked under my bra strap in a last minute moment of glucose-grabbing madness. (I didn’t need it in the end.)
Oh – and one case of DOMS. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is the reason you can feel fine just after the race but find yourself walking backwards down the stairs for a few days after. As microtears in your muscles start repairing themselves, pain, stiffness and general achy grouchiness peaks two days after a marathon.
But four days after, and I’m glad to report that the DOMS is fading fast. I’m back to wearing pretty shoes and walking downstairs like a normal human creature.
But something feels different about me now. I’ve satisfied my curiosity and answered the question, can I do a marathon? What I wasn’t expecting was that the answer would bring up a whole new question. Next year, can I do it faster?
Posted: 26/04/2011 at 07:14
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