Well, I promised that I would be smiling!
I have to confess that I was not smiling all the way round the London Marathon on Sunday. I didn’t do the time I was hoping for. I set my sights on sub 4 hours and I ended up doing 4.21:40. I knew most of the way round that sub 4 was not on the cards, as it took so long to get going at the start, and I just didn’t feel that great. The last 7 miles were very slow and painful, although, I have to say, nothing in comparison with childbirth.
My smile returned every time I reminded myself that I was achieving something that I had wanted to achieve for a long time – running the London Marathon. Running it was the most important thing, the time was secondary to that.
My smile was also big and wide at the two points in the race when I heard familiar voices from the crowds. My best friend and husband were scurrying around London trying to follow the race and picked me out from the crowds at about 13 miles. My parents had come down from the midlands on a coach to watch me, and I was worried that they had come all that way and not seen me. Then at about 23 miles, I heard the unmistakable booming voice of my Dad. I turned back to give them a wave and a huge grin.
My smile was back at the finish line as I thought “it’s finally over!” It was even bigger when my best friend and husband found me at the meet and greet area. That’s their arms around me in the photo above – I’ve cropped them out of it as I know they’d rather not have their photos on here after they’d been running all over London themselves, in their efforts to try and cheer me on.
My smile is huge in this photo because I was so glad that they were there for me, like they always are.
I’m smiling now, because I’m laughing at myself – for that last few miles I was vowing “never again”. Shortly after this photo was taken, we were planning where they would position themselves to watch me next time I did it. I’m also smiling because I’ve already raised more money than I’d hoped for the charity Children With Leukaemia. If anyone is interested, you can sponsor me here.
I chose this portrait of myself for this week’s Gallery.