Julia Meehan of ICIS London took part in the London Marathon, and survived to write a chemical-related article for ICB. Here the Blog brings you an abridged version...
To wear and what not to wear is a fashion dilemma faced by most modern working women, but in my wildest dreams I did not imagine that I would spend so much time deliberating about what I would wear on Sunday 25 April, the day of the London Marathon.
During my marathon training in the harsh winter months, plenty would be going through my mind.
Would I be fit enough to run the full 26.2 miles (42km)? Would my recurring Achilles injury flare up early on in the run? Would it rain and my feet be covered in blisters as a result? Should I wear my old faithful Asics running shoes or my whiter-than-white yet-to-be-broken-in new pair? What if it was too hot and I collapsed with dehydration? How would I feel when I saw my family at the 19 mile point? Would I reach my fundraising target of £3,000 ($4,512, €3,542)?
I was covered in chemicals from head to toe: adipic acid in my shoe soles, Lycra running shorts, a breathable polyester running vest, not to mention the most expensive socks I have ever purchased, but boy did they do the job - not a single blister.
I deliberated on the sock purchase but the Hilly saleswoman assured me that the double breathable layer would see me through all terrains and weather. And indeed the "flat seamless toe construction" helped prevent blisters. The inner sock contained hydrophobic polypropylene (PP), the outer sock micro polyamide. I couldn't believe a simple sock could be so technically complex.
I passed the finishing line in just under five hours. It wasn't just the love and support of my family and friends that got me through the gruelling five hours and the previous months of training - it was just as much the PP and micro polyamide in my socks.