The big month was here at last – the month of my first half marathon. I had been reasonably successful in training and eating well, not to mention the self-imposed booze ban and now the big day was almost here. This was no time to slow down. Though, it seems that’s just what happened.
March was a busy month – days away for First Aid training, my birthday, snow days and a last minute weekend away with hubby and kids the week before the half marathon – so yes, I kind of took my foot off the well-being pedal and perhaps didn’t eat as well as I would like to have done. Likewise, the training slowed down. In the run up to the half-marathon (pun totally intended) I developed an irrational fear of injuring myself. I say irrational because I was even worried about doing my usual lunch hour walk. I tried to trick myself into believing it was excitement but the flaw with that plan is, it’s difficult to trick yourself when you know what you’re thinking.
However, the day came and went swimmingly. I have written a separate post here.
Hubby has caught the running bug now and we are talking of doing a 10k together next time. In the meantime, we shall continue to run separately and I will enjoy running just for the fun of it for a while. I’m looking forward to it 🙂
We ran the Alloa Half Marathon in aid of SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) If you would like to make a donation, our sponsor page is still open – here
To learn more about SAMH, please click here.
If you would like to learn more about the Alloa Half Marathon, please click here.
We did it!
The night before, I was so nervous I didn’t want to do anything at all. I went to bed early knowing I would be losing an hour’s sleep as the clocks were due to go forward for British spring time. I set my alarm for 6 a.m to allow time for a sensible breakfast (porridge and banana with a dollop of natural cashew butter) and to get the kids organised for my mum and dad who were bringing the kids to watch us, along with my sister and my niece. On race day, excitement took over. I just wanted to go and do it and we did!
It was challenging because although I have ran the distance before, I ran it on my own and allowed a couple of pauses for photo opportunities. There was none of that for the real thing. We kept up a constant pace. Hubby and I crossed the line together (along with the kids) with a chip time of 2 hours and 28 minutes. My fastest practice was 2 hours 20 mins but taking into account the slow start (while the people in front crossed the starting line) I think this could have been my fastest effort. The jelly legs and achy body for the two days after was certainly worth it.
I loved the sense of community spirit the race brought with it. People lined the streets of every town we ran through. We high-fived kids, people handed out jelly sweets and others cheered with such gusto that it was hard to believe they didn’t know you personally. We even passed a couple of women with a horn and some bells. It was also nice to see some familiar faces along the way. A special mention should be given to our friends who gathered to cheer us on (loudest crowd, I’m proud to say) and even decorated the front of the house for the occasion.
I expected to feel total elation after the race, a heightened runners high but that didn’t seem to be the case. While people told us they were proud of us for doing it, I felt that I was more proud to be on the receiving end of all the love and support than to have been proud of myself for doing it. I’m glad I did it and I wouldn’t be put off doing it again. The community spirit was one of the best things about it though of course I am grateful to my feet for carrying me 13.1 miles.
Another thing of note is the amount of money we raised for charity. We chose to run for SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) and at last check, we had raised £535. I was blown away by the support and generosity of people for this charity.
You can read more about SAMH and the work they do here.
If you would like to sponsor us, the page is still live and you can do so here.
Click here for info about Alloa Half Marathon.
I ended 2018 unhappy with how I had treated my body and mind in 2018. Towards the end of the year, I was happier in general (work-related stress had gone) but I knew that I had yet again failed to shift the excess weight that I have been (half-heartedly, I now admit) trying to get rid of for years. Each year, I added on a little more until by the end of 2018, I had set another new record for being the heaviest I had ever been. I vowed not to beat myself up over it but knowing that I had found something I loved doing, I resolved to be fitter and healthier in 2019.
I decided to give up alcohol for 3 months while in training for my first half-marathon. As it happened, I had my last drink on 28 December. I was designated driver at Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve) simply because my husband drove last time round but it made it easier to start the new year feeling fresh. I woke on the 1st of January and went for my first run. On 2nd January, I did the same again. I had started as I meant to go on. Some weeks it’s difficult to plan runs because my husband’s work finishing time is never the same from one day to the next but I averaged two a week in January. I have been consistent and I am motivated to continue in this way. I have joined a gym – just so I have a back-up option in case snow stops me running outside. I can’t be put off as easily this time round. I have also been doing HIIT workouts, trampoline workouts, indoor running and yoga if I am not able to get out. I love this feeling of motivation and determination to become the fittest, healthiest version of myself. My daughter also likes to join in at home!
The highlight of the month was the practice half-marathon I ran on 27th January. I doubted I could do it. I thought I could but I didn’t know for sure, having never ran as far as that before. 9 miles is the furthest I had ran before. My focus was on completing it. I knew I wasn’t going to be fast and it took me around 2.5 hours to run 13.1 miles. It wasn’t easy (I had the wind in my face for approximately 5 miles) but I did it. I DID IT. Because I know I have done it once, I know I can do it again. I plan to run at least one more practice half-marathon before 31 March and I want to shave some time off – 30 minutes if possible.
I’m looking forward to challenging myself again. Small challenges achieved = small wins = big feeling of satisfaction 🙂