I’ve been training for a long time for my first half marathon which was yesterday in Brentwood. Run a half marathon people said. It will be fun people said. It didn’t feel like fun to me.
Running has taught me one thing and that is that a) I don’t much like it b) i will do it if there is mud, water or obstacles involved and c) your result is completely dependant on circumstances that are out of your control.
Unfortunately last week I started my Monday with my usual early morning run and after 4.5 miles, that felt harder than usual, I really started to feel unwell and on Tuesday the doctor told me I had bad laryngitis with a high fever. I ended up sleeping for most of last week and despite lots of messages from well wishers, and against better judgement, I decided I would still attempt to run the half marathon as planned.
Not sure that was the best idea as I struggled through the whole thing. I really thought this blog post would be positive and happy and celebrating completion of my first half marathon. I imagined saying how I got through the run at a comfortable pace and enjoyed it (not sure why I thought I would enjoy it as running is not my favourite).
I was running with my two friends Laura and Helen and they were amazing. My pacing is hit or miss and most usually an epic fail unless I run with my husband who seems to have a gift for it! I knew the first 3 miles were pretty much downhill and was conscious not to make the mistake of going off too fast and paying for it later. We did go off too quick but kept trying to rectify ourselves. At the 1st mile one lovely lady who had come out to cheer told us we were doing amazing and nearly there – I’m not sure she understood how many miles were to be run and that no in fact we were nowhere near the end but her sentiment was lovely nonetheless!
After the 3rd mile the sun came out and everyone was happy with this. Not me. I am not the best runner but I run better in the cold rather than the sun and the warm. At this point the arm warmers came off.
Surprisingly I actually knew most of the route as it is part of our cycle club route, which you would think would help but it meant I knew where all the bumps in the road where. I felt like the whole run was either on an incline or a decline with not many flat sections. And I don’t like hills. This was definitely not the run for me.
My throat was on fire and I drank so many bottles of water to help so naturally ended up with a stitch that took forever to go. Maybe I should title this how not to run a half marathon?
By the 10th mile I knew we were on the home stretch and that I could do this. The marshalls on this section were from Nuclear and obviously this was the best stretch of marshalling and great to see some familiar faces. Even at the water stop when people noticed we were in our Mudd Queens or Nuclear tops we got a bigger cheer though it was followed shortly after by a huge spraying of water, which for me was greatly received and made me laugh!
What was also good was the sign we saw showing support for random strangers – amazing!
The event is very well organised and it was lovely to see members of my running club Havering ’90 Joggers and friends from local triathlon club Havering Tri – everyone smashed it. My husband managed a massive pb looking for sub 2 hours and ended up finishing in 1 hour 51 minutes, I am so proud of him he has trained hard for this and given so much time out to help me that to see him smash his goal is amazing.
I finished in 2 hours 29 minutes and whilst my original goal was sub 2 hours 30 which I achieved I will admit I feel disappointed in myself as I know that was not a great performance by me. I was down on myself most of the way, however, I was not feeling well and I finished it and all training is good training so I really can’t complain even if i cried both before and after – I ran a half marathon and 13.1 miles is 13.1 miles though I am not sure I will ever end up in the starting funnel by this sign!