Why there is sheer magic in a marathon: an up close and personal story in Stockholm

Meltingsisters - a running girl being acclaimed by a supporting crowd

“There is sheer magic in a marathon. Although the post-marathon blues are real, i know that I’m not alone with this feeling”. As Becky Wade Firth so rightly said, we crave the hard things. This is my personal story about the unplanned running of Stockholm marathon. Mind over matter? Absolutely. Sometimes, you simply have to trust your body and your lucky star.

My three friends and I arrive in Stockholm the night before. Wanderlust calling, i had spent some precious time ahead of this event exploring Gothenburg. Laidback Gothenburg. Today though, laidback i am not.

Reframing my disappointment

It has been a struggle for the past 5 weeks. The loss of my goal due to recurrent injury and the the despondency in the aftermath. Anyone who has wholeheartedly invested in such a goal over a similar period of time understands this jarring.

I have gotten pretty good at bouncing back and am therefore focusing on another pursuit. Running only the half marathon distance. Just for the chills. I am relatively sure my body can withstand the distance. This will help reframe my disappointment. Because there is sheer magic in a Marathon.

why there is sheer magic in a marathon or when butterflies kick in

It is 11.15am this saturday in June. As the underground called into Stadium station, dozen and dozen of bib wearing people begin pouring into the platform. What was a few seconds before quiet and empty now resemble a popular street on market day.

The frenzy in the air is palpable. Heads are turning. Legs are bouncing. Arms are waving. Excitement is growing. A marathon is a journey into emotions. In other words there is a kind of magic knowing that all that is to do now is to put one foot in front of the other until that final kilometre is done.

The route is beautiful. I am on a steady pace and even able to take photos. The crowd is amazing. In short i am truly enjoying the race. In short it’s not like my life depends on it; Not this time. The weather though is cantankerous.

“When the marathon gods shine down on you, milk it for all it’s worth”

Km34 the bridge. Rain soaked clothes and shoes. Heavy breath. Hill at km34! Why and why not? My face as i mentally picture this bridge is the true picture of not cute. For a moment, I am experiencing a temporary aimlessness. In other words the seemingly structure i had in place towards this goal, and, the subsequent despondency caused by my injury resurface.

I am realising at this stage that if i can just roll with this aimlessness, then i can make it. I can make this marathon i was not supposed to run.

Tears are now running down my cheeks. These are not give-me-food tears. Or even pain-induced tears. These are you-have-come-this-far tears; No-way-in-hell-i-will-give-up tears; I am not ready to crumple to the ground though. I have clocked the kilometres and gone past the 20km mark i have set myself. This is beyond my wildest expectations.

I can do this.

There is sheer magic in a marathon

Only 2km to go and i convince myself it’s ok to walk a bit. To clarify my legs have almost turned to mud. This dip is only going to set me up for the final bounce before the finish line. I must have been lost in translation somewhere as all of a sudden i hear someone shouting my name. “Queen Maddy move your arse”. This is the wake up call i need to move. That higher bounce.

The 400m inside the stadium before the finish line seem to take forever. On the other hand the cheering get louder. Am i really running faster? Yes i am. Finally i hear that beep sound. I am a runner. No words can express what it means to finish this race. In short I am a finisher. This is why there is sheer magic in a marathon.

xoxo M. Let’s share our inspiration