Sunday 10th April 2016…..Manchester Marathon day! The day we had been training for for the last 3.5months.
After carb loading for the last 3 days we got up early & had our breakfast carb loading bagels & jam, packed our bags with all essentials & headed off on the tram over to Trafford to find the start.
The morning was cold, foggy & a little icy. Delays on the metro link due to ‘adverse weather conditions’ had me a little stressed but we got to Trafford Bar tram stop in plenty of time.
We have been raising money for Guide Dogs on all our races for 2016 & have been wearing our Sondico Captain America & Iron Man base layers to run in. To add to the superhero theme we added our Guide Dogs hero capes.
We had a race plan in mind based on our limited training due to shifts & injuries. I’ve had problems with my IT band on both legs for the last few weeks so haven’t run further than 16.5 miles in training. Our plan was to run 5 miles, walk 1 mile and so on & then hopefully hang on to the end & complete 26.2 miles in 5hr 30mins according to our myasics plan. But as we all know plans don’t always work & we found this out the hard way!
So we were in the mass group of runners walking towards the front & evetually crossing the start line & starting our Tom Tom Runner 2 watches. We were off!
The 1st 5 miles went well. We were steady at our pace, having lots of people around & the faster paced runners coming aback along the other side of the road was a great sight. Back up onto Chester Road & we started our walking mile. We felt good. We felt strong. Half a walking mile in & we decided to start our running again.
The next 5 miles went just as well. Starting to come upon the half way mark, familiar territory to Frankie who did this 1st section as her relay part from last years relay marathon. Up the hill at Altrincham & back around the bend & we’re into the second half. Starting to plod a little bit still keeping up the pace.
Then we hit the 18mile mark & we want to die! The thighs feel like lead, hips feel like they’re falling out of their sockets & I want to curl up on the grasses verge along Manor Avenue & cry. At this point so many emotions go through your head, a constant argument with yourself.
‘I can’t do this’
‘I can’t go on for another 8 miles’
‘You have to finish this, there’s no other way to get home!’
‘You can’t let down everyone who’s sponsored you’
‘I’m in so much pain’
‘We’ve come too far to not do this’
‘WE WILL DO THIS!’
We had started to slow down the pace at this point, dragging our feet walking the miles instead of running. But even as we fell further back down the field of runners the crowds of local residents kept us going with their shouts of encouragement & endless supply of jelly babies.
The numbers on the mile markers gradually got higher & with some hobbling jogging interspersed with walking as my IT band started to go into full pain mode at 22mile we were finally beginning to see the end in sight.
The amazing feeling of coming up Chester Road knowing there was only a mile to go. People still on the streets cheering for us to dig deep for that last final push. Friends & family at the finish line as I, determined to run that final section, limped with tears in my eyes over that glorious finish line!
Our first response to the question of how we felt…..’NEVER EVER AGAIN!’
But now, 5 days later…..should we ever really say never??
Jacqui & Frankie