Yesterday, Mum and I completed our first ever half marathon. It wasn’t fast, and it wasn’t particularly pretty, but we did it, and we’re very proud of ourselves. So to celebrate, here are some of the things I was thinking on our epic 13.1 mile race.
1. This isn’t so bad, I can do this (about 3 miles in)
We’d just run a sub 32 minute 5k. That’s faster than we usually do at 5k race. And we weren’t feeling completely wiped! The odds are in our favour, and things are going well. We can do this.
2. For every step here on in, there’s less to go than we’ve already run (about 6.5 miles in)
The euphoria, we were half way. A couple of aches were starting to settle in, but we’d done 6.2 mile faster than our last 10k race (6.2 mile = 10k) and we weren’t feeling terrible. Those gummy bears at the half way station had given us a bit of a sugar rush, and it was all downhill from here.
3. I would happily let someone cut my legs off with a saw right now (about 9 miles in)
This was further than we’d ever run before. And though hitting each mile marker was a huge high, the wear and tear of the constant impact of feet on ground was starting to set in. My hips were aching – a kind of bone deep ache that made my whole body feel weak. Though my calves felt okay, my thighs were on fire, and my knees were starting to join the cacophony of pain. The four remaining miles seemed a very long way to go.
4. I’m not going to make it (about 11 miles in)
I walked most of mile eleven. Each time I tried to jog, my whole body protested. Not just my legs and my lungs – my arms hurt, my shoulders hurt, my entire body hurt. People started to overtake me impossibly cheerful, calling encouragement. I was only able to grunt at them. I contemplated murdering a cyclist for their bike, but felt that I probably wouldn’t be able to pedal any better than I could run.
5. I made it! (13.1 miles, 2 hours 45 minutes later)
I would say I was elated – I think somewhere deep inside me I was – but mostly I was just knackered. I stumbled over the line and pretty much fell to the floor next to Mum (2 Hours 40 minutes). The whole experience quickly started to feel like something that happened to someone else, despite the fact that my aching legs were letting me know loud and clear that they had worked a little too hard. I can’t believe I managed to do it.
Mum and I were running for a local charity that supports teens with cancer. If you’d like to donate, our Just Giving page is here. Any donations hugely appreciated! 🙂