With half-marathon number 2 fast approaching, I wanted to take a glance back at my first one. I’ve come a long way since. Not only have I lost nearly two stone in weight and stopped drinking, but my fitness levels have improved dramatically in thanks to running consistently. I had hoped to have managed a couple of half-marathon distance runs in the first few months of the year but it hasn’t happened as yet and doesn’t look likely due to other commitments. However, two things to be grateful for:
1) I know I can do it because I’ve done it before
2) I’m fitter and healthier than I was last time round
Last time round, I wasn’t thinking about time. I just wanted to complete it. For half-marathon #2, I want to be faster. I’m going to have to dig deep and push hard to shave 30 minutes from my time. Post-match analysis to follow.
In the meantime, here’s the story of half-marathon #1 in all its glory.
Originally posted in April 2019 in a previous incarnation of my blog
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 I 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 us 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 £555. 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.