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So THAT’S a marathon!

The Cycling Husband and I ran our second marathon yesterday, but it’s fair to say that this was the first real one. Because New York just doesn’t count. If you really want to understand what it feels like to run a marathon, you need to do it in the East Rand.

Ok, so Edenvale. It’s East of where I live, that’s close enough for me.

We are officially shattered. Bruised. Battered. Aching. Injured. You name it. That’s us. More me, if I’m to be completely honest. But I’m choosing to believe that the Cycling Husband is feeling it as much as I am today, for sanity’s sake.

With a Transact patch on my left calf, and another one on my left knee, held in place by the last three plasters in the house, I currently look a little like a half-dressed mummy. The Egyptian kind. There’s also one on my right foot, held in place by a bright pink sock. I’m almost scared to admit that I have finished the packet of Transact we found last night in a state of sheer excitement after we discovered that we had polished off the last of the Cataflam on Saturday… Not a good moment.

I don’t even remember if we took Cataflam after the New York Marathon. We were on such a natural high there was no need for drug-induced one. (Well, at least one of us was, but that is a story for another time!)

When we got to the finish in Manhattan, we truly felt like we could keep going for another 10km. Which is why we signed up for the Two Oceans as soon as entries opened. 42. 56. Whatever. We were good to go.

Not so much yesterday in Edenvale. That finishline could not arrive quickly enough. It was a double lapper, and it took a great deal of willpower (and some good, strong painkillers, kindly provided by She Who Shall Remain Nameless, But In Who’s Debt I Shall Remain Forever!) to keep left for the 42, and not head off right with those lucky bastards running the 21…

To be fair, it didn’t start well. We arrived at the start line slightly injured. I have some calf slash shin thing on the go, and Rob’s ITB had been playing up the previous week. Plus, he has been nursing some pretty serious blisters on his executive feet courtesy of a run in some new trail shoes. Then, because we didn’t have enough playing against us, we decided to invest in a bunch of new kit – and try it all out on race day. Because you know, every “How to run your first marathon” column starts out with the immortal:

“Always wear brand new, never-before-tested running shoes on the day of the race.”

The good news is we didn’t wear the new shoes. (Although, we did buy new ones the day prior to the race, as one does, and there was much umming and ahhing over whether or not we were going to wear them! Believe it or not, I was the sensible one who eventually said No to the new shoes, and diligently laced the ChampionChip into the not-so-very old pair. I know, it’s a problem. I love shoes.)

The new shoes. The ones with the Big Fat soles, that are hopefully going to save my feet from the pain of running long distance!

The bad news is we both wore new shirts. This one not our fault – we had to race in club colours or face the wrath of the ASA, and neither of us had thought to test them out. The Cycling Husband was ok, but I discovered why the counters of running shops are littered with anti-chafe cream.

As it turns out, so did the Cycling Husband. But his chafe was due to his new shorts. I shall refrain from a detailed explanation of that particular running injury.

Although the road was long and hard and hot and horrible and both of us had to take a little time out on our backs during the race to stretch our ITB (think tortoises, stranded on their shells), we did eventually make it to the finish line. Edenvale High School isn’t exactly Central Park, and it’s fair to say we experienced less elation and more Thank God That’s Over. We did, however, cross the line holding hands. And I am, as always, incredibly grateful that I was able to run.

(As an aside, I know I complain about running with the Cycling Husband. A lot. But yesterday he really did pull me to the end. And not only hold my hand while we crossed the line, but also while I had a wee sob about my ITB en route. Kiss.)

It is officially just over a month until the Two Oceans. And our second marathon – kak though it was – is in the bag. Not only that, it is on Strava. So we never, ever have to go back to Edenvale and do it again.

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