When my wonderful friend Emily suggested that we run the Prague Marathon, I had no idea what I was in store for and what the experience would do to my (poor) body, my skin, my mind and my friendship.
Me on the far left and Emily next to me – just before we get going on the 26.2miles.
Preparation got off to a shaky start with injuries and life getting in the way of a strict and tiring marathon schedule but, towards the end we both perked up and started to feel excited about our upcoming challenge! The day before the dreaded 26.2miles, feeling bleary eyed and under-prepared, we stuffed a suitcase full of everything and anything we thought could get us through! (and, not forgetting, 5 days in the beautiful city of Prague!)
How can you describe the feeling of running and completing a marathon? Everyone has a different experience but for Emily and myself we found that we could not have got through it without some Insane Positivity! Without this Insane Positivity I could not have made it through that awful last 10km where you’re body screams “NO MORE!” and it doesn’t understand why you are not putting an end to this unnecessary pain. And was the pain worth it? Absolutely!
Posing in front of the famous Castle of Prague
What was the best part about the marathon?
Me: A few hours after, when the initial shock had subsided, the feeling that if I could push my mind into to doing that, I could do ANYTHING!
Emily: Finishing in under 4 hours!! But on a less selfish note, I loved the feeling of running alongside and supporting thousands of people, running their own race, within the same race. And of course I loved when the finish line was finally behind me!
What was the best part about being in Prague?
Me: The city was stunning with beautiful cobbled streets and history on every corner. But going with my friend Emily, meeting new people and the feeling of closeness and yet total freedom was the most exhilarating feeling I’ve had in a long time. I have never laughed so much in my whole life and I didn’t want to go home.
Emily: I agree, spending a long weekend with a close friend in a European city was so much fun. I really enjoyed staying in a hostel and meeting such a mix of different people from around the world. Prague specifically though has a lot of diversity. Each street tells so many stories about its vast history and some of the architecture is really amazing.
What would you tell people before going on a marathon?
Me: Don’t stop! Keep a rhythm going and even of you don’t feel you’ve done enough – your brain is always capable of more than you think it is! Oh and go with your best friend, it’s a blast!
Emily: It is definitely your own race so don’t be tempted to let your dose of race day adrenaline push you into a faster rhythm. I don’t normally run with an iPod but it really helped me having a playlist of different music that suited all of my moods- not just fast tempo tracks but songs that reminded me of inspirational people. A marathon is such a psychological game.
And finally, the products we took with us to ensure we looked and felt our best during the Marathon:
Olay Regenerist Flawless Skin Cream SPF 30
Olay Regenerist, Flawless Skin Cream SPF 30 –to protect my skin from the strong sun, wind and any weather damage that you are exposed to. I make sure to use this on my chest and ears as well as my face!
Grapeseed oil (from my first ever post!) To clean away pores and impurities from the travelling and being outside all day.
Sure Women Maximum Protection deodorant – to last the 4 sweaty hours!
Mini Tub, Boots Extracts Mango Body Butter – For that intense dry skin brought on by running and travelling. Oh and at 50mls it is hand luggage friendly!
Batiste Dry Shampoo – for the travel and the wind that makes hair lank and greasy far too quickly!
The Body Shop Peppermint Cooling Foot Spray
The Body Shop Cooling Peppermint Foot Spray- so refreshing after a long city walk or a nice little jog around the city.
Vaseline essential to keep you comfortable when running for 26. 2 miles there is nothing worse than chaffing!!
Body Shop’s Vitamin C Skin Boost
The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Boost
– keeps your face glowing when you’re sleep deprived and gives you a bit of a lift!
Compeed Blister plasters- an actual God send!