By Scott Mills
With the marathon season well underway and having completed the London Marathon myself for the first time ever this year, I can honestly confirm that running in such a huge event is truly a life changing and a memorable occasion.
Now having run one marathon I am not going to sit here and pretend I am Mo Farah.
However, from the experiences I have gained I can tell you there are more unsuspecting surprises than a secret Santa event at work.
When you tell anyone that you are going to challenge yourself by running 26.2 miles, it’s the usual things that spring to mind like spending months upon months of training, making sure you eat enough carbohydrates and last but not least people often like to make it clear that there is a possibility that you may accidently relieve yourself during the race.
But what people don’t tell you, is that not only will you never be able to look at your feet again but you will also have the pleasure of being overtaken by a slightly overweight man in a chicken suit who is probably listening to the ‘Eye of the Tiger’ theme tune from Rocky.
Now, if you think you can run marathons and still keep your feet in relatively nice enough condition (and I say relatively nice because lets face it, feet are minging at the best of times), than you have another thing coming.
Gone are the days where you thought you would be able to wear flip-flops and other open-toed shoes because like your dreams of becoming a footwear model for QVC, they will be long gone.
After months of intense and vigorous training, plodding mile upon mile every day, all those blisters, cuts and bruises soon take there toll and you will find your feet becoming more uglier than Sloth from ‘The Goonies’.
To make matters worse and I am not going to sugar-coat this, you will lose one or two toenails along the way.
Those nails will be flying off your feet more frequently than a livid Phil Mitchell flies off the handle in the Queen Vic at the legendary Ian Beale in EastEnders.
Speaking about the Queen Victoria pub, having stayed off the booze for the past few months of training and honing that Paula Radcliffe like physique, you’ll find that as you trek your way round the course, you can almost taste that sweet alcoholic beverage on the tip of your incredibly dry tongue.
As you do this, you slowly start to despise those smug looking and rather large bald geezers who are sitting in the pub sipping on a rather refreshing pint whilst you’re sweat starts to create its own salt mine on your forehead.
But no matter how much you were craving that drink when you were training hard for three months, nothing can prepare you for what happens when you finally drag yourself into the boozer.
That first sip in celebration that you pictured for the last three and a half hours soon turns into a moment that you’d rather forget.
The reason being is that nothing tastes the same after the race has ended.
That first beer tastes so bad that it makes water appear to taste far more superior in every aspect.
Although, some may compare the beer situation with a date set up on Tinder in the sense that the person looks like a 9/10 in their photo but when you meet them it looks like you’ve just bumped into the incredible Hulk, nothing will prepare you for that moment you see your family and friends.
As your Mum gets more emotional than ‘Love Actually’ whilst everyone else beams with pride, seeing the people who have supported you along this incredible journey, really pushes you on and gives you motivation.
Despite the fact your legs are starting to feel like concrete and that you’ve just been overtaken by a guy dressed as a Rhino, the support and encouragement starts to fill you with pride and almost pushes you through that feeling of tiredness, giving you a second wind.
Now throughout your childhood, most of you would have been taught not to take sweets from strangers but when you are running a marathon, that moral seems to go straight out of the window.
As you hit the latter stages of the race, your hamstrings start to seize up which often prompts your mind to remind you of how tired you are feeling.
But when you feel like you need a little kick to pull you out of the depths of the lactic acid pools that are forming inside your body and there are no energy gels to be seen, you have never been so happy to see Doris, the 70 year-old retired shopping assistant offer you a selection of Quality streets’ finest.
Although running 26.2 miles may seem daunting to a lot of people, there aren’t many better moments in life than the sense of pride and achievement that washes over you when you cross that finish line.
Along the way, you may have had obstacles that you have overcome or a moment in the race where you almost felt like you had to stop but chose to dig deep and push past it, but knowing you conquered all these creates a real sense of achievement.
If I could I would definitely recommend running a marathon at least once because it is not only an amazing achievement and generally an amazing experience but you also start to find out what you are really capable of both mentally and physically.
Having run the 2016 London Marathon, if anyone would like to read any of my training blogs or to find out how I got on you can do so by clicking on the following link: https://the3scribblers.wordpress.com/category/scott/