to Sheena Di Franco's Marathon Training Diary.
Sheena was training for the London
Marathon after starting with Dudley Ladies in October of 2004. Every
week Sheena let everyone know what she did that week and how
the training was going.
Things were going OK until Sheena had to go in
to hospital for a minor operation that set back her training and so
Sheena has had to start again from scratch with just a few weeks to go.
If you would like to send Sheena any words of
advice or encouragement then you can contact her on
Anyway, here's Sheena's account of how she did
October - We're Off and it's Miss Wet T-Shirt Time
Sheena Di Franco
pictured far left with Pam Edmunds and Gail Edwards would just like
everyone to know that on Sunday 30th October, she won
the Dudley Ladies Miss Wet T Shirt competition.
She writes, "Gail,
Pam, Kerry, Raj, Kerry’s friend and I
started out on a ten mile trek today. A spring in our step, mud on
our trainers, wind through our hair!!!
Everything was ok until we came off the
canal at Dimmingsdale. We turned right off
the canal to start what I call Alison’s Potatoe
10. I’d stripped off to my Dudley ladies sleeveless T Shirt, only
to cover it back up 5 mins later. Why you
may ask? It started to rain a little, but we were strong, it’s ok
only a little shower. We carried on for
another couple of miles, but by this time the RAIN was getting just a
Wombourne town centre, and there were some men playing tennis,
they shouted to us “You must be as mad as we are!!” To which Pam
said in her delicate voice “Yes, but we aren’t playing with our balls!!”.
must confirm at this
point that Pam didn’t actually shout this back loudly to the men, but
us Dudley ladies heard it and we had a little
We carried on running, but by this time
the RAIN was thrashing it down, my endorphins started to kick in, I
couldn’t stop laughing and to top it off a car came towards us, went
through a massive puddle and soaked Gail, (Luckily Gail being taller
than me saved me from getting to wet). I started laughing again!!!
We neared the railway track which I knew was only six
mins approx from Ounsdale. It was Pouring down with rain and we
made a unanimous decision LETS GO HOME!!!
We arrived back at Ounsdale 1 hour 12
mins later and I can honestly say it had
been the worst weather I had ever run in. We were all soaked
through to our underwear. Our trainers had been washed clean by
the rain!! My hair was messed up after I took such a long time on it
this morning, but I must say today’s run was the BEST laugh I’d had in a
long time. Yet
another memory to add to all the rest."
Sunday 26th February
(1 month, 24days to go)
Following Sheena's recent stay in
hospital, her London marathon training has taken a bit of a step back
but as you will read below, she is now back on track and is determined
to do it.
"Well this week has
gone ok. Monday I did 10 mile on my exercise bike, Tuesday I came out
with Dudley Ladies. Wednesday did 5 mile on bike, but Thursday and
Friday had rest may have over done it a little. Any way today Sunday
ran with Kerry from the Bush and met Pam and Tracy on
Charterfields, (Gail was working
We did the loop around
Est. Tracy thought I was taking her on a 5 miler, as we were running
down Cot lane I said we had only been running for 30
mins since we met up, approx 3 mile. We
carried on down to
Road and headed for the A449, turned right and headed back to the Bush
Pub. (It wasn’t open!!) . I then broke the news to Tracy Bennett that
she had run over 7 miles. Her first
7 ever!!! She did really well, only started at the club
last April 2005 as a beginner. She’s well on her way to doing the DK
six with ease.
Anyway Kerry and I
ran the last mile faster and we completed our 9 miles in good time
1.30hr ish. This was a rest weekend as we
ran 11 miles last week. So next Sunday will be 14/15 miles.
Should be good.
Anyway I’ve sent my money off for the
Liverpool Women's 10K and I’ve also got my number for the
DK 10k run.. We’ve been talking about doing
(oh bother not sure how to spell it, but I know, you know what I mean)
and the Wolverhampton ½ marathon.
Love Sheena (Miss
Wet T Shirt 2005)"
5th March (1 month, 17days to go)
It’s been a very
different week this week, I’ve tried a new exercise, I’ve prayed for NO
snow and after today’s run, I’ve realised I’ve still got a long way to
March – I went to a keep fit club with Gail, Pam and Tracy to try out a
new exercise I have never done before. SPIN. You may well ask what this
is. Well imagine a room with approximately 20 exercise bikes fixed to
the floor. Your strap you feet into the pedals of the bike, the lights
dim and then this rather fit young gentleman gets on his bike, on the
stage and you pedal to music. Sound easy, NOT!!!
You start off at a
gradual speed with hardly any tension, then once you’ve warmed up he
guides you through what I can only describe as aerobic exercise on a
bike. Stand up, sit down, now pedal and repeat. Well you should have
seen me. I get my left and right hands mixed up and he wanted me to
stand up, sit down and pedal at the same time. I could feel pain
running up the top of my thighs (that's the top of my legs I think),
your arms get tired as well, but I persevered.
But the worse was
yet to come. The instructor then said “sit on our seats, put the bike
on its lowest tension and pedal to the beat of the music. The music was
so fast and I really did try, but the faster I went, the more my bottom
bounced from the seat. OH MY GOODNESS…. I need extra padding (Although
my hubby say’s I have enough!!). I have now come to a conclusion, that
the bigger you are in the behind the better padding for the seat!!!! I
must try and eat extra this week!!!
At the end of the
class I mentioned my problem to the instructor, in a very ladylike way…
He informed me that I could purchase gel pads to protect my delicate
Would I do this
exercise again? YES it was a hoot!!
Feb – Went to Dudley Ladies and although I was walking like I’d ridden a
horse for two months, I manage to run 5 miles.
March – SNOW… Phil only said to me on Tuesday you cannot let the weather
stop the training. I left work in Wolverhampton at 3.30pm in a blizzard
and thought oh god I’ll have to go to spin tonight, but as I arrived in
Kingswinford the pavements were clear. So, as soon as I arrived home I
thought go and do my run now before it snowed again. I ran 6 miles in 1
hour 6mins. Very pleased.
March – THE BIG ONE –I woke as usual at 7am, the sun peering through the
curtains and I thought it looks like a lovely morning for a run. Got
straight out of bed and peeked to see what the roads looked like
SNOW!!! Now what. Went down stairs and had my usual breakfast
Porridge and drink. I then slipped on my trainers and tested the
pavement. The snow was very soft and because the sun was up the snow
was melting fast.
I text Pam to say
I’d be at Charterfields for 9.20am, then I somehow managed to ring her
by mistake and woke her up (it was only 7.30AM!!) I quickly cut the
phone off before she could say anything.
I was meeting Gail
and Kerry at 8.30am at the Bush, Swindon and we were all trying to run
between 14.5 and 15miles. I’m not sure why, but I was a little nervous,
I shouldn’t have been because I’d run 15miles the day before my
operation on 20th January.
Anyway, I started
off well, I took Gail and Kerry all around Wall Heath and to throw in a
little bit of fun along the way, I’d included a couple of Cul de Sacs on
route!! We met Pam, Tracy and Donner at Charterfield and completed the
Pensnett circuit, as we arrived at the Cross, Pam, Tracy and Donner
headed off home, but Gail, Kerry and I still had a long way to go.
My knees were
starting to feel tender and I must say, I was not feeling my best this
Sunday, not sure why. Although I know through experience that this does
happed from time to time. Anyway, carried on and as we were running up
Barnett Lane , Gail asked how many more hills have we to run? I didn’t
really like to tell her, but I did. Eh I think two smallish one’s and
one short and sharp or shall I rephrase that; you may not like me when
you see it!!!
Arrived at Ridge
Road, started to run up it then turned into Court Crescent. Gail said
“Oh god Sheena I see what you mean” and unfortunately again I had to say
to Gail “No Gail that’s not it, we need to turn right now.” Due to the
nature of Gail’s reaction when seeing the short, sharp, steep, well very
steep hill, I cannot write the exact wording she said to me, but it was
along the line of, “Oh dear Sheena my ex friend, not quite sure if I’ll
get up this one” or words to that effect. Well we did get up the hill
and we continued on our run, to arrive back at the Bush in 2hours and
54mins. 14.5 miles. Congratulations to all. THANK YOU!!
We were all quite
tired and in need of a rest. Yes we warmed down Phil, and then went
Next Sunday we are
running Alison’s 13miler (Potato run I call it), slightly shorter that
this week and on the railway line to take care of my old joints (no not
Be in touch.
6th - 12th March - New Friends
Monday 6th March 2006
After completing 14.5 miles the day previous, I
decided on Sunday night that I would go for a swim tonight, but all that
change when I arrived home from work at 4.30pm. I took the dog to the
vet as he was a bit wobbly on his back legs (a bit like me yesterday).
Arrived back from vet 6pm. I then cooked the tea and decided I would do
6 miles on the bike instead. It was much easier and warmer. Perhaps
I’ll go swimming next week.
Tuesday 7th March 2006 – Gail
stitches Sheena up!!!
I met Gail at running. Raj returned from sunning
herself in India. Pam and Tracy were feeling a little lazy and decided
to have a night off!!!(only joking..) Started to run around Wombourne
and Gail asked if I felt like a long one. To which I replied “What do
you mean, a long what” run of course. I said I was up for it. We ran
round Wombourne Green and started to run towards Sytch Lane. Are we
going up this Gail? To which Gail replied. “ Its only a short, sharp
very horizontal hill Sheena, do you remember yesterday!!!” I do believe
Gail had got her own back for yesterdays 14.5 mile run. We were also
joined by two ladies Julie and Karen, who before we ran up Sytch,
enquired how far we were running. 5 or 6 miles come on you can join
us. By the end of the run we had run approximately 6.5 miles. This was
the furthest Karen and Julie had every run in their preparation for the
Great North run in September. Well Done.
Thursday 9th March 2006 – What do
Karen and Julie Look like?
One of the problems with running in the dark, is
when you meet people for the first time not all of us can recognise them
in daylight. So on the way to training tonight. I was racking my brains
to try and think what Karen and Julie looked like, but unfortunately I
couldn’t remember. On arrival at the club I was telling Rita how far we
had run on Tuesday and about the girls I had met, to which Karen came up
to me (Or was it Julie?) and introduced herself. I congratulated them
again and then went off to run with Gail and Raj. (Sorry no Tracy or
Pam, WHERE were YOU!!!)
Sunday 12th March – SNOW AGAIN!!
Today was a rest day we were only running 13 miles
(Although Kerry thought it was going to be 8 miles – Sorry about
that!!). There was quite a few of us meet up today, PAM and TRACY, Gail,
Kerry, Raj, Julie and Karen. Karen, Tracy and Julie ran for 6 miles
plus and the rest of us completed Alison’s 13 mile Potatoe Run. It was
very cold, snow on the ground, but we were strong and fought the
elements!! We completed the 13 miles in 2 hours 23mins. My mind kept
wondering to next Sunday’s 18 miles and which route we would complete.
The thought of 18 miles is quite scary, but I will finish….
14th - 19th March - Sheena’s Flora London Marathon
Diary – 1 Month and 2 Days To Go!!!
Tuesday 14th March – Sore
Went to Dudley
Ladies on Tuesday evening. My knees were very sore and as I was to
undertake an 18 mile run on Sunday, I decided with some encouragement
from Gail and Pam, to do a short run. I ran 4.5 miles ish. Went home
and put ice on the knees.
Thursday 16th – Bit of a Problem..
I had a problem with my left foot, I wish I’d got
John to check it on Tuesday. I didn’t go running tonight. I think I’ve
pushed it a little lately, but I must admit I feel like I’m running out
of time. My operation stole three weeks of my training and I now feel I
can’t do too much or too little nothing is right which ever I do. Sunday
is fast approaching and I’m really scared I won’t do it, but Gail and
the others are a great source of encouragement at the moment.
SUNDAY 19th March – This is it – 18
I got up at 6.30am feeling very nervous. I had my
usual, porridge, 1pint of orange squash and my omega 3 milk drink. I had
my bum bag with me today and inside it I was carrying the following
provisions: Fruit pastels, Malt loaf, Energy tablets, paracetamol,
tissue (just in case I need a Paula Radcliff…if you get my drift!!) and
a mobile phone.
I met Gail and Raj at 8am on the car park of
Ounsdale Leisure centre. I can honestly say I felt really apprehensive.
We ran along the canal and did the 10 mile run which goes passed Ashwood
nurseries and back to Ounsdale. At this point we had run 10 miles in 1
hour and 49mins. Raj said her good byes and waved us on. We continued
along the canal, until we arrived at the Bratch, here we got off the
Canal and went onto the Railway track towards the gate. We again came
off the railway track and went back onto the canal toward Castlecroft.
We arrive at the Castlecroft Bridge just under 3hrs, but then we had to
get up Windmill Bank. We got back onto the railway at Castlecroft and
made our way home to Ounsdale. The last three and a half miles were new
territory for me and Gail. It was ok until the last mile and a half.
Our knees were sore and we couldn’t wait to finish.
Arrived back at Ounsday Leisure Centre
18 miles 3 hours 33 mins.
Not bad for two forty something’s…..
I now have to say a very big
thank you to Gail. I cannot
put into words how I feel about my friend. Gail started running with me
and the rest of the crew hoping to gain a place in the London Marathon
and as we all know nobody got a place. She has stuck by me in rain,
frost and plenty of snow. She has encouraged me when I’ve had doubts
(and I still have a few of them..). She is just FANTASTIC – THANK YOU
for everything Gail and especially for Sunday…(oh and Sytch)
21st - 26th March -
28 days to go!!
Tuesday 21st – John’s magic fingers..
I arrive home from work, the first thing I do is to check my emails. I
couldn’t believe it when I read an email all the way from Indiana, USA.
It was from a lady called Joan Malicote. Her picture is shown left.
She said she regularly checks up on Dudley Ladies
and the things we get up to and noticed my London Marathon Diary on the
web page. She is a runner her self and sent her best regards with my
training. Reading her mail put a real spring in my step after running
18 miles a couple of days earlier.
evening I went training as usual with the other Dudley Ladies, but my
first port of call was to magic fingers himself, John the physio. I
told him my problem, he manipulated my foot and as if by magic the pain
had gone. He is brilliant!!
Ran with the girls and we ran about 4 miles. I must
admit I was still feeling tired from Sunday.
Met at Pam’s house and ran the Pensnett Circle I
call it. 5-5.5miles. plenty of hill work. I think we did alright.
Met the others at the Bush in Swindon at 8.30am
(Pam, Gail, Raj, Tracy and Kerry). Raj was running like a ferret this
morning there was no signs of her shin splint injury and Tracy.. Well
she ran her first 9-9.5 miler. She is such a good runner I think she
could easily do the Dublin Marathon with the girls in October. We ran 15
miles today which included plenty of hill work to build up the stamina.
I only had one problem.
At around 8 miles I desperately needed the loo
(toilet) and going by numbers, it was not a number one. I can’t believe
I’m telling you this!! Anyway, I ran into the Summerfield Supermarket
in Kingswinford and explained that I was training for the London
Marathon, I'd got a bit of a problem and could use their toilet
facilities. The young assistant got on the telephone; I suppose to her
supervisor and explained my predicament. To my utter surprise, they
refused me, as she explained I needed a code to enter the room were the
toilet was and she was unable to give it to me. OK never mind I said,
as I ran out the door crossed legged with buttocks firmly clenched!!!
I told Gail and Pam I couldn’t use their loo. Then
across the road I spotted the Daisy Chain Flower
Shop was open (of course it’s Mother’s Day!!). I ran very quickly over
the road and again explained my predicament. To which the assistant
pointed me in the right direction, up stairs to the toilet. I would now
like to get quite emotional. This was quite honestly the best toilet
visit I have ever had.. I was surrounded by bouquets of flowers in the
area where I was sitting. Beautifully scented flowers, brightly
coloured and ready to be delivered to wonderful mothers in this local
area! I can honestly say I was in heaven (especially when I’d finished..
if you get my drift!!).
I vote the DAISY CHAIN FLOWER SHOP as
having the best, most sweetest smelling toilet facilities in the West
Midlands!!! THANK YOU..
To continue, Pam, Gail and I finished the15 miles
in a little over 3 hours, a little pooped in more ways than one.
Next Sunday is the BIG ONE! 22 miles.
Can’t tell you how I feel, but to say I’m very nervous is an
understatement, but I WILL finish (I hope)!!
28th March - 2nd April - 21 DAYS TO GO!!! and it's THE BIG
Tuesday 28th March – Just A Short
Met the girls at Dudley Ladies, tonight was just a
short one as I was saving my energy for the 22 miles on Sunday. I had
hoped to see John Murphy, but the school was closed due to industrial
action, therefore he was unable to treat my ankle and knees.
Thursday 30th March – Ah that’s
I visited John Murphy as Mons Hill College
tonight. This is where he teaches massage. He came and asked me
the problem, and then with his magic fingers he went and did it again
and got rid of the pain. I then had a couple of his students massage
the calves of my legs, it hurt but as they say no pain no gain!!
Sunday 2nd April – THE BIG ONE!!
I must have been worried about this run, all I did
on Saturday night was dream about running and getting lost. It was a
crazy night. I got out of bed at 6am and went through my usual routine
of porridge, a pint of squash, and my omega 3 drink. By this time it
was only 6.45am and I wasn’t meeting the girls until 8am.
I decided to make bread and butter pudding for the
family sweet after dinner; this took my mind off the run a little. I
then packed my bum bag with fruit pastels, energy sweets, mobile phone
and yes tissue, just in case.
Arrived at Ounsdale School and met up with Kerry,
Julie and Karen. The furthest Kerry has ever run is 14 miles and this
was with me on the 22nd January. She was planning to run the
full 22 miles with me today. The furthest Julie and Karen had ever run
was 9 miles and they wanted to run 10 today.
We got onto the canal path and started to run. It
was very windy, cold and rainy. We reached Compton Bridge which is
where Julie and Karen were going to leave us to complete their own 10
miles, but I said that if you can run 9 miles then you CAN run 12 which
would bring them back to Ounsdale School. They agreed and continued to
run with me and Kerry.
At 11 miles I said to Julie, that it would be a
shame not to do that extra mile and do 13.1 miles which would be their
first half marathon. It would probably only take them approx another 12
mins. I convinced them again to keep going and they did it. Julie and
Karen completed their first Half Marathon in 2 hours and 44 mins.
Fantastic achievement for them both as they are taking part in the Great
North Run in October, they are well ahead of schedule to bring that time
Kerry and I left them both as 12 miles and headed
for Ounsdale school, we both needed the bathroom and this is were would
meet up with Pam to run the last 10 miles. It was a lovely surprise to
see Rita standing with Pam as we approached Ounsdale they both gave us
great encouragement then we dashed to the loo.
Off we went again, onto the canal and headed for
the Navigation and Ashwood. I felt quite good until 18 miles, then my
knees started to ache, but we kept going. Kerry is a faster runner than
me and I suggested that she carry on ahead and finish as quickly as she
can. By this time the wind and rain was picking up and we were getting
quite wet. Off she went, the little whippet. I asked Pam to keep
talking to me and if anyone knows Pam, they know she has no problem in
talking (ONLY JOKING). She spoke of her holidays, she told me jokes
anything to get my mind off the pain in my knees, she was marvellous.
Another area I was getting a problem from was the
top middle of my back. I’ve never had a problem before, but I felt like
it was in knots. Nearly there and I could see the last bridge in the
distance. My legs were working so hard, but I knew by now I WAS going
to finish. As we come off the canal we have to run 30 yards up quite a
steep hill back to Ounsdale. I was thinking about this as I approached
the hill, but I did run up it, I don’t know how, just sheer grit and
determination I guess!!!
Arrived at Ounsdale 4HOURS 20MINS later.
Thank God. Finished in more ways than one, Kerry greeted me and we all
hugged. I must say I felt quite emotional and relieved.
That’s it the last LONG run before the marathon.
Next Sunday I will be in Switzerland with Students
from St. Edmunds School on a Geography trip. No I’m not a teacher, I’m
the Finance Officer at the school, organizing disco’s and raffles as
well as sitting on the board of Governors. I am a busy person and I can
honestly say that without my running I would be totally stressed,
probably 1 ½ stone over weight and I wouldn’t feel the way I feel at
What a great day!!!
When I got back home, I received the following
email from Julie Lamb telling me how she and Karen got on when they left
us, she wrote :-
" Hi ya ... only me...
Well the good news is we made it.... We ran down the track to common
road and then towards the green. When we arrived back at the centre we
realised we had only done 12.4 so we then went round Bumblehole ... it
was at this point that Karen told me we needed to do 13.1 miles... not
just 13... oh my god!!!
Our finishing time for 13.1 was 2hrs 44 mins.. We were really
pleased... and you were right.. it does give you a buzz and a great
sense of achievement.
Hope your run went well and your hip and ankle held out. I am sure
you did just fine. You have so much determination ... it really is
encouraging to us other runners.
Thanks for the run this morning.. I really enjoyed it."
I would like to say a big thank you to the
following: Pam Edmunds, Gail Edwards, Raj Sanghera, Kerry
Pearson, Tracy Bennett, Julie Lamb, Karen, Phil, Rita and John Murphy.
THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT!!!
9th - 18th April - Time
Out in the Alp’s
9th April 2006 -
This week I was with students from St. Edmund’s School were I work, in
Switzerland, on a Geography trip. I managed 2/3 miles training at
6.30am on Monday 10th April and that was after leaving my
handbag in France at a service station to which the driver turned the
coach around and it was retrieved and then setting off the fire alarm at
6.30 am on the Sunday after the hotel manager had given us in-depth
instructions on arrival to the hotel on the 8th April, to be
careful using hair dryers in the room, the fire sensors are very
sensitive, but what the heck at least people will remember me…(I was
totally embarrassed not sure the school will take me again).
April 2006 – One week to go
Only ran 7 miles
today. Only small runs this week to keep my energy for Sunday. Getting
rather nervous, but that’s to be expected.
Aril 2006 – Last Run
Last run at Dudley
Ladies before the big one. 5 miles in 56 mins I felt really good. Next
time I write to you it will be about the marathon until then – fingers
April 2006 – My London Marathon -
......... This is it !!!!!!!!!
Arose from my bed
at 5am and had a long soak in the bath. Washed my hair and put
on my makeup (Well you never know I may bump into Colin Jackson!!). My
husband Richard and I went down to breakfast. Richard had cereals,
followed by a full English breakfast and two cups of coffee. I had the
same….NOT!!! I had two large bowls of porridge, banana and two
drinks of orange juice.
Got on the coach at
7am, this is it, I’m on my way, or so I thought. The coach drivers were
a little unsure as to the way to Greenwich Park as a lot of the roads
had been closed for the Marathon, but we did arrive in plenty of time no
need to have worried.
Arrived at the blue
start and the first think I needed to do was find the loo. I spotted
them and to my surprise went straight into a cubical. When I’d finished
I went back to Richard and said that that was a surprise there wasn’t a queue
for the toilets, to which he replied… wait for it….. Yes there was,
there was about 20/25 people queuing, but I just didn’t see it, I
couldn’t believe it. I’d queue Jumped!!
Richard and I then
walked swiftly away from the toilet area (Well very quickly actually)
to meet up with his brother and girlfriend.
It was now 9.15am,
so I said my good byes to Richard, Michelle and Tony. We’d planned to
meet each other at 4/5 miles, 14/15 miles, 20 miles and the finish.
I was starting from
the Blue start. Standing very nervous, but confident I would and should
finish after all the training that had been done.
The minutes passed,
the tension rose, a last deep breath and suddenly there was a loud
report and we were off. It took quite a long time to get running as I was in
the last pen number 9 with a lot of runners in front of me. Eventually
after what seemed to be an eternity, we actually got to the start line
but still found ourselves in a bottle neck, which made it difficult to
get into a regular stride pattern as I was too busy dodging other
runners and black bin liners.
In my head I was
hoping to finish in around 5hrs 10 – 5 hours 15mins but there was a long
way to go (26.2 miles to be exact) but the crowds were fantastic, with
people shouting and cheering us on, giving us encouragement for this
very long challenge, so I felt confident.
I saw Richard and
the family at 4/5 miles and had to have some pain killers for my back
pain which had decided that today of all days it was going to come and
visit me again. I also took the opportunity to grab a bottle of water and have
a family photograph. I carried on feeling ok. At twelve miles the picture
of Tower Bridge kept on coming into my head, then as we turned the
corner there it was. I started to cry with relief and nervous
excitement, the noise from the crowds, the cheering and screaming,
families waiting anxiously to see their runners crossing this very
famous bridge, this was such an adrenalin rush!!
This is were I saw
Colin Jackson, I just hoped my makeup looked ok..
“Hi Colin", I said and then he saw
me, our eyes met and he blew me a kiss “See you
at the finish Sheena darling!!! " Then I woke up. Yes I know
he never saw me but I saw him and he looks a good in the flesh as he
Ooh this put a big
spring in my step and it wasn’t too long before my family were waving at
me again at 14/15 miles. A new bottle of water, sweets, MORE
PHOTO’s and a KISS from the hubby.
The weather for the
marathon continued to help, it couldn’t have been better, fairly cool,
no wind and drizzly rain, just what I had
Carrying on and feeling
ok....ish, I could just see Canary wharf in the distance, but as I
reached 18 miles I was in hellish pain in my lower back again, I can’t
describe how much it hurt. Part of me wanted to stop and ask for pain
killers and the other part of me said, this will affect your time and
the other part of me said if you stop now for help then you WILL finish.
I stopped right by a family who were sitting in front of their house and asked if they
had any pain killers? They said yes just wait a minute and the lady of the
house came out with two Paracetamol and a glass of water. I thanked
her for her kindness and then got on my way. At this point I knew I
had lost a good three or four minutes on my time. But I carried on running my
aim was to finish.
Met up with
family again at around 20/21 miles more photo’s, more water and more
sweets and then Richard said “See you at the
finish”. With his words in my head I ran off knowing this
would be the hardest part of my marathon.
My knees hurt, my
back (sorry for this) bloody killed me and I think I have a blister on
my foot but I kept running, I was DEFINITELY NOT GOING TO WALK, I
had done the training and I was determined to RUN ALL THE WAY.
Each mile seemed to get longer as the marathon went on, I was in pain but I had
reached the embankment and was still running. The rain was now
thrashing down, it was great, lovely weather to run in.
at 24 miles my blister burst, yes you may think that it was only a
blister, but the stinging sensation when they burst while you are trying
to run makes you limp like you’ve sprained your ankle but luckily, the
sensation wore off after a few minutes and I gritted my teeth. In the distance I could see Big
Ben. What a fantastic sight that was. Nearly there, not in the time I had
hoped, but at this point I had the finish in sight.
I kept on running
down Birdcage Walk and by now I could see Buckingham Place, come on you
can do it, you CAN do it!!! The finish line is in sight come on,
come on, come on.................., FINISHED - Hands up jubilant,
crying, shaking and trembling with excitement and pain.
difficult to describe how I felt at that moment of finishing the
marathon. For 18 months I’d been training for this day. I’d had
injuries and most recently an operation which I thought would prevent me
from finishing my challenge but I didn't give up, I gritted my teeth and
I dug in.
And then the
realisation, I had just
run 26.2 miles in the greatest marathon in the world and didn't walk, I’d trained very very hard for this one event,
I’m not sure were my
determination came from, but I'm sure that I wouldn't have done it
without the help of Pam, Gail, Raj, Kerri, Tracey and all my friends and
co-runners from Dudley Ladies Running Club who gave me nothing but
encouragement and support.
I have met and made
new friends while on this journey, local people and people like Joan
Malicote from the USA who emails me with support regularly. I know that if I can complete a marathon with
all the challenges and problems that I have met along the way these last 18 months,
then anyone can, as long as you hold onto the dream. (now I’m crying again
23 April 2006 – RAN in 5 hours 19 mins.
Thank you –
Would I do another one? Ask me in a couple of years time when I’m 50!!!
Click on the camera
icon on the right to see a video of Sheena's race