It’s done, BOOM!
Half Marathon mission accomplished.
(See here for more on why I ran).
The weeks of build-up, training, injuries and fundraising came to a heady finale on a cold and dry Sunday morning when myself and hundreds of other mad runners slogged up a few hills, pounded down yet more hills and just about managed to keep going on the flat!
It was an amazing experience and the first longer distance race I have fully enjoyed (training does actually help!). And I am so thankful for these things;
1. I achieved my personal goal and finished in 1hr 55 minutes, sub 2hrs and a PB. This is 6 minutes faster than my last half when I ran 2hrs 1 minute and was so cheesed off at that minute!
2. I actually enjoyed it! Last time I ran this distance I couldn’t catch my breath on a long hill near the end and had what felt like a panic attack. I had serious beef with this distance!
3. I didn’t poo myself – not outside the realm of possibility when running long distance after 2 traumatic births!
4. The amazing ladies Amanda and Sarah whom I ran with. Just wouldn’t have been the same without them and their friendship.
5. The support of friends and family who came to cheer us on. Seeing familiar and loved faces, smiling and cheering you on means so much. Also random strangers shouting ‘go girl’ and handing out jelly babies, oranges and strangely beer! The atmosphere was great and you are buzzing for hours afterwards.
6. The generosity of people inspired me. We were running for a local charity ‘Chestnut Tree House’. After this event the current total is over a thousand pounds on our group Just Giving page.
So what’s next I hear you ask!
Well you’re probably not actually, but I’m going to tell you anyway!
I am thinking of dipping my toe into the unique and exciting sport that is Triathlon. That’s right TRI baby! I’m going to dabble in some lake swimming, a bit of lycra clad cycling (eeek!) and finally some more foot pounding running! It’s a totally new thing for me, so I’m looking forward to being outside of my comfort zone and trying new things.
My non-fiction book for February (see previous blog) was ‘A Life Without Limits’ by Chrissie Wellington.
She is a multiple Ironman World Champion and has set numerous world records as one of the greatest triathletes of all time. Her story is seriously amazing though. She shocks everyone by winning her first World Championship in one of the most gruelling single-day sporting events, as an unknown thirty-year-old from Norfolk.
It is such an inspiring story and I really recommend it, even if you are not into running. She has such a positive attitude and talks a lot about the mind and how we are capable of so much more than we can imagine. She talks about testing the limits;
“For a start there’s the importance of keeping an open mind. The brain is programmed to protect us, and that can mean imposing limits on what it thinks we can or should do. Constantly push at those limits, because the brain can be way too cautious. Not so long ago I would have laughed at you if you had suggested I do an ironman. Imagine if I had allowed that attitude to persist. It is up to each and every one of us to change ‘I can’t’ into ‘I can’.”
Many of us have hopes and dreams, things that we would love to try but are often too scared to try, too scared of failure or scared of what other people will think. Writing was one of those things for me among many others! But one of the things running has taught me is the truth in not accepting your limits.
When I first started 5k felt like a marathon, 10k felt almost unachievable. Then each race, each small goal I realised I could push my body further, 10k under 50 minutes, running 13.1 miles. I also know there is so much more in me, but I don’t really like pain, and that is the battle of the mind that Chrissie talks about. She says we should relish pain as it shows us how hard we are working! She is one of those people that is like ‘PAIN, I laugh in the face of pain’! I’m not sure I’m fully on board with that yet, and that’s why extreme endurance is not so much my bag. But it is so inspiring and who knows if I’m still writing this blog in ten years, who’s to say what new challenges there will be!
Never imagine anything is impossible and never stop trying new things!
It’s certainly a challenge.