The 6th April 2014, saw Kelly Addison running the Brighton Marathon.
Kelly's run up to the marathon hasn't been the text book approach of increasing mileage and tapering due to an injury.
When Kelly's report came through, this Roving Reporter got very tearful reading it and got the shivers and winced along with her story.
This is a story that needs no adding to, so here's Kelly in her own words.
Stood on the start line of the Brighton Marathon was quite possibly the scariest moment of my entire life. As the competitive one; the one who claims to be fairly fit, quite fast and will never, ever be beaten, I felt completely out of my depth and full of self doubt while all around me were taking selfies, hugging and congratulating each other on a race they were so confident about completing. Yet here I was like a frightened rabbit in the headlights, walking backwards through the crowd away from the 4 hour pacer with a contingency plan with my husband to pick me up on the way round if I couldn't carry on. I hadn't eaten, I just couldn't stomach anything. All I could think about was letting people down and looking stupid. The emotion of that moment is still with me now and not one I ever want to feel again.The reason for my lack of confidence was a tear to my gluteus medius, which had hampered my 13, 15 and 18 mile training runs. All of which I'd managed, but through painful tears. My last long run which should have been 20 miles ended at 12, when I literally couldn't run through the pain. This was 4 weeks before marathon day and a week later I hadn't run at all and I was tempted to pull out. So many of my fellow Shabbas and friends on Twitter were all doing amazingly well and were ready for the big day. I was having twice-weekly physio, far too much red wine and by race day my longest run in 4 weeks was 6 miles. I was doomed.
But then something happened. The gun went off and I started running. The crowds quickly dispersed and I passed through the first 10k at 8.30 minute miles and was comfortable.
My pace kept creeping up to 7.50...8.05...8.10 and I knew I had to hold back otherwise I'd burn out. Mile 8 came and went and I thought I'd better take on a gel, which I duly did and then retched on. Onwards to mile 10...12...13 and I felt great! My thigh was starting to get shooting pains which I was convinced was going to turn agonising before too long but until that happened I was carrying on and I was holding pace. By mile 16 I was still feeling great and when I checked my Garmin I let myself think I might just get sub 4. Big mistake. Tears, snot, emotion. "Get a grip Kelly, you're a long way from home yet and it can all still go horribly wrong."
Mile 19 came and for the first time I felt pain. Searing pain, which finally saw me drop to my first 9 minute mile. And it was about to get worse as I entered the Road to Hell. The devil himself created this part of the route and I swear it was him that was now driving a knife straight through my thigh every time my foot hit the floor.
Miles 21-23 were horrendous. We were running around an industrial estate with no crowd support and no sign of its end. My pace slowed. I turned to music and the perfect song came on, Rudimental's 'Not Giving In'.
And I wasn't.
My pace lifted and I ran 35-40k not much slower than my 5k pace. I knew now I'd make sub 4 unless I had a heart attack or a bowel prolapse (Yep, those were the two scenarios that were going through my head).
The last mile was a struggle, I was emotional and I was in a lot of pain. K Tape saw me through most of the marathon but by now my thigh had had enough. I passed the pier with the best crowd support I've ever experienced and finally saw the finish line in the distance.
I'd done it.
Over and over I was asking myself how the hell I'd managed it, but I had. The moment I crossed the line in 3 hours 56 I felt like a truck had hit me but I was crying with such pride in myself. Someone put a medal round my neck and I cried even more.
You'd think the emotions of running a marathon would end pretty much soon after you'd hobbled back to the car and threw up (nothing but water and gel does not make for a happy stomach) but then I checked my phone. The texts, the messages, the sheer amount of people that had been tracking me and were really and truly proud of me made me cry again.The best feeling in the world. Apart from the miserable Road to Hell it really was 26MilesofSmiles.
Three days later and I can walk again, and I really don't feel like I just ran a marathon. I want to do another, and soon. But for now I'll rest and get my injury better, then start again running parkrun, wearing Shabba Red, of course.
My next marathon will hopefully be less stressful, injury free and lots, lots faster. ;-) So many first marathons were ran by Shabbas on Sunday the 6th, and I'm proud of every single one of them. Ain't no stopping us now. :-) x
If you would like to sponsor Kelly in her marathon, click here.
We're very proud of you Kelly - well done and keep on running! (After an appropriate rest period of course!)