Soham Half Marathon - Recap


So... First off, I'd like to say a ma-hoo-sive thank you to my boyfriend, Phillip and his mother Jane. I probably couldn't have run this without you two. You've helped me so much on our training runs!

I don't really know where to start.. I guess I'll start by quickly summing up last week. I didn't do any exercise last week. I realize now that it was a big mistake, I should have at least kept somewhat active and done a bit of exercise.. that won't happen again.

Eating was OK, nothing spectacular. It was my birthday on Thursday.. which involved cake and takeaway.. proceeded by more cake for the last half of the week.

On Saturday, the day before the Half.. the morning started off as usual. Me and Phillip went to do our weekly shopping run, we stopped at Costa as usual and I had a Skinny Chai Latte (which I'm addicted to now..). Didn't really do much during the day.

The night before the run, Me, Phillip, his mum and her partner all had dinner, we had Spag Bol.. as we heard that pasta is good the night before the run.

I was supposed to get a good nights sleep.. but I think at that point, sliiiight nerves had kicked in. Phillip could tell as I was keeping myself busy. I laid out my running gear for the morning.. which consisted of 2 different types of clothing as I didn't know what the weather would be like, set my alarms for 7 am and finally crawled into bed at around 12. Didn't get to sleep until about 12:30-ish.

Sunday Morning.. Alarm went off at 7 am.. I got out of bed and went straight downstairs to make breakfast. I had an Oat and Fruit Bagel with PB and Strawberry Jam. It was yummy! I was pretty full after that.

I came back upstairs and got dressed into my running gear. The adrenaline seemed to kick in at this point and I was on a complete high and jumping around all excited.

I went downstairs to talk to Phillips Mum and she asked me to check the times for last year.. after checking, she made a goal for herself of under 1:55 to aim for. She also reminded me to have my banana before it was too late.. I was totally full from breakfast but had it anyway..

We headed out to register at 10:15 am. The run didn't start until 11:15 am. When we pulled into the parking lot.. nerves set in fully. We went to the main sports hall to register. I got number 42 to wear. I felt so out of place and awkquard stood there with everyone else. Everyone looked like pros.. everywhere I looked there were people in groups for their running clubs.. people stretching.. people prepping and putting on their gel belts.. I felt totally oddball and unprepared compared to everyone else..

We took pictures, pinned our numbers to our shirts and then went out to the starting area. We did a small lap of the field near the sports centre to warm up slightly. Everyone started to move to the start line at 11:10 am. There were about 150 runners in total. The race isn't advertised much so casual runners don't tend to know about the event.

The mayor of Soham did a small speech and then started the run. The major runners all took off pretty fast. Phillip ran off on his own, that was the plan from the beginning, I didn't want to hold him back. Me and his mum ran together. We stuck to the crowd for the most part.

Mile 1 seemed easy, pace was a little faster than I was expecting but I was holding strong. At about a mile and a half, we saw Fred (Phillips Mums Partner) and a couple of neighbors or cheering us on. I gave Fred my camera to take pictures.. the camera was on and he was about to take a snap and then I saw the Lens on the camera go in.. He turned it off by mistake! Hahaha!

We passed the mile 3 marker.. slightly after was a water station. I didn't take water because I had my own bottle but the sponges were a god send considering the weather.. which I forgot to mention was a gorgeous morning thankfully!

At mile 4.. I started to feel really sluggish. I knew I'd started too fast. I ended up slowing. Phillips mum went in front.. hoping I would keep her in sight. That just didn't happen. She was running way too fast and I couldn't keep up.

So from about mile 5 on wards.. it was just me and the road. The next couple of miles all mush together. At a few points I was choking back tears.. People in the streets were cheering for me when they didn't even know me, they gave me encouragement.. and hope to finish.

At mile 9.. it was the long stretch of road home.. I knew I was on my way back. I started to get a pain in the ball of my left foot and a pain at the top of my foot on the right. I had to keep taking walking breaks every mile after that.

At mile 12, I was really struggling, I felt like I was going really slow, I was getting disheartened . Until I saw Phillip in the distance. He had finished long ago and he came back to find me. It was the boost I needed. I almost cried. He kept giving me words of encouragement when I thought I wanted to stop. He didn't try to make me go faster, he stuck at my pace. He left me to finish the last .1 stretch back into the sports centre.

I heard them say my name and number over the speaker as I came running in, i suddenly got a burst of energy to sprint the last bit. I crossed the finish line with a mix of pain and joy. I received my medal from the Mayor and Fred took my picture. When I walked over to them.. I just became overwhelmed. I just started crying. I was so happy to have finished and I was so proud of myself.. 2 years ago, I would have NEVER been able to run 13.1 miles.

I just wanted to sit down.. my legs were hurting.. I was told to keep walking. Phillip and his mum went to go and get icecreams.. and then this happened:
No... I did not collapse.. I just couldn't stand anymore so I laid down on the floor.. Ice cream in hand. Hahaha ;)

We went home afterwards, I showered and pretty much chilled out with my sore legs for the rest of the day.

I'm totally feeling the after effects of the run today. I'm SO sore its unreal. It hurts to sit down, stand up, walk up and downstairs.. Basically, it hurts to even walk.

I'm still incredibly proud of myself. I was 132 out of 146. My time was 2:17:38. Its been an experience. I enjoyed every minute of it even though I'm feeling it now.

I've learnt a lot from this run. I know what I did this time and what I should do next time. The next race I have is in July for the National Lottery Run, which I'm more excited for. I didn't know whether I would enjoy runs and races but I do and I will be looking for others to do in the future. I don't currently feel the desire to do a full marathon.. but maybe that will change the more races I do.

We will see. All I know is that I'm proud. I finished. I got my first PB.

Now to beat it.. ;)

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