My First Half Marathon This Year
17 February. 2020 • Category: Running | Addiction | Mental Health | Recovery | Mindfulness | Anxiety | Authenticity | Sobriety
At around mile 11… it was so wet!
Many of you will know that I had a bit of a wobble of Saturday night, I was feeling unprepared for my race on Sunday. It was so lovely to read all your comments of support and encouragement and reminded me that I could do it. At the very least I could give it a good go.
As it was so local didn’t have to be up too early which was a nice bonus, although parking could be interesting so we gave ourselves a few extra minutes. I wasn’t sure that I’d be much use driving home afterwards as my legs tend to get a bit stiff, so my husband drove me down. But registration was fine, and done quickly so we then had about 45 minutes before the start.
There was a lot of bustling about, a sports hall full of runners and I only recognised a few faces. The organisers had been very clear about the inability to do any last minute transfers, but I think given the weather and Storm Dennis, quite a few people had been unable to travel to the race, so they were able to make a few last minute changes to the entries. The race had filled up very quickly so it was lovely to see some of those that had been unable to get a place being able to run at the last minute.
The weather was shocking, but I guess, with all the weather warnings, at least we were expecting it, and it didn’t just come out of no-where. We were running through Storm Dennis after all! I was most impressed with the man running in only a vest, shorts and sandals. I would have been freezing! To be fair, I was pretty cold anyway! I suppose, it’s probably better to run in less, at least your skin doesn’t hold weight like wet clothes!
The race itself was lovely. Running through some cycle paths from the start to our local National Trust property was nice in itself but quite protected. Once we got down to the forest, it was apparent how wet and rainy it was, the river looked ready to burst it’s banks, but it was great to have a reason to be out in the elements, rather than staying indoors and looking out at it. It was two laps which was hard, and unexpected, especially as when I was coming to the end of my first lap I was passed by the front runners coming to the end of their race. That was a bit disheartening, and I think that because of the weather, quite a few runners hadn’t arrived. It was quite noticeable that there were a lot of elite fast runners, but not many of the gently paced runners or plodders. Without the mix of runners, being near the rear of the pack was unusual, but none of us were going particularly slowly. It was quite strange.
The other unexpected thing was that at the end of that lap I found my running son waiting for me on his bike. He was soaked but it was good to see him. He rode alongside me for a lot of the rest of the race, it’s one of those things I always feel a little bit envious about, other people having company when I don’t. It can be quite lonely running for over 13 miles without anyone to chat to. Not that I have the breath spare to chat a lot! I guess this is the advantage of joining a local running club where you can run with friends.
Normally I have this little voice of doubt in my mind, it certainly was there beforehand, but strangely as I ran I seemed to leave it behind. I think the wildness of the weather helped distract me, as did the hills and the mud that was terribly slippery. But it was good fun. In the last mile I struggled, my legs were cold and I wondered if I could finish, but I did, maybe it was a second wind, or maybe I just ran through the doubt? Either way, I got to the finish line and I wasn’t last. It wasn’t my best time, but given the conditions, I was pretty happy with it.
I never thought I’d be the sort of person to run half marathons but apparently I am. If that doesn’t prove you can do anything if you put your mind to it, then I’m not sure what will.
Thanks for reading!