DONE and DUSTED! 2 hrs 36mins 8s

Thrilled to have finished my very first half marathon! In agony having injured my calf again (yes, that hill right at the beginning of St Vincent street has a lot to answer for) but otherwise feeling fantastic.

It was possibly one of the hardest things I have ever done (up there with kick boxing gradings, customer strategy meetings and maybe even quitting fags!) but very pleased to say that I managed it without stopping once, walking or passing out. I did nearly cry at 11 miles, but I don’t think anyone noticed and scoffing another jelly baby made me feel better.

I made the mistake of stating with a 5K pace, of around 6:15 per km which did me no favours, but thankfully managed to catch myself and slowed the pace right down to around 6:45/7 per km which I think may have saved me in the long run. Although seeing loads of people in my colour group sail on past was slightly disheartening, but I got my own back when I ran past some of the speed freaks, who were now walking at about 10 miles. HA!

The last 3 miles were absolutely killer, with the calf playing up and my exhaustion making itself felt. Legs were like lead, but seeing family and friends at around the 11 mile point helped immensely and somehow managed to find the extra energy needed to get through the last couple of miles. Wing and a prayer at that point! You can see my route here

But made it! Without stopping or walking! Although doubt very much I’ll be running for a few weeks at least. The calf is complaining up a storm and I need to rest it. So celebrating with cake and tea. And then to bed – for a day or two.

12 Hours and Counting – Carb up!

We made it to Scotland in one piece late last night! Phew!
By some small miracle I managed to pack everything I needed for the race in about 10 minutes flat, while vacuuming the flat, walking Stella and handing over flat keys to our infinitely saintly friend who stepped into dog sit at the very last minute (long story, thank you Miss P!) Never a dull moment when it comes to Stella. We even got our train with 5 minutes to spare. I  have no idea if I have enough socks for the rest of the time we are here, but I’m covered for tomorrow. Along with jelly babies for the tough times, lip balm, suncream (I’m an optimist) enough safety pins to make a convincing punk and a killer play list to carry me through.

I really didn’t think I would be this nervous, but I’m hoping the added anxiety turns into adrenalin and helps kick start the dreaded first 3kms. No matter how fit I am becoming, I still find the first 10 – 15 minutes really tough. Possibly as I am still getting my head around the fact that, yes I am actually running, and yes its not as terrible as I had thought it was 20 years ago, yes, I am going to carry on going, and I’ll enjoy it.

Part of my head is still stuck in the late 80’s when I always came last in athletics at school Although I’m unsure as to how anyone, no matter how sporty and talented, could actually run in those itchy acrylic dishwater brown PE kits we had. Or the humiliating short shorts that came later, in washed out navy. 

Tomorrow, at least, I get to choose what to wear, and although the vest is as bright orange as you can get (which less face it, suits no-one!), it’s for such a great charity I’m pleased I’m going to be very visible (probably from the moon!).

So it you happen to be watching the race and you see a vision of nuclear orange pass you pay, probably not in a flash, I’m in the slow coach group after all, that will be me. And check out the charity link on the top right hand corner of the blog. They truly are an inspiring lot.

But before that I’m digging into a superb carb crazy meal cooked up by my wonderful race weekend hostess (and also long suffering aunt!) Pasta, mushrooms, salmon a plenty – scrumptious (the equally food fussy other half agrees!

Wish me luck!