After nearly two years of training for the MK Marathon, I wasn’t expecting an injury on marathon day.
The first part of the day was full of excitement and nerves for us zero’s, after all we were about to embark on a journey of a lifetime. Little did I know what was in store for me.
It was all going so well, I felt strong and steady. At mile 6 we ran through Woughton on the Green where family were there to greet me. From there we head towards Woolstone where the green army were out in force shouting names, offering jelly babies and I think I saw two belly dancers!
Mile 8,9,10,11 seemed to flyby. I’ve now settled into a nice rhythm and feeling comfortable. As I cross the half way marker, a pain starts to rumble in my knee and hamstring. It was that same feeling I had when I was running in the Wimbledon Half Marathon in 2016, which put me out of action for 3-months. Please not now, not at mile 13. I push on, but by mile 14 I was forced to walk, the pain was too intense. Why now?
For the next 2/3-miles I walked with a guy called Napoleon, who also was injured and happened to be a doctor. My knee and hamstring were getting worse not better, going down or up hills became a battle. Napoleon literally took me by the hand, and guided me. What a nice, kind guy! The Silver Band along the old railway line saw us walking together and started to play Chariots of Fire, what a moment that was.
Not long after that, and with fire reignited in Napoleon’s belly he starts to run again, he tells me he’ll meet me at the stadium.
Somewhere on the course I see Heather, Leyla and her team, who gave me paracetmol and much needed hugs. Tim and his wife offered cake, which were delicious.
By the time I got to mile 20 I was starting to get despondent, another 6-miles seemed impossible. The pain had gotten worse and I felt sick. At mile 22 my son Alex and my grandson Harry found me on the course, it was at that point I had a melt down. Harry, whose 7 asked me why I was crying, and in the next breath he said “Granma you can do this, its just 4-miles.” I pull myself together, took a deep breath and with Alex and Harry by my side I continued with my marathon journey. Only this time I was not on my own.
On our way we met Laura, Debbie and Ellie who were on their bikes looking for runners who needed encouragement, that would be me and Helen. We were the last Redway Runners on the course. Anybody who knows the Dickinson family would agree with me that they are one special unit.
Don’t ask me how, but somehow the Stadium was in sight. I seem to remember lots of people encouraging me, James one of the zero’s who had completed his marathon came out to look for me. Also Napoleon had waited for me too. As we enter the tunnel to the stadium there is a sea of green shouting my name, the tears start to roll uncontrallbly down my face. As we walk towards the finishing line the zero’s and the Redway Runners are cheering me on, what a welcoming sight it was too. I crossed that finishing line into an embrace of arms, tears and encouragement. That moment will be forever in my heart.
The Zero’s became Hero’s that day. We completed our marathon journey together.
So the marathon run for me didn’t turn out how I expected. I didn’t have a plan b, because I assumed I would run it. So at mile 14 plan b became I have the power to make or break the rest of the journey, and what a journey it became. I met some incredible people along the way, I appreciated the supporters who gave up their Bank Holiday to ensure the runners were safe, had water, jelly babies and the St.John’s Ambulance cycling the course ensuring we were OK. Without all of that support that marathon journey could have been very lonely.
There were also other lessons along the way. My grandson got to see that with determination, support and love that almost anything can be achieved. I feel so blessed not only with all the support from my family, but also being part of the Redway Runners Family.
Although my marathon journey wasn’t what I expected, I got to learn so much more on my injured journey. Thank you, thank you to all those people who made my journey possible, eternally grateful forever.
So out of something bad, something good happened. Life is a lesson, and its what we learn from it, right?
“Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”