Sunday 15th November and it’s 6.30am. The alarm goes off and all I can hear is the wind howling. It’s dark and miserable outside, and turning off the alarm and going back to sleep is very appealing, But no: out I get to get ready for my first half-marathon in 7 years!
When I started this 500km challenge I was comfortably running 5km.Then I decided to enter a couple of 10ks! Something a few weeks ago made me book this half marathon. I was wondering how mad I was when the car was stationary and being moved by the wind when we arrived in Gosport!
I registered, picked up my number, bought the t-shirt and pinned my number to my ICP Support running vest. I walked to the start and chatted with another mum. No one could really believe how windy it was and then we found that 99% of the run was by the sea.
The run started and off we went. I wasn’t aiming for a fantastic time in the weather – I just wanted to finish and clock up the km. It was an odd course: flat (which was great), but the laps meant that you were running back and forth by the sea. As I neared the end of the first lap I couldn’t work out whether it was inspiring or soul-destroying seeing the first runners well into their second lap!
I was on target against my watch. I wanted 2.15/2.20 and knew at what pace I had to run. Somehow, even against the wind, I knew I was OK. The wind helped half way, as it pushed me on. The other half it was against me and I was battered.
I passed mile 11 and I knew I was so close. My dad was at this point and he shouted words of encouragement and started to run. This meant so much to me: my dad is an avid runner (marathons in crazy fast times etc.), so for him to see me do this and be proud is even more special. I then neared the final corner and mum, Andy and George were there. George gave me the biggest smile and I burst into tears (which didn’t help the breathing), but after seeing dad I had picked up speed and continued this after seeing them.
I crossed the line in 2 hours 6 mins and 45 seconds. Wow! is all I can say. I am super pleased with my time. I am sitting here now with crazy wind burn all over my face and a little achy, but on the whole feeling fab and planning my next half-marathon!
So in six months I’ve gone from couch to half-marathon – something I never thought I would achieve at the beginning of this year.
Thank you for all the support from friends, family, fellow runners and ICP mums. It is you all I am thinking of when I am running and you that keep me going.