I don’t really know where to begin with this week’s blog, so I’ll start by saying I did it… just about!! It turned out to be a lot tougher than I expected but that made it even more special when I finally crossed the finish line!
In the week leading up to the race it was definitely at the forefront of my mind, I found it hard to think or talk about anything else. I’m sure I drove my friends and family mad! It was especially hard turning down a glass of wine with friends early in the week, but I was determined to have my body at its best for the run.
My brother Rob arrived home from Edinburgh late Friday night so we just tried to chill out as much as possible Saturday morning before we hit the road. Our friend Carrie was doing the run too so she arrived around 1.30 and we headed off. It made such a difference having Rob and Carrie with me on the way to Tinahely, we spent the journey laughing and it really helped ease the nerves!
It was lashing rain for most of the drive which we were delighted about. We all enjoy running in the rain, especially on humid days like last Saturday. But when we reached Tinahely the sun was beaming!
We arrived around three and the hour leading up to the race actually flew by, but I was definitely anxious and ready to start by four o clock.
Rob and Carrie run a lot faster than me so just before we started we hugged goodbye and good luck and they ran on ahead!
Everyone’s pace was quick as we set off and I had to remind myself to slow down a bit, I was hoping to finish the first 10k in around 54 minutes but by the second or third kilometre I gave up on that idea. The second kilometre was almost all uphill and I managed to run it but felt the effects by the fourth kilometre, I was shattered! The heat was really getting to me too and to be honest I panicked a bit, I kept thinking how everyone knew I was doing this run, how I’d trained so hard for it and how I didn’t want to let them or myself down! So by the fourth kilometre, when I’m usually just getting into the swing of it, I was almost ready to give up!!
I stopped and walked for a bit to try calm myself down, at this point I had accepted the fact that I wouldn’t finish in the time I’d hoped but I was now questioning whether I would finish at all!!
I tried to relax and began running again but unfortunately there were a few more times when I had to walk, I probably walked for almost one kilometre in total but on the day it’s just what I had to do. I also stopped at every water station and drank a cup of water as the sun was so draining.
I started to relax and feel hope that I would finish around the twelfth kilometre, just after a water station when I began chatting to another runner. We briefly spoke about how hard we were finding it and that really helped more than I could have imagined. I set off again at a good pace but I did walk up another couple of hills before I got to the finish line which I did finally reach after 2 hours 8 mins!!
Carrie and Rob were waiting for me at the end and both said it was one the hardest runs they’ve ever done! That was music to my ears I have to say, to hear that they both struggled too was such a comfort, we also overhead a few other runners saying the same. Hills are always hard going but along with the heat it was seriously tough!
So after the months of training, the day came and went. It didn’t go exactly how I hoped it would but still I am delighted to say I’ve run a half marathon!!
I do hope to do another one at some stage maybe at the end of the summer, but for now I’m just going to try enjoy running for myself again!