Yesterday, the 28th September 2014, I did and amazing and spectacular thing: I ran my first Half Marathon. I did it! I was expecting it to take over three hours and I did it in 2 hours 44 and 32 seconds so I am overjoyed that my legs took me that far and that fast.
Bearing in mind I run off road, alone, with my dog, the tens of thousands or runners and their supporters was a world away from any of my training runs. I was glad that I had an experienced runner with me aka Crazy Running Sister, who knew what to do and where to go, otherwise I think I would have just wandered around, fretting a bit, because by the beginning of the race the nerves had well and truly kicked in.
I set off slowly, or at least as slowly as I could, because I tended to get swept away with all the other runners, with loads overtaking me straight away. There were a handful of runners at a similar pace and I paced myself with them at the beginning, though I am not sure what happened to them by the end, maybe they over took me, maybe it was the other way around, because after the halfway mark I was just concentrating on not quitting, and my brain turned to mush. At mile six I took some of the water they were handing out. It comes in little plastic pouches that you squeeze to release the water and I breathed in a whole lungful and spent ages choking by the side of the road, and then coughing and spluttering for the next mile or so.
At the halfway point I had two caffeine tablets and some chocolate, that was nice, I was by a lake at the time and had just sped down a hill. It felt good to be on the way back, and I knew that the Cub would be waiting to cheer me on at around mile 9. When I saw his gorgeous smiley face, it really boosted me. I took a minute out for a big massive cuddle and his words of encouragement “you can do it Mummy”, made my heart fly.
After that I was just telling myself that I was nearly there and when I passed the 11 mile marker I was feeling exhausted but happy. My training had taken me to 11 miles, so I was then running further than I had ever run before. I wanted to stop and walk but my legs wouldn’t let me – after all those miles it just felt easier to run than walk, though I still got a couple of walk breaks in. Shortly after mile 11 I could see the 13 mile marker, because the course ran on and then came back on itself and boy did I want to take a shortcut over that wall! The run up to mile 13 was just pure pain, I felt as though I wasn’t even running properly, just sort of hobbling along quite quickly in a vague running fashion. People were falling by the wayside and being carted off in ambulances, a worrying sight, but I kept on keeping on. There were some awesome ladies running alongside me and encouraging me, I really struggled up to the 13 mile marker and then the final 0.1 miles seemed the hardest of all.
But I did it!! And I raised over £400 for Elizabeth Finn Care. The sponsorship page stays live until December, if you could spare some change, all you have to do is either:
Or visit: justgiving.com/mummylion