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Fresh as a daisy. Said no-one ever.

Post race update.

Hello friends,
18.5 months post colectomy surgery, 16 months after being discharged from hospital, 11 months after going back to work full time, 7 months after hernia surgery, five months after running my first km : 
I ran a marathon.
Having never run more than 6 miles until this year, I'm arguably the fittest I've ever been in my life. 
I'll take that.
More photos coming soon to my fb album and this blog.
It wasn't all plain sailing but I'm so pleased (relieved) that so so many things went exactly the way I'd hoped. Despite only managing 70% of the runs and only 51% of the mileage in my training plan, I completed and I'm injury free. Winning.
Highlights:
No loo stops*.
My calf tear - no pain.
My inward rotating knees - no pain.
All my toenails intact and in place.
No blood spilt.
A handful of blisters - minor.
Weather was perfect for running although perhaps a bit wet and chilly before the start.
All in all, it went superbly well. Although the last 10k have tainted my memory and the soles of my feet are very sore/bruised.  Apparently each foot hits the ground 20 thousand times in a marathon. Ouchie.

I kept finding myself grinning inanely during the run, from ear to ear, all the way upto mile 13 or so. After you cross Tower Bridge, you can see Big Ben to the left and thats only a mile from the end. So close! But the course turns right instead and you end up running away from the finish line. That's pretty annoying and thats where my smile left me.
Throughout the marathon I found myself playing to the crowd far too much. Waving and cheering and chatting. Bizarrely, the first muscles to fatigue out were my upper arms. The spectators who shouted my name at the start of the race got a wave and a shout back. By mile 20, all they got was an extended forefinger as acknowledgement. If they were lucky.
My running mantra wasn't in evidence as much as I thought it would be but it was there for a couple of miles for sure.
"Toes in. Tuck bum. There is no pain.
Toes in. Tuck bum. There is no pain.
Toes in. Tuck bum. There is no spoon.
Toes in. Tuck... wait... what?!
Oh, what the hell, maybe that'll work better...
Toes in. Tuck bum. There is no spoon."
One of the symptoms of not having a colon is not being able to absorb salts and I drink an electrolyte solution most days. If I don't, I feel pretty lethargic. I was worried about this so I carried a tablet round with me. In hindsight I should have taken this but it's hard to diagnose yourself with unusual lethargy half way through running a marathon...
I keep beating myself up with my time of 4:53:49. Perhaps if I'd been a bit more ambitious with my plans and set myself a quicker pace or not gone with my run/walk strategy then I might have finished a bit sooner. But I'll never know. The risk of blowing up was too great, I had a plan and I made it work. The fact that over 10,000 people came in behind me is pretty awesome. I wasn't even in the bottom quartile!
I'm not sure how much I had left to give at the end. I was pretty wobbly for a while and spent a few minutes shaking and using a lamppost like a drunkard. "More for support than illumination". I literally couldn't even work out how my foil blanket unwrapped. I still have it at home. Neatly folded.
People keep asking me if I'd do another marathon to which my response has been "I hope not". I can see the challenge, I know it's in me and to take an "hour off my PB" would be something that excites me but so much went right on the day that I can't believe I'd get that lucky again.  We'll see but in the meantime the next challenge is RideLondon. A hundred mile bike ride from the Olympic Park into Surrey and back to finish on the Mall in the same place as the marathon did.  This, I'm looking forward to.
I'll keep posting my updates here. Let me know if you enjoy them.
Blue skies
Brian

*ok, there might be a couple of places I can call "my territory" but I carried that loo roll round for nothing. Happy days.
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