The excitement had been brewing all week and the realisation of the fact that I would have to walk a very long and enduring 26.2 miles after a regular jam packed day of activity. You see, you train for the walking but you don't train to do it when you are ready for bed at a time when you are most exhausted.
I had planned to grab a quick hour long power nap between one and two on Saturday lunchtime, but like a child with a new toy, the excitement was so immense that there was no way that was going to happen!
At 7pm after dropping the children with a very good friend, my lovely friend Kat and I took the train into London and had to walk a good two miles to join the long queue into Moonwalk City. I didn't really want to waste any energy but part from hailing a cab, walking was really the only option; besides we thought of it as a warm up!
Kat had even remembered to polish her halo!
The queue was long but pretty well organised, see the large pink 'nipple tent' in the distance.
Once in the tent the smell of food wafted under our noses. The Moonwalk crew have thought things through really well and have a tasty hot carb filled meal waiting for you when you arrive. On this occasion it was actually only a little over an hour between eating and walking. Probably not ideal but it didn't take long for things to work their way through and the energy to be absorbed and transferred.
Waiting and preparing to go.....
On the start line.
The initial start was somewhat of a bundle. Everyone was desperate to get out there and do what we had turned out to do. We found ourselves walking half a minute faster than we had trained, that wasn't going to be sustainable......we pushed ourselves to get into a steady pace and pretty much managed to keep it up.
I was rather thinking of the whole event as one large nighttime sightseeing walking tour and it was just that. I imagined sharing some wonderful photos of the glorious sights with you but that was not to be. I was totally focused on walking.....I was on a mission. I took two photos near to the river....here's one!!
I gave up after that.......
Looking back everything is a blur....I passed amazing historic sights without even realising it......
We were so far ahead this year that even the many volunteers out helping hadn't woken up to their duties at the point we passed, they were there and some of them cheered us on but many just blended in.
There were many moments when it didn't feel like we were doing a marathon walk at all. Walking out in front meant that you left the atmosphere behind - most bazaar.
Our first mission was to reach Tower Bridge before it raised. Apparently it has only raised once before in the 19 year history of Moonwalks and Saturday night it was to raise twice! Luckily we made it. The wait even though it would have been brief, would have meant we would have lost time and cooled down. Not good.
The 18 mile mark is the hardest; although this time round it didn't feel too bad. From previous experience this is the time to lessen pain with the aid of pain killers. They help the inflammation caused by the exertion but also mask a little of the pain and help to give you a second wind. That second wind never ceases to amaze me...it's always rather funny! At the moment that most are flagging, you suddenly perk up and step into overdrive and zoom.....it's like a scene from Turbo!
Being out in front meant we didn't have to contend with masses of walkers that were slower than us. That was until the 22 mile mark where the Half Moon walkers joined us to finish the stroll. They silenced as we passed them, (I sense in awe of the fact that we had walked twice the distance they had in the same time), we passed on encouraging comments in our stride :-)
We cruised in along the home straight and across the finishing line in 6 hours and 6 minutes, knocking 4 minutes off my personal best :-) and we finished in the top 40 :-) :-) :-)
That's determination for you.............No, not the competitive streak at all!!!!
So 4.36 am....what are we to do in London at that time of night??
A huge thank you to all of those who sponsored me and offered kind words of support and encouragement :-)
Day after: Sore bottom and thighs rather tight whilst tackling stairs but feet feeling jolly fine and not a blister in sight :-)!
All just a walk in the park....