Four and a half hours can be a really long time. This is what 4:26 on September 21st in Sydney looked like for me.
2kms: WOO I am running a MARATHON! I am a MARATHONER. Could I be more awesome? NO I could not!
5kms: We are killing it! Look at us running a MARATHON. So awesome!
10kms: OMG could we BE any more amazing? How can people think this is scary? This is so cool! MARATHON!
15kms: Shut up hip flexor, I am running a MARATHON I don’t have time for your shenanigans.
18kms: We are making such great time! These jelly beans each 3kms are GREAT! I am the BEST. Hmmm is that a blister on my big toe? That is kind of weird.
20kms: KILLING IT! Nearly half way, this marathon gig is great! I was BORN to run long!
22kms: Half way. Half way. Hang on we’ve been running for ages, we have to do the same again? That seems kind of long… That IS a blister. Gross!
24kms: ARGH THAT HURTS FRICKEN BLISTER FRICKEN HIP FLEXOR OUCH OUCH OUCH OUCH OUCH
26kms: Wait, still 16 to go? But my blister HURTS. My hip HURTS. I am SCREWED. Suck it up princess. Dig deep you are better than this. Keep up with Zoey. Just keep up with Zoey.
28-38kms: la la la la la don’t think too hard about all the hurty bits sing and smile why are there hills and slopes? Holy crap this is so hard so so hard and those jelly beans were GROSS. Throw them away go for Gu! Keep smiling keep running. Just keep running. Just keep running. It is really HOT here.
38kms: 4 to go 4 to go 4 to go anyone can run 4 kilometres. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other block out the pain just keep going you are nearly there you can do this!
41kms: NO what is wrong with my quad ARGH STOP IT! Oh look at that poor guy on the ground with the medics so close to the end! Hmmm maybe I could just go lie down there for a bit too. Everything hurts. Imagine lying down, oh lying down would be NICE.
42kms: WHERE IS THE FREAKING FINISH LINE FFS I AM DYING WHY AM I STILL RUNNING THIS IS THE STUPIDEST IDEA EVER WHAT WAS I THINKING?
42.2kms: Oh there it is. OMG. OMG OMG. I can stop running. And cry. Because I just ran a marathon, faster than I even dared hope I could. Wow. Wow wow. Why does it hurt more to walk than it did to run?
* Please note: my experience is not indicative of anyone else’s experience, obviously. And just like childbirth, within a few hours when the worst of the pain had passed I was looking forward to next time. In three weeks. Oh. Heck.
With thanks to Steggles for their Sponsorship of Operation Move at the Blackmore Sydney Running Festival 2014.