I did it! I ran a half-marathon on Sunday and DID NOT DIE.
I woke up at around 7am. The race was due to start at 9:30, with my wave starting at 9:55. I got a taxi into the centre at 8:45 and met my friend at the station and grabbed coffee.
I was feeling really nervous by now. I’m never sure how the wee situation will be. I didn’t want to have to stop on the way around but we managed to use the portaloos before the race started.
We set off and I didn’t realise I was going above pace at first. I had wanted to keep my pace a steady 11 minute miles and then push a bit faster in the last 4/5 miles if I felt comfortable enough.
It was my first half-marathon and the first time I’ve ran anything over 11 miles so I was totally playing it safe!
Miles three and four were the hardest and you can see that with my splits. The sun was out and it was facing us, I started to fear that I was over heating, which then was followed by the fear of not drinking enough, or running out, or drinking too much liquid and needing the loo.
What’s a girl to do, ay?
I decided that I would keep myself well hydrated and drink whenever I needed to. If I needed to stop, I could stop to use the toilets but I didn’t want to pass out from being too hot!
Mile three and four were not only the hottest miles, but the steepest. I knew about these hills as I ran this part of the route in my 11 mile training run. Though it felt harder in my previous run. I think I had bigged it up to be too much! It wasn’t the hill that slowed me down but the heat.
I had my first energy gel at mile five. I then had one every two miles. I wasn’t really sure what my gel plan was going to be but I just did what felt right on the day. Every two miles felt good because it give me a short term goal to focus on.
By mile 7, I was still feeling really comfortable and had a real sense of IM DOING THIS.
The crowds were brilliant, there were people outside their houses with water tables giving water out and it made me all emotional. People cheering you on and saying you’re amazing.. when you think of all the hard work in the training and then hear that it really starts to get emotional!
I almost cried a few times during the race just with how overwhelmed I felt. I never thought I’d be able to run a half-marathon. This time two years ago I couldn’t even run half a mile! And he I was, on mile 7 and feeling strong.
Getting to mile 10 was great, then 11, then I was at mile 12 and then mile 13. My legs were aching but I didn’t feel out of breathe. Just aching. The last few 100m seemed to last forever.
I crossed the finish line and wow, I remember stopping and initially feeling a bit wobbly and dizzy. I was given a energy drink, gabbed my tshirt and medal and drank all of the drink!
My finish chip time was 2:23:04.
I went in the race wanting to come under 2:30 for my first half so I’m so happy with that time!
Next time I do one, I want to run it in under 2:20!
Have you ran a half-marathon? How was your first?