There's definitely no room for modesty in this blog post and it won't have the poetry of the London Marathon race report, but stick with me... Some good stuff will still follow.
I crushed it, killed it. Whichever way you look at it, I completed the Edinburgh Marathon 2012 in 4:08:17.
But this PB is testament to a major journey I've been on. And there's some special people worthy of some mega mentions.
Behind every marathon running wife is a marathon supporting husband: mile 24 and a bit, the look of absolute pride on his face, the mighty fist pump he did as Barry White's "My first, my last, my everything" boomed out of my iPod (I know, I know, shameful...). It almost competed with the day he asked me to marry him.
Behind every marathon running big sister is a little sister blessed with all the good, athletic genes I didn't get. But she's also blessed with the ability to deliver the mightiest words of encouragement, offer many a reality check and keep me on the straight and narrow.
Behind every marathon running monkey is one hell of an awesome organ grinder. We've had our fair share of fall outs, I vow "this is the last session" every single time he pushes me over the edge but folks, if you want to achieve great things, you get yourself in touch with StreTch Rayner sharpish. If I were to write a reference for this man it would rival the length of an Encyclopaedia.
Behind every marathon trainer's alarm that goes off at 5:20am Tues, Weds and Friday is the 6:00am welcome at CrossFit Evolving.
Anie M, Wonder Williams, Pete Williams, Josh Schouten and Scott Tudge*. They've all kept me going. Scott started CrossFit Evolving at the back end of last year and it continues to flourish into something totally epic. Without those doors having been opened my training would have been half what it was. His wife Emma always wears the most awesome of smiles on Saturday morning, unlike Dan Gallagher who just shakes his head at my complete and utter lack of coordination.
*Vivian's also there, but never on time, just early for the lunchtime class... ;-)
I won't apologise, there's still more...
Day in day out the Skywriters have checked in on me, looked on with puzzled faces at what I'm eating for lunch and listened to what made up the pre-breakfast training session that morning. Snaps also to some special clients Vanessa Curan, Rob Crumbie and Ian O'Leary who, in between making sure I work for the Skywrite retainer, ask time and time again how I'm getting on. Ian loves to compete with my deadlift!
Andy's Aunty Catherine and cousin Paula for their exuberant cheers at mile 3 that buoyed me along my merry way.
Former colleague Claire Lorimer: this woman pops up with her "Run Roo Run" signs at the most vital of times, in the least likely of places. She was there for both London and Edinburgh.
Another alumni, Morgan Evans and his big hug in the toilet queue (we'd washed our hands), sharing the same course and nailing his first marathon fuelled that PB too.
Current colleague Nicola Koronka. You know that girl that tracks you down at mile 26 and, despite having run a half marathon herself just an hour earlier, RUNS ALONGSIDE YOU and sends the time on your watch through the roof. Yeh, HER!
Andy Snead for being that sub 4 hour Edinburgh champ everyone loves to hate.
And Sophie Dawson. Sophie, Sophie, Sophie. The one that not only lined up alongside me at the start, SMASHED her first marathon, but shared endless emails about training, coffee dates dominated by marathon toilet tactics and goodness know what else (usually too much) with me. Oh, and she succeeded in making me go veggie for a night. Quite some accomplishment.
Before I go, a tip for any betting men that I would keep your money in your pockets. Cheltenham will be a long, hard, slow cross country ultra marathon burn. They'll be no PB on the horizon!
So here's to June 24th, the last push and one serious party at the end of all this.
Thanks again for the miles of support each and every one of you has shown.