Bath's magic Murray looking forward to break
"I go through phases where it all seems real and then other times when I look back and think 'did I actually do that?'."
If Samantha Murray is still struggling to take in what she achieved at the weekend, it is perhaps understandable.
Her's was the last event of the London Olympics and the silver she claimed in such stunning style at around 6.30pm in a sun-drenched Greenwich Park was Team GB's 65th and final medal – the perfect way to end 17 unforgettable days.
There was just enough time for Murray to race over to the Olympic Stadium for the closing ceremony, followed by a morning of packing before a hectic day of media interviews.
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She was back in Bath by Monday night, collapsing exhausted into bed, and has been running errands around town for the last couple of days before she can finally join her family in Lancashire to celebrate her success.
"I am feeling a bit in limbo at the moment," said Murray. "It's hard because I cannot go back to real life, there is just so much going on. It all feels a bit strange.
"Fortunately I've got some time off now. I'll be going back to Clitheroe this weekend and we're going to have a big party, we're putting up a marquee in the garden.
"Then I'm going on holiday – I'm looking forward to that."
Murray and Pentathlon GB team-mates Mhairi Spence, Sam Weale and Nick Woodbridge deserve a break after a gruelling season in the multi-sport discipline.
When the campaign started in February, Murray – who missed the 2011 season to study in Paris – was ranked 78th in the world and an outsider to even make the Olympic team.
But a consistent World Cup campaign, which culminated in bronze in Russia, set the 22-year-old up perfectly for the World Championships, where she finished a fantastic third behind Spence.
That secured her Team GB place and Murray more than made the most of it, although she admits the build-up to Sunday's competition was unlike anything she had experienced before.
"Sunday was another day in the office for me and I did my job as usual – the difference was all the hype beforehand," she said.
"That was difficult to manage. It was like a pressure cooker but I managed to stay level-headed. I am who I am and I just had to remember that and take everything in my stride."
That included a poor start to her day as seven defeats in her first seven fencing bouts left Murray languishing at the back of the field.
"Fencing has always been my weakness and I always have ups and downs but I perhaps wasn't expecting a down so early," she said.
"I have learnt to pick myself up from the downs and get on with the rest of the day."
Murray recovered well enough to end the fencing in 16th, then shot up to third following a strong swim and only dropped one place during the show jumping.
That meant she started the combined run/shoot fourth but, after a "shaky" first trip to the target range, Murray reeled in two pentathletes to finish second behind Laura Asadauskaite of Lithuania.
She was given extra energy by the deafening cheer which greeted her as she ran back into the Greenwich Park arena for the final few strides.
"The noise was just phenomenal, I have never experienced anything like that before," said Murray. "It really uplifted me and there are no words to describe it.
"The crowd really pushed me on and I want to thank everyone who was there, I was really proud to give a performance like that in front of them."
Murray's medal was Britain's fifth in the event in four Games, following the success of Steph Cook and Kate Allenby in 2000, Georgia Harland in 2004 and Heather Fell in 2008.
She believes she can get even better in the future but, for now, modern pentathlon will have take a back seat as she catches up on her French and politics studies at the University of Bath.
"My course is my focus now," Murray added. "My tutors have been really accepting of my sport, they've moved exams and deadlines for me.
"I have a couple of exams at the start of September and I'm back at university in October, so it will be back to reality."