rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)
[personal profile] rmcf_walks
It took me about 8h15min, and I crossed the line tired but feeling very positive. I now have a pewter bra-embossed medal on the pinkest ribbon I've ever seen, and a huge sense of satisfaction.

The atmosphere and the route were brilliant. It was quite a slow pace at first, but this may have been in my favour, conserving my energy for later. We were on pavements, with marshals at each road crossing and change-of-direction, but particularly busy roads caused big walker tailbacks, as did the chicane inside the tunnel under Westminster Bridge. The full- and half-marathon walkers walked together, with "full-mooners" in pink hats and "half-mooners" in white hats. The half-moon peeled off after about 10 miles, after which there was much more space to move; before then I power-walked where I could and just walked the rest of the time.

It was chilly, and I wore the transparent emergency rain cover over my bra, with hat on top much of the time. I even had my space blanket on at the start just to keep my temperature up. Once we were under way, I was able to take the rain cover off after the first mile or so, but kept having to put it back on when we were slowed or stopped. Around 3:30am it was cold enough for me to keep it on constantly; even after the sun had come up I kept it on as I was finding it harder to stay warm. I think I removed it shortly before the end, but I can't remember clearly and won't actually know until I see my finish-line photo.

Most people seemed to be walking with friends and family. I walked with my old iPod playing radio podcasts, and for a podcast audiobook of The Scarlet Pimpernel, which turned out to be exactly suited to my need for mild but unchallenging distraction. The views along the route helped with that: Big Ben, the Eye, lots of riverside and park walking and when the sun came up I was winding through pretty parts of Kensington.

I learned from my training and made sure I was well-hydrated and had just visited the loo before starting the walk. I then didn't need any water on the way round - my body really doesn't seem to like drinking while doing endurance efforts - or any portaloo visits. A couple of the water stops were giving quartered oranges which turned out to be just the thing to wet the mouth and boost the blood sugar a little without triggering any of my body's nastier responses. I also had packed some small chocolate balls in my bumbag and occasionally sucked on one of these when feeling particularly tired.

I hadn't trained in a sleeveless top, which would have alerted me to the risk of my arms rubbing when power-walking. If I'd had vaseline this wouldn't have been a problem; as it was, I eventually had to stop power-walking entirely around 18 miles because it just hurt too much (and I was tired).

I was tired but steady over those last 8-and-a-bit miles; there were none of the grim depths I'd reached on the 20-mile training route. I sped up on the last 1.5 miles, and swapped the Scarlet Pimpernel for my thumping walking playlist, which had never felt quite what I wanted earlier in the walk. I was certainly tired when I crossed the line, but not exhausted or ill, and completely capable of toddling over to the bag drop for my rucksack. However, I stiffened up pretty quickly as soon as I sat down to put on warm clothes, despite thorough stretching, and had to hobble rather than stride to the tube station. There were other pink and white hats with me all the way to Cambridge station, and a lot of mutual grins of appreciation and support for the aches and pains.

At home I showered (at last!) and fell asleep for a good few hours, waking up to eat a hearty meal and get back on something like normal hours. The real hunger struck on Monday afternoon and I ate a fantastic amount of food yesterday. By now (Tuesday evening) I'm feeling nearly back to normal, the only exception a bit of a tendency to feel colder than usual, and the last healing up of those rubbed patches on my arms.

I have even more respect now for those who actually run marathons.

Date: 2010-05-19 10:15 am (UTC)
emperor: (Default)
From: [personal profile] emperor
Well done!

Date: 2010-05-25 09:03 am (UTC)
lnr: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lnr
Just want to say a belated very well done, now I'm back. I'm glad it went well, and I love the photos too.


rmcf_walks: Rachel crosses the finish line at Moonwalk 2010 (Default)

August 2011

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