The medal says I ran a long way.

The internet wasn’t going to help.

I was two-thirds of the way through my first marathon, and it was becoming difficult. Leg cramps were increasing in their severity and it was unlike anything I’d encountered at any stage during the previous 18 months of training (or during any physical activity I’d ever done, for that matter).

So the choice was pretty simple: keep running, or stop.

I couldn’t ask the Twitterverse; there was no app to download, no Googling to be done. In an age where everyone’s seemingly connected to everyone and everything else all the time, I was on my own.

No-one could run the remainder of the marathon for me; the cramps weren’t going to go away.

It was keep running, or stop.

So I kept running. Very slowly. And eventually I finished.

All of this is not meant to make me sound like some sort of hero, or legend, or anything like that. In terms of running, I was far from that.

But, pleasingly, at a very basic level, when my brain was faced with a fight or flight-type battle against my body, it chose to fight.

I kept running. I didn’t stop.


Me completing the marathon. Note the appearance of barely-visible 'Marathon Man' in background; a lycra-clad 'superhero' who nearly beat me home.

In a good news/good news scenario, I completed my first marathon yesterday (28 August) while also not tweeting during it.

While I’ll return to the metaphysics of what completing a marathon means to and/or for me another time, this post will preserve the tweets I would have made had I been tweeting. Think of it as a retrospective live Twitter timeline, or in my new concept word, ‘mind tweets’: tweets you make in your mind but which never hit the internet. Until now.

(All times approximate)

0200: awake already? oh boy #adrenalin #pumping

0400: still awake? #sleep #fail

0500: out of bed. marathon prep

0645: race start. it’s only 14km, 3 times. let’s go! #gameface #on

0750: first 12km down. Feeling good.

0835: halfway. on pace for a good time. still feeling OK.

0900: slowing down. tightening up. engaging ‘body maintenance’ mode.

0914: disengaging ‘body maintenance’ mode

0914 (ii): engaging ‘body self-destruct’ mode

0915: 14km to go. first leg cramp recorded. could I hop to finish line? #no

0930: oh dear. #multiple #legcramps  #ABORT #ABORT

0945: used passing drink station to imbibe metaphorical cups of concrete – still LONG way to go

1000: #pain

1015: cut-and-paste is just the best. #pain #pain #pain #pain #pain #pain

1030: 2km to go

1039: 1km to go

1049: Done! Jelly legs. Dizzy. Teeth throbbing. But done.