Last weekend I took part in the Cancer Research Shine Walk where I was set to walk a marathon starting Saturday late evening and finishing up sometime Sunday morning. When I first signed up I remember thinking ‘Oh i’m only walking it’ so i’ll definitely be able to do the full marathon no problem. This equates to 26.2 miles or 42.2 km depending on what metrics you used.
I’m generally an active person in regards to the fact that I go to the gym generally at least 4 times a week doing a mixture of walking/ running, cardio based activities, classes and weight training so I thought training wise I was okay. But how wrong I could have been.
The evening started at 9.20pm when we first set off although the beginning was very stilted with the walkways becoming jammed as so many people were starting at the same time, and there were some narrowed pathways, although by about mile 6 it started to become more spaced out. And by mile 17+ the pathways were pretty empty.
The first six miles were pretty easy actually but it was then that my friend who I was doing it with became ill and had to make the decision to go home, but I carried on. Armed with just sheer determination and little else I pushed myself the further 20 miles to the finish line, but it was so much harder than that.
When my friend moved on I wanted to pick up my pace so power walked miles 6 to 10 and this was a massive mistake as I managed to hurt a muscle in my leg (I think) which resulted in a lot of pain. Consequently from miles 10 until the finish I was in differing degrees of pain, sometimes I could walk at a normal pace, other times I felt like an OAP on a zimmer frame could have overtaken me.
Approaching the 16 mile mark I genuinely had doubts about whether I would finish the walk, I was in a lot of pain but I knew i’d be really annoyed at myself if I didn’t push on. By mile 20 I was in an incredibly tough place, i’m pretty sure I may have shed a tear or two because I was in so much pain but I did it. About 9 hours after I started I crossed the finish line, and I am pretty sure I could have kissed the volunteer who handed me over my medal.
After I managed to sleep on Sunday I realised I had done something to my leg and my knees hurt every time I got up but now two days later I am feeling much better, and I am so proud that I managed to complete this. I have learnt a few valuable lessons about appropriate training though so next time (if i’m stupid enough) there will certainly be more training to be had.
A massive shout out has to be made though to the people who helped organise the Shine Walk, the volunteers there to cheer us on and point us in the right direction and the brands who sponsered the walk and provided our goodies. It was a lovely treat walking along and having jelly babies, popcorn and raisins among other things just handed out.