LONDON LEARNING

When the wheels fall off, keep on trucking.

The hardest things to deal with at times, are the problems that you create yourself. I’m much more patient than I used to be, but last Sunday, the urge to race ahead of 2 weeks taking it easy on Lemsip, meant that I went running into a wall which I had rashly built myself. Being swept up by the athleticism surrounding me, combined with prematurely wearing a pace band that I wasn’t ready to follow, lead to a burnout fall. But what’s worthwhile in times like this is bringing back the validation of finishing a marathon, irregardless of what time the watch on your wrist says. Time on the clock can equal progress, but it does not, and should not, out weigh the distance on a more simple level. The race that those running for  6 or 7 hours on the course, means no less than those running under 3 hours. Each are different examples of effort.

After pushing through a 1.28 half, I reached the next mile to wonder what on earth I’d done to myself. The sound of stop began to play itself on repeat, and my mind was on a loop against me. I gave into it once, bent over, caught my breath, and carried myself on. It’s easy to get carried away, but you can’t always rewind the decisions you make, so re-routing goals and channeling them into a new direction becomes essential, and at this point time the only goals I had were to keep moving, and finish in one piece. Determined to soak up the day, I took in the crowds, and found myself grinning like a Cheshire cat when I found little parts of Run Dem dotted around the route. Getting to the safety beacon of the Mile 21 Massive was
more of a boost than I can ever express, and the relief that familiar smiling faces gave, was just what I needed to keep on moving. Along with this confetti filled boost, I carried words of encouragement from fellow teammate Alex, shouts from my Brother Eden at Big Ben, and the motion of holding hands with a stranger along the last few hundred metres, with me to the finish line.
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Aside to the running, one of the most valuable things about marathon day in London, is that the city comes together. Strangers communicate with one another, support each other, lend a hand when it’s needed, and that for me is one of the most worthwhile things of the day itself. There isn’t one type of person that runs a marathon, yes you have the astounding professionals, but you also have those running for others, for charity, in the memory of a loved one, or to prove something to themselves, and to see that being appreciated by others, restores my faith in humanity massively.

With glitter still intact I got my legs to the finish in 3.15. Not a PB, but no negatives from this day at all, just positives to move forward with. I’m grateful for the experiences in life that teach me to look at the ticks and not the crosses.

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