On Sunday 9th July. I completed my first Half Marathon. I wrote a blog post about this when I first signed up about 10 weeks ago (you can read that here). Yesterday was the big day.
I chose Hever Castle – The Triathlon Castle Series as my route as I thought it would be scenic. Boy, was I wrong!
If you have every been to Hever Castle in the Kent countryside, it is a beautiful place with acres of fields around it. What I didn’t realise was how hilly it was. The course was basically up and down (more up than down) dirt tracks, running through cornfields and horse fields. Although beautiful, I barely thought I would make it around the first lap (I had to do 2 x 10.5km). Where I live is fairly flat and road running so I was probably not as prepared as I wanted to be.
It also didn’t help that the week before my race, my last run before the big day. I had an awful run. Any runners will know this happens sometimes. I barely made 2 miles before having to stretch my calves, an old knee injury came back and I had to walk the last mile of only a 7 mile run. So I was definitely feeling more nervous on the day!
My mum, her partner, my boyfriend and brother came to watch on the day and seeing them at the halfway point with some words of encouragement gave me strength for the 2nd lap. Although my knee started hurting at mile 8, I repeated the mantra in my head “I can do this”. I didn’t choose to do this race for charity so I had nothing to prove except to myself (which probably shows the level of competitiveness I have with myself)!
When I got to the finish line, it was so nice to hear them call my name out and I smiled as I crossed it without even thinking about the pain in my knee and feet.
I completed the course in approx. 2 hours 22 minutes (chip timing to confirm when I get it). Not the fastest time for many who read this but in 26 degree heat, a hilly course and a knee injury, I am happy with what my body allowed me to do and am grateful that I completed this.
I remember the first time I started going to the gym regularly and I was happy because I had run 10 minutes. This was about 7 years ago. And I even remember in 2014 when I moved to London and one of my housemates told me she had run a half marathon. My response at the time was “You’re crazy. I would never do that.”
I want to share this not because I want to brag that I ran a half marathon (although I am bloody proud of myself) but to show you that with consistency and determination, you can achieve what you never thought you can. I always said I would never ever do a half marathon because I can’t run. But I trained for nearly 3 months and even when I wanted to give up, I mentally would not let myself. The mind is a powerful thing. And you can apply this to anything in your life – not just a run. Something that I will certainly take from this.
I’ll let you know if I get into the London Marathon….a whole other kettle of fish!