So I Made It To The Finish Line

It has been such a long time since I posted, I should be ashamed of myself… So without further delay and excuses, I will just tell you how it all went in the end.

Looking back to the training, all the hours spent at the gym and on the road I can hand on my heart tell you it was well worth it. Don’t get me wrong, there were times (a number of times) I was cursing, kicking and hating myself, wondering why I am putting myself through the torture. In general, training was enjoyable up until the last two months. This is when my long runs got really long (past half marathon distances!) and it took well over 3 hours out of my Saturday or Sunday. You can probably make the connection as this is around the time I stopped posting here.

I had a couple of really good long runs and felt invincible afterwards, but I also had a couple of really bad ones. The very last long run before tapering off was one of them. I had decided to do 18 miles that day and at around 9 miles my knee really started hurting me. The rest of the run was a battle in my own head: should I just turn back and go home or just keep going. Stubborn as I am, I kept going… I was lucky I didn’t injure myself because thinking about it afterwards, I really should have just gone home. The last couple of miles was more of a limp than a run!

Tapering off was a welcomed change, I think my legs really needed that. I did continue going to the gym for spinning and lifting weights but I only did shorter and easier runs. The last week before the race itself, I only went for one short run a couple of days before. The weekend before the race on Monday was the best part of the whole training!! All the food and quilt free carbs!!! Pasta, crackers for snacks, toast… (Oh my, getting hungry thinking about it).

So finally it was Monday morning… Surprisingly I wasn’t that nervous. Breakfast went down without too much difficulty. It was cold though! But it was bright and it wasn’t raining and I take that any day over the forecast storm and lashing rain…

Phoenix Park – still a bit chilly…

The atmosphere was unbelievable. There were people all along the route cheering us on and handing out jellies, sweets, fruit, drinks. This year they had also printed our names in the race bib which was a great idea, it really gives you a good boost to hear your name called out, “Well done Mirva, you’re doing great” goes a long way.

The first half of the marathon was just getting used to the surroundings (there were a lot of us and I’m used to running on my own!). At around halfway mark my knee started hurting me and I was getting a bit worried – I did not want a repeat of my last long run! Thankfully that only lasted for a couple of miles. The first part of the second half was “unknown territory” for me, it’s a part of Dublin I don’t know particularly well so that kept me from thinking about the distance or anything negative in general!

Trinity College – coming to the end

Whether it was just pure luck or cleverly planned strategy, having my husband waiting for me at around 20 mile mark was probably one of the best ideas ever. I was waiting for “the wall” but I also knew he would be somewhere there to cheer me on. The wall never came and seeing your loved one certainly gives a great kick for the rest of the way! The last 6 miles from there on was easier than I would ever have imagined possible. At that stage, I knew I was going to make it. I also knew I was going to finish under 5 hours which was my goal.

“I DID IT – I CAN SEE THE FINISH”

Coming to Trinity College, about a mile from the finish line, you would think you had won the bloody race. The cheering was unreal, people were screaming and shouting and I felt like I was flying… Crossing the finish line, there really aren’t words to describe it. You will have to do it yourself 🙂 You feel gratitude, pride, happiness, and a bit blurry perhaps…

The Medal

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