I have had a bit of time to reflect on the half marathon now. I can’t quite believe that I actually did it. I’m annoyed at myself for walking as much as I did and it somehow feels like life should somehow be different. I mean, hello people, I ran a half marathon, you can’t just carry on as normal.
So here’s what I think I could have done better: Not run the first mile at a stupid pace; settle into the intervals sooner and stick to them, have a banana – the potassium in them is good for avoiding cramp; being a bit tougher mentally when the running got hard – I need to work on those mantras!
Here’s what I think worked well: porridge pot roughly 2 hours before the run, drinking stupid amounts of water the day before so that I am really hydrated and don’t need to worry about it on the day, the little date/dried fruit energy balls that Kath made me; trusting the process – I can run for much longer than I think I can; having amazing friends screaming at me to run in the last 200 metres or so.
I haven’t been too sore. I am stiff and my right foot has a funny little niggle in the arch today but calf muscles and knees are behaving. If I stay in one position too long it takes me a little while to get going but it’s all ok. Still the idea of going for a run today was a little daunting. It is so easy to think ‘ah it’s fine, I ran a half marathon, I don’t need to go today…’ but I do. Training doesn’t stop just because I ran a stupid distance! I am gearing up for an even more stupid distance.
So, with a little proud smile I pulled on my Robin Hood Half Marathon top and headed out with the aim of completing a slow 45 minute plod. I planned to go past our sheep, down the golf course and along the canal. I didn’t take the Garmin because I didn’t want to do battle with it. I took my stopwatch for the timing thinking that I might drop to 2.5 minutes run and 30 sec walk just to take it easy. I felt ok though so I sort of forgot to walk. In fact I ended up just running for 47 minutes without a walk break because I felt comfortable slowly plodding along. My legs were tired so I really was going slow but it was sort of nice.
Nothing to report for the first mile. I waved at the sheep and then focused on the slope which I always find tough. It came and it went. I’d like to say I enjoyed the downhill down the golf course but I really didn’t. I didn’t feel very balanced going down on my tired legs but I got down in one piece. I turned right on the canal and after just a few strides a little dog came bounding up to me and nearly tripped me up. The owner didn’t call it back until I looked directly at her and said ‘Really?!’
I carried on and ran past a woman who had a Westie with her which saw me, growled, showed its teeth and then launched at my ankles as I ran past (no harm done, its aim wasn’t great and it bounced off me). I turned to shout at the woman but she was just bent double laughing. I carried on. It wasn’t long before I had to turn round and therefore run past her again. As I approached she laughed and said ‘If you run faster he won’t get you this time’. I told her to fuck off. I’m scared of dogs (no idea why) and incidents like this make me a little worried about running along the canal on my own.
I wasn’t sure how far the woman was walking and if she was turning round but I wasn’t going to risk her seeing me walking so I just kept plodding along. It was a slow plod because when 45 minutes came I wasn’t at the bridge I was aiming for yet. I just thought I might as well keep going to the bridge and tried to speed up a little. I managed a little mini sprint and got to the bridge in 47 minutes dead. I ran all the way without stopping (well other than tripping over the dog). That might be the longest time I have ever run continuously
Oh I also just remembered- we missed the Sunday weigh-in because of the half marathon so I got on the scales on Monday instead and I have lost 1.5 pounds. Getting closer to the next stone marker!