Hi there its Sophie Fox, Marathon Runner here.
Yes I know – I am very annoying but ‘tis true, I ran a marathon! I finished in 4 hours 42 minutes and 8 seconds (the seconds are very important apparently). The more I think about it the more frustrating it is that I didn’t manage it in less than 4 hours 30 but just typing that sentence makes me hate myself a little bit.
During the experience I discovered that maths is not my strong point (thinking I had 5 miles to go at Mile 19 was a bit of a bummer). I also realised that in Pulp Disco 2000 the girls name is Deborah not Tender Love as I had been singing for the past twenty years (?). Here are a few more things I discovered on what was indeed a very very long jog:
1.Don’t expect to lose weight
I know running a marathon is not about losing weight, it’s about raising money, conquering your demons, achieving your dreams etc etc.
Bollocks to that – I want to be thin!
When you think of female long distance runners you instantly think of Paula Radcliffe with her knee high socks, Olympic medals and abs you could grate cheese on. This is what I would look like right?
According to Google, during a marathon you only burn about 2500 calories, less if you spend the last 6 miles walking and eating Haribo like yours truly. Add on that for at least two weeks before I did nothing but “Carb Load” and you end up at least 7lbs heavier and scared to face Pam at Weight Watchers again. It was like it hadn’t even happened.
Also I must stop Carb-loading now I have finished the run. It has been a week and I am still eating like I am heading into nuclear winter.
2.Medals are not accessories
Sadly, there are two occasions when it is socially acceptable to wear your medal.
- When you are given it and for the rest of the day after the run in the hope of being given free things. My friend Jess used hers to get an extra sausage with her dinner once. Double cool points.
- The first day back in work. To remind your close friends and colleagues of your incredible athleticism and general superiority. In my case this lasted about 26 minutes into Tuesday morning. Everyone is over it and now I feel sad.
3.Sports physios are evil beings
Have a sports massage she said, it’ll be fun she said.
Oh. My. Days. I have never given birth or run through fire or stuck a needle in my eye but the deep tissue sports massage I had on Monday was like doing all three and standing on a thousand upturned plug sockets whilst someone stood next to me scratching a fork on a plate and whistling Its a Small World. In short. Painful.
4.It wasn’t that bad
I wouldn’t say the run was “enjoyable”, there were bits when I genuinely hated myself, and my hips really hurt but at least it was sunny and a bit exciting. If you have ever had to go to John Lewis on a Sunday you will know there are worse ways you can spend five hours feeling suicidal. At least I got free jelly babies.
5.People are nice
Surrounded by tax-dodgers, cyber criminals and Donald Trump, the world can be a horrible place that makes you feel like taking a relaxing vay-kay in North Korea just to get away from it all. The marathon changes that. The support on the way round was amazing. I know I said that the crowd doesn’t carry you but they did. The following people deserve their own special thank you:
Francesca and Rachel: Your ability to pop up in five different places along the route makes me think we may have finally conquered the space/time continuum. Apologies for screaming like a banshee every time I saw you.
The Kennys/Lees: The sign was glorious and to stand and wave whilst 9 months pregnant takes some going. You are wonderful.
The Foxes: Need I say more.
The gang: A collective of my mum and dad’s friends prone to frequenting the bars and restaurants of Cheshire for “early doors”. Thank you for all the cheering and waving at mile 18. I really needed it.
Ian: Your grace and skill on the ice is matched only by your ability to find me at Mile 20 and provide me with water. You are my hero.
Corinne: Thank you for putting up with me when I had my first alcoholic drink in a loooong time.
Morell: Your stirling pre-run advice of “Well it’s too late to back out now” was the motivation I needed. The offer of a Rice Krispy Square at mile 14 was unexpected but very much appreciated. Thanks love.
Rob and Yvette: I can drink now – Cheers!
Laura and Nicola: As they say in Latin “Si non est ubi stercore revertens” (loosely translated to “if there’s shit where there shouldn’t be – go home”)
The Burgess sisters: Thank you for not making me run with you and thus saving me from being referred to as “the chubby one in the middle”
Lady running for MIND: My iPhone died at the halfway mark, leaving me with (ironically) only my thoughts for company. You had music coming out of you somehow and it was a godsend.
Man at Mile 22: We walked and talked and ate sweets, if I hadn’t run 22 miles already it would have been a very pleasant afternoon.
Sponsors: We have raised over £2000 for The British Lung Foundation. It costs £64 for a helpline nurse to support 8 people so the money raised will be able to help a whopping 250 people. You are marvelous human beings. If the BLF could also work out how to detach my dad’s wallet from his handbag I’m sure he would buy you all a drink.
Finally a special shout out to the unknown tall attractive man with brown hair and purple tape on the back of your legs – you don’t know me but I essentially chased you for 4 and a half hours on Sunday.
p.s. And, because I know you have been wondering, no I didn’t poop myself! Excellent results all round!
p.p.s I stole the title to this post from a sign I saw on the day. Bravo whoever thought of this.