If you had asked me back at the beginning of March what I would be doing at the end of May I probably would have just shrugged my shoulders. Entering the Edinburgh Marathon Festivals 10k would not have entered my mind in the slightest! But that’s exactly what I was doing!
I was stupidly nervous, not because I didn’t think I could do it – surprisingly I had managed a few runs at the distance before with no problems so it wasn’t that. It was the thought of putting myself amongst a huge number of people to do something I hadn’t really been doing that long. Yes, I was nervous. Didn’t help that we left late but that’s us, we will never be early for anything, fact. The other half had to drop me near by as he went to park the car – I literally was all by myself. I followed the crowd and found the queue for the toilet, didn’t make eye contact with anyone and kept fidgeting with my phone. My main focus was not to throw up, not to cry and not to, em, well, you know, I was in the queue for the toilet if you get my drift. I think what saved me was hearing someone asking another girl if she had a full face of make up on in astonishment. Her reply ‘Of course, got to look good for the photos!’. I was standing behind her, a 33 year old in pig tails and half her trousers up her bum with a wedgie – ah well.
A fast walk to my ‘pen’ and I phoned the other half to see if he had managed to get parked. He had but he wasn’t going to get there for me starting so no starter photo. I wasn’t about to take a selfie (shockingly for me) as my hands were sweating enough to fill a swimming pool.
Count down starts and then it’s off we go….
I didn’t like it, so many people, so much noise, everyone crowding and shuffling along – nope, not for me, got to get away. I kept trying to get further up and I ended up dodging in and out quite easily, many years of practise working in pubs coming in handy at this point! Thankfully I wasn’t feeling pushed on, instead I seemed to be one of those who was overtaking everyone else in the pen, and when some even started walking only 1 km in I realised I had underestimated my finish time. Onwards and upwards though – and my god was it upwards! I had been warned about the climb at the start but Jesus Christ that thing went on for ever! Didn’t help when I got to the top and some bloke went skate boarding past me! A few not so mumbled words from my mouth had the guy next to me laughing though. Now downhill usually scares me and I fear I am going to trip myself up but thankfully I didn’t and I nailed it quite fast still desperately trying to get away from everyone as if they are zombies after my blood (another fear, don’t judge). It was really hot so I decided to take the water that was offered about half way, I even looked for a bin to put my bottle in not wanting to litter but it seemed the thing to do was to throw it on the floor. I apologise for this.
At about 7km I came across Full Face Of Make Up girl, she was on the floor, crying, saying she couldn’t do it. I presume it was her dad with her. I didn’t have my glasses but I’m sure she still looked good for the photos.
At 8km I thought to myself right, push it, get to the end as fast as you can, just go. And then there was another hill. It was so steep I swear you needed climbing gear to get up the thing! So out came my chant of ‘up, up, up’. Again, amusing those around me. I’m good for entertainment if nothing else ha ha.
Home straight and I’m thinking ok the hubby has to be here somewhere with our youngest and the camera so I’m looking and looking and looking and then yeah, I’m almost tripping up. No more looking and just focus. Surprisingly I do see them and I give a smile and as I pass I hear Ginnie shouting ‘Go Ella’. So I do, I use all my energy and step it up a gear. Ginnie was going to be running but she had hurt her back, her other half was running but he was obviously faster. I cross the finish line, and that’s it, I’ve done it. Thank god.
Walking through the finishers tunnel I start to panic though, I can’t see the other half and I don’t know how I am going to find him. Like I said I’m tiny, finding me in a crowd is impossible. I’m looking about like an absolute idiot and I can feel the fear taking over my face, I start looking for a toilet to hide in but just at that moment I see him. Relief. Ginnie comes running over shouting congratulations but I’m still a bit out of it and don’t recognise her at first poor soul. I must have looked a right moron to her (and sweaty to hug, but, she’s done many events, so I’m sure she gets it ha ha).
So yeah, first official race complete. New medal to join my obstacle course one I achieved a couple of weeks ago and feeling a little better about being in crowds. Now it’s time to start the 12 week programme to doing a half marathon!
And of course the moon walk in 2 weeks followed by Tough Mudder just 1 week later. If I’m not fit and healthy by the end of 2015 I will be dead!