Day 291 – 294 – Attaining The Feeling of SuccessApril 18th, 2014 by David
Wow what a whirlwind trip that was! Within the space of 4 days I had flown into London from Kazakhstan, appeared on the radio, visited the London Marathon Expo at the Excel, had a photo shoot with a national newspaper, recorded a documentary and completed the small matter of running the London Marathon 9 months after weighing in at 27 stone!
On Friday morning I was up early to head down to London from my parent’s house to start my marathon journey. First stop was the London Marathon expo where I needed to register, pick up my runner number and timing tag. I had a great time talking to people at the expo that were keen to discuss my shirt and story! I also met up with an old school friend of mine that was managing Lucozade’s London Marathon operations, I hadn’t seen him for nearly ten years and it was great spending time reminiscing! The only problem I had with the expo was the amount of money I spent at it! I ended up with 2 new pairs of Asics, a new set of AfterShokz Headphones (http://w
ww.aftershokz.co.uk/), a London Marathon sports jacket and Clif bars! Not part of the plan but I couldn’t resist, it is my first marathon after all! After the expo, Raushana and I headed over to Greenwich to our hotel, I had a photo shoot scheduled with the Sun (check out next Tuesday’s paper for the story!) which was great fun and then I met up with my brother and his girlfriend Caitlin who had just flown in from the US and my parents. After dinner and a catch up I headed to bed early as I had to be at Twickenham Studios in the morning to begin recording of my documentary.
Raushana and I made our way over to Twickenham Studios early on Saturday morning to meet with Karma Crew to begin filming the interviews for the documentary that I am having filmed to record my journey attaining the feeling of success. We started off with my interview which was pretty nerve wracking and we over ran significantly so by the time my parents and brother turned up for their interviews we were well behind schedule. After Raushana had finished her interview my brother took centre stage and during his turn I realized just how much love and support I had been given through the whole process, I am not afraid to say that I broke down in tears. Having your loved ones tell you the truth about who you are and open up some of your biggest insecurities is really emotional, I couldn’t sit through my parent’s interview, I had to go for a walk in the fresh air to take some time to reflect. After we finished up the interviews and I finally managed to complete my sign off quote after multiple takes the crew broke for lunch before we headed over to beautiful Richmond Park to begin shooting some action shots. It was great fun but it was so cold! Especially in shorts and a t-shirt! After several hours we finished up and headed back to
Greenwich to meet with the family, have dinner and then attempt to fight off the nerves and adrenaline and get an early night.
On marathon day I woke up early, really early, 5 am early! I headed down for breakfast and made sure I was suitably fueled. I went through my routine and made sure I was all set to go, I packed my bum bag and headed to the reception in the hotel to meet my family, friends and the film crew. We started off with a short interview before everyone moved on mass towards the starting line. After some photos we said our goodbyes and I headed off on my own to join everyone at the start line! As I was walking up the hill I was approached by a group of people that said that they had been following me on Facebook and that I was an inspiration, that really gave me the mental boost I needed, I knew that I could complete the London Marathon and show people that you really can be anyone you want to be. I joined the back of the runners at the red start line and the atmosphere was electric, I could feel the adrenaline surging and I knew that I had to get it under control. I listened to some advice my brother Matty gave me and turned on my headphones and zoned out making sure to calm myself down. We edged closer and closer to the start line, I just wanted to get going and it was nearly half an hour after the official start time before I crossed the line and began the journey of attaining the feeling of success. I started with a slow jog, I didn’t want to get over excited, I felt ok and then just short of the mile marker I felt the all too familiar burning sensation in my left shin. My compartment syndrome had flared up and I was in agony. I stopped jogging and began walking, I was devastated, I had come all this way and I thought I was not going to have the chance to finish the marathon. I gritted my teeth and tried to walk as fast as I could, the pain was really sore but after a mile or so it started to ease up and I pushed on through the pain and started to jog again. I was hurting but I was able to run and for the next 10 miles I made fantastic progress, I was passing people, I was positive and I thought to myself – the 5 hour marathon is on! That over confidence can back to bite me on the backside as it wasn’t much after that that I hit the wall! I was shocked that it came so early, it may have been down to race day adrenaline or nerves but for whatever reason I was stuck at the half way point trying to compose myself and push on through the wall. I was hurting and I was angry that I was fading this early as I had managed longer runs than that no problem during my training. I had to really rely on the support of the crowd who were fantastic throughout. There was only positive support throughout the day; the people of London did themselves proud. The atmosphere was incredible and it was like one massive street party! I took this positivity and pushed on. Seeing my friends and family doted around the course helped me to
keep going, I knew roughly where they would be so it helped to break down the distance. I saw a group of friends at the 25 mile marker and they walked alongside me all the way up to 26 miles shouting encouragement, when I got up to Buckingham Palace and saw that there was only 200 metres to go, I tried to break out into a run but the pain in my legs was unbelievable so I managed a jog that meant I didn’t walk across the finish line. I completed the 26.2 miles in 6 hours 32 minutes and 16 seconds! I was somewhat disappointed as I had hoped for less than 6 hours but I think I am being too hard on myself. I have gone from 27 stone and barely able to walk to the finish line of the London Marathon in 9 months. I wasn’t last and there were people a lot fitter looking than me behind me. I did myself proud and reflecting on the journey it has been unbelievable.
After crossing the finish line I got my tag cut off my trainers, picked up my goody bag and medal and headed to get an official photo taken. I was exhausted and the magnitude of what I had just achieved had not sunk in yet. I crawled through to the exit point where some friends were waiting and they carried me up to Trafalgar Square where I had planned to meet the documentary crew for a final interview and wrap up of the day’s proceedings. It was fantastic to see everybody and share my victory with them. The pain in my legs was unbelievable and I was so stiff that eventually when I got a taxi back to Greenwich I had seized up and fell out of it on arrival! I went straight for a shower and couldn’t wait to get to the restaurant
to refuel. After 9 months of disciplined eating and not drinking, I decided to reward myself and enjoyed a big burger and a glass of champagne! It was an incredible day and it has been an incredible journey but this is not the end, this is just the beginning. I am going to continue eating healthy and working hard on my fitness. I have more weight to lose and more goals to attain. I want t keep moving forward and keep inspiring people to attain their own feeling of success. You can be whoever you want to be, you really can, it’s not easy and takes hard work and determination but anything is achievable. Who do you want to be?
My best memories of running the London Marathon 2014:
- Being interviewed on BBC Radio Five Live and having the crowd cheer me on after!
- Being interviewed by Denise Lewis on Tower Bridge for BBC TV, getting a high five and Denise telling me I was amazing and an inspiration!
- Having people come up to me during the race and tell me they have been following my story on Twitter and Facebook.
- Having runners shake my hand after seeing the back of my t-shirt and congratulating me on my weight loss and journey.
- The crowd’s positivity and support throughout for each and every runner.
- Crossing that finish line and attaining the feeling of success!
- Meeting with Raushana, my family and friends at the end and sharing the moment I completed a massive personal challenge!