Running like a hare or a tortoise?

I did it!!!! Yay so happy I could…. lie here and drink chocolate milk as currently my legs are achy but still, a mental celebration counts right??

I wanted to do the Cambridge half marathon right from last year when I saw the runners start, but somehow I missed the day the tickets were released… gutted! It’s a nice flat run, I know the route and there’s plenty to look at and support 🙂 however a few weeks ago someone from my running group asked if anyone wanted to take her place. Yay second chances! So with only a few weeks to go I upped my training to get half marathon ready.

Disclaimer *** I don’t suggest people try running a half marathon with no or little training, however I do run 3-5 times a week and try to do one longer run a week, so it wasn’t too much of a jump to up the distance to do 21k. If I could have longer to train I would definitely do it!

Anyway the week before race day I went for a nice long run and thought how perfect the weather was… and then storm Emma hit and everything went up in the air a bit! I had planned on doing a couple of runs this week and did try to do one, but it was way too icy and I knew I’d end up injured. By then I was wondering if the half marathon would even happen, however yesterday lunch time the snow melted and everything dried up, so it was race time.

We were told to get there 90 minutes early (no ideas why?) have a warm up and be ready to go for 9.30. I didn’t get there that early (bad me tut tut) as I knew I’d freeze! We entered the corrals about 9.20 and counted down the minutes to the start time.

Everyone at half marathons are so friendly, I ended up chatting to a few people which made the time pass quickly, then it was time to run/jog/waddle round the 13.1 mile course.

I started off feeling more nervous than I thought I would be, wondering if I would struggle with pacing but determined to finish without walking. Running would be so much easier if I could get over this fear of ‘is it going to hurt, will I get a stitch and need to stop’ it’s so frustrating!

The first couple of miles went pretty quickly, there were different bands out and lots people cheering everyone on. Being serious, you have no idea how helpful it is to have people cheering, even if they’re stranger, it really gave me a boost. Most memorable; the kids giving out high fives and jelly babies, a lady (in her 80’s ish) who came out and sat on her stroller to cheer us on and the lady on Chesterton road dancing and singing for us. So thank you to everyone cheering us on!

The course goes through the city centre and out to Trumpington, then across to Grantchester. It’s a fairly flat course (come on it’s Cambridge!) until just over half way through and there’s a bit of an incline, probably a tiny one but I definitely noticed it! My motto throughout the run was ‘you can do this it’s not that much further than your usual run’, which I kept repeating every time I thought about how far it was to go.

Does anyone else find the first time you do a run round a new course it feels a lot longer than you expected? I thought I’d got to mile 6 when actually I was only at mile 5! Opps…

We then headed back to Cambridge going round ‘the backs’  back through the city centre and back to Midsummer common. The last mile was a killer, by that time my right thigh was giving me some trouble and I found it hard to keep moving, but no way was I going to stop or I wouldn’t get going again! I tried changing my stride and that seemed to help stretch out the muscle enough to keep going. I even managed a ‘sprint’ finish.

The finish line was the best sight I’ve seen in a while, especially as my supporter tried to run the final bit with me 🙂 my finish time was 1hr 51, which was good enough for me!

Have I got the running bug and want to do more? And do I still want to do a marathon? Yes to both but with more training! Now I’ve done one half marathon I plan to keep doing a long run every couple of weeks, just so I don’t get out of the practice of doing the miles.

Well done to all the runners and thank you to the volunteers and supporters!


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