March 2019

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.

 

 

 

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First Half-Marathon (31/03/19)

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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

February 2019

The highlight of January was my first practice half-marathon on 27th. I set off only half believing I could do it but I did and with that came a boost in confidence – I did it and I would do it again. I vowed to have another practice run in February before the real deal on 31 March and this time I was going to be faster.

24 February 2019

And I was. I was approximately 20 minutes faster. Having the knowledge I could do it certainly helped. I didn’t go quite as easy on myself and I wasn’t constantly checking Strava to see how far I had ran.

I noticed more of my surroundings this time round too. It was a misty morning so I had a brief pause to take a couple of hill pics:

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Alva

It was also a good day for wildlife and I spotted grey squirrels, lots of swans, geese (flying overhead), a sparrow hawk (flying overhead with its breakfast in its beak!) a (dead) owl and surprisingly, in a sparse area of greenery, some beautiful birds which I later identified as wagtails.

Pied Wagtail

Now unable to find the owner of photo for credit but thank you!

Grey Wagtail

Photo credit – Julia Trafford – blog

In the days that followed, I spoke with people who had ran the Alloa Half Marathon before and realised I had been running the wrong practice route – a slightly more difficult version. I had been running up a hill unnecessarily. The real route has an extra bit of block to run round rather than a hill so that’s a bonus, being able to stay at a consistent speed on the flat but then again, I won’t get to pick up speed by running down the other side of the hill!

Another notable run in February

A short run up (part of)the winding path to Myreton in the Ochil hills one fresh Sunday morning. I was treated to this view as a reward 😊

Panoramic shot of Menstrie

Birdseye view of Menstrie

Wallace Monument, Stirling in the distance

Looking ahead to March and the plan is simply to run as much as I can. There will be no more 13.1 mile runs until 31 March but I will squeeze in as many small runs as I can.

My husband and I chose to run the Alloa Half Marathon on behalf of SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) and would welcome any donations.

Please sponsor us here.

Diet and hydration will also continue to be a primary consideration, as I work towards improving my fitness.

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