It had to be done I am afraid. I couldn't resist the opportunity to mention one of the biggest achievements of my life again - sorry!
This time last week I was nervously making my way to Holyrood Park in Edinburgh. I had left t'hubby and the boys packing our belongings and checking out of the hotel. I was glad of the down time alone, to collect my thoughts. My main thought was 'what the hell am I doing?'.
I was about to embark on a huge challenge for me - a half marathon. The Edinburgh Rock and Roll half marathon to be precise.
I am no runner, never have been. I hated running at school. I have tried to run in the past and always given up. I am not sure what was different but 6 months ago I decided to give it another go. This time though I was realistic, I didn't expect much, I increased by distance by 1 lamp post at a time and soon surprised myself with an easy 3 mile run. That's was a huge confidence boost. From there I gradually built up to 6 miles. I learnt to control my breathing and pace, I learnt to push on and push through the stitches or hills. I was very proud of myself.
Then came a spate of illness 5 weeks before the actual event. 5 weeks prior to the event I ran about twice and struggled with 2 miles.
I was therefore not confident about the half marathon. I was starting it thinking I would not complete it and knowing I would walk the majority.
I had to run to the toilet in the train station due to nerves. I almost turned round.
The waiting at the start line was nerve racking, especially hearing people chatting about what distances they had been doing and what time they were aiming for. I was aiming for the maximum time, I simply wanted to complete the course one way or another - maximum time was 4 hours I think.
I set off running, I kept running. At 2 miles we turned onto the sea front and I saw a friend who does alot of running. I used her as my pacer and I kept up with her - I bloody kept up! That gave me the biggest boost, forget the sports drink I was supping and the gels I was swallowing - I was keeping up with someone who does triathlons. At mile 8 I was on a high (possibly due to the sugar and energy things!). Then we hit the hill to Arthur's seat, but everyone was slowing to a fast walk, so I did the same, once near the brow I set off running again. next thing I know it is mile 10. Flipping heck, how did I get here? how can I still see the 2 and a half hour pacer? But I could and I kept going. Yes by this stage I was walking up the hills, but I made it across the finish line in 2.36.13 hours.
I am so proud of myself. Now for someone who does alot of running that is probably quite slow but for someone who expected to cross the finish line on her hands and knees and around 4 hours, it is bloody amazing. And my maratrhon/triathlon friend crossed the line with me and was 35 seconds slower than me!! (OK we ignore the calf injury we had).
I now have the running bug. I am resting myself for a week or 2 but can't wait to get out and do another run. I am already looking for the next half marathon to enter - why? I want to better my time! Mad I know!