Yesterday I ticked off one of my biggest bucket list goals for this year – completeing a half marathon.
I’ve been into my running for years now, but this year was a really important year for me on the running front. I’ve never done a half marathon before, and last year, I was gearing up to do one when I got really sick and was told I wasn’t going to be able to run for at least a year.
I wasn’t happy with the prospect of giving up something I love so much, so I worked really hard to get to a place where I could start running again, and about 5 months later after a lot of hard work, I was back into it.
So, this year, I decided to set myself the goal again.
And then, because I don’t tend to do anything by halves (excuse the pun), I decided to actually set myself the goal of running two of them. In the space of 2 weeks! Yes I know, complete madness. But, being the over achiever that I am I couldn’t help myself. And I was doing it for charity – a charity very close to my heart because of my Nanna – so why not go the extra (13) mile(s)?
So this year I was really focussed on training but a few things got in the way, namely a new job that took up more time than I would have liked and an achilles tendon injury, meaning I was off the training for a solid 3 weeks and only easing back into it into the lead up.
Naturally, I was a little heartbroken when my ankle started to hurt, but I focused on the physio work and I got back out there.
So yesterday was the first of the two racess. And I did it!!
But not only that, I did surprisingly well. My plan was to pace myself, take it quite easy, and not try to get a particularly good time. I was focusing on finishing, withough injury and saving the goal of under 2 hours for the next race. I was thinking I’d be happy to run about 2 hours 20/30mins for this one.
I’m used to running on pavement, and the track yesterday was a combination of all sorts. It was pavement, cobblestones, thin gravel, big chunky rocks, grass, mud 3 inches thick, and muddy grass. The muddy part was tough going and I could feel it in my thighs. On top of that, the last 3 miles were on a bit of an incline. Not much, but enough for me to want to pack it in right towards the end.
Amazingly my achilles didn’t hurt really at all, and I picked up the pace in the middle. And to my amazement I managed to beat my goal time for the next race – finishing 1 hour 59mins!!! JUST under that 2 hour mark I was aiming for for race 2.
I have to say I’m quite proud of that. It was the toughest run I’ve ever done, and despite all the set-backs I managed a cracking time. I can’t believe how far I’ve come since the same time last year and it just goes to show what you can achieve if you put your mind to something.
I was greeted at the end by my hubby, the weary traveller, who had just flown back in from Ireland and I couldn’t have been happier to see a friendly face. It was enough to spur on a sprint finish which I suspect helped me get there under 2 hours. We spent the afternoon in a pub, drinking gluten free beer, eating gluten free pizza, catching up and (sadly) watching Man Utd playing one of the worst games we’d ever had the misfortune to witness.
Thank you to all the wonderful people who’ve encouraged me along the way, who have donated to my cause, and who helped me get to where I am fitness-wise now. It was really appreciated and I’m so glad I’ve done it.
And I’m actually really looking forward to race number 2. (I know that seems weird, but it’s true).