Oh my god, I did it. I did it!
Firstly, I’d like to apologise for not posting more training updates. My training went a bit haywire the month or so before the event yesterday and I just didn’t feel like writing blogs about it. Looking back, of course, I’d like to see how I was feeling, but oh well.
I was still training but I started only to enjoy my longer runs and not the shorter ones. I think this is down to the fact that I was seeing progress with my longer runs which I liked. Every time I ran, I was running an extra mile or an extra mile and a half which was so rewarding. And as a result, my shorter runs became a bit of a chore and I didn’t wholly see the value in running 3 miles when I could run 8 or 9. I realise, and I also knew at the time, that of course there is value in running 3 or 4 miles on top of a longer run but I was just a bit lazy with them and only wanted to do my longer runs. So, that’s what I did.
My maximum run I did before the race was 9 miles, which was fine, but considering I was planning to get up to 11 miles before the race, I was a little disappointed I didn’t manage to fit one more long run in.
I was so nervous in the days running up to the race. I started to doubt myself and wanted to just give up to be honest. I’d started to get ill about a week before the race and was popping pills and vitamin C like nothing else. Also, the days before, there were plans for this huge storm to hit Glasgow the day of the race and a yellow warning was issued for rain and wind! It seemed like everything was against me, yet somehow everything turned out to be alright in the end.
I woke up several times the morning of the race with nerves and stomach cramps (women problems) so I was up quite early. I had a big breakfast as planned, of a bagel with peanut butter, jam and a banana. I also had vitamin C, a coffee, LOTSSSS of water and an immodium. We then headed to Tesco to get safety pins to attach our numbers to ourselves, picked up my friend Mhairi and went to George Square for the start of the race.
I was freaking out a little bit about standing for so long before the race as I know the soles of my feet get very sore whenever I walk or run, so I was trying to sit down whenever I could. However, the weather was in true Glasgow style, disgusting. So, I sat down when I could, we did the warm up workout with everyone, and then we headed to our section, the Pink section, which was the last wave of half-marathon runners.
Everything went very quickly from then until the gun went off, signalling us to start running. I was more excited than nervous by the time we got up to the starting point and then we were off, for the next two hours of pure running!
The first few miles went by so, so quickly. The first half mile was basically all up a hill, which I thought would be the worst way to start the race. But, it did warm us up and I took it slow to not burn myself out. After that, Mhairi and I split up because she thought she’d be a lot slower than me. So, I was on my own.
The funny thing about running is that no matter how many people are around you, you’re completely in your own head. I couldn’t even tell you what I thought about for those 2 hours but my mind was full the whole time. There was so much going on around me that the run went quicker than I imagined.
The first 6/7 miles were fine and went by very fast. After that, the pain started to kick in a little bit and I started to feel slightly uncomfortable, but I still felt okay. I’d agreed to meet my supporters (my mum, dad, girlfriend, and two friends visiting from Australia, Gen and Wayan) at mile 9 and they were there to support me at what I knew would be the hardest bit for me. Having finished with the two parks, which I’d only trained on once, I knew I’d start to struggle as we headed back north towards the final stretch along the river. So, it was perfectly timed them waiting for me.
I saw them from a couple of hundred metres back and saw Gen running towards me excitedly and blew kisses to everyone as they were cheering me on, telling me how amazing I was doing. It felt incredible to have them there cheering me on like that. I completely forgot about my pain when they were there.
After I’d ran past them, I saw them coming up beside me again! They were on bikes and luckily, there was tons of space for them to cycle alongside me on their way back up to the finish line to see me at the end. So, they rode beside me for about half a mile which was great. I forgot that I was running and just enjoyed myself!
The problems came once they left to get up to the finish line. It was 10.5 miles in at this point, and my legs were dead. I remember passing the 11 mile mark and wanting it to end. At that point, we were back on the riverside, a route which I’ve run tons of times. However, knowing there was only two miles left and how far away the end was in my head from where we were, I felt exhausted and consistently felt like I should stop and walk.
BUT, I didn’t stop to walk once, not even for a second. I got out of my own head, and continued to put one foot in front of the other right up until I crossed that finish line sprinting! I felt such a sense of pride and excitement when I finished, I was so elated that I’d accomplished something that I never thought I’d be able to do.
In the end, I ran 13.48 miles! For some reason, my app was a little bit ahead of the official markers, so I was getting “you have now reached 11 miles” through my headphones, but having to run a couple of minutes extra before I was ‘officially’ 11 miles in to the race, which was a bit annoying. But, technically, I’ve ran further than a half marathon!
My official time was 2:21:04 which I’m also very chuffed with. This makes it a 10:38 average pace which is not too bad. I wanted to do it in a little less time but, honestly, my main goal was to walk none of it, which I succeeded in. So, really, I have nothing to complain about at all.
I enjoyed the whole experience so, so much. I think I’m slightly addicted and I already want to run another one! I’m so proud of myself for accomplishing this and here’s to the next one!
À bientôt !
Here’s a few snapchats I took on the day: