So the good news is I did it! I ran (well occasionally walked to have a drink and chomp on a jelly baby or two) 13.1 miles! I made it to the finish line and got my medal.
It’s only been a few days since the race, and I kind of feel like it was all a dream.
Did I do that?
Was that me?
Did all that really happen?
How did I manage to raise that much money?
It all feels very surreal, although up until a few days ago, my kneecaps were shouting at me – YES IT DEFINITELY WAS YOU, YOU DID JUST RUN A HALF MARATHON!! Let’s just say they felt as though someone had hit them with a sledge-hammer, but they’re all good now thank fully.
Throughout this whole journey, training and getting to the start line, I have been amazed by my body, and its ability to repair and heal itself, even more so this week. It’s incredible how after just a few days, the aches and stiffness have all gone and I’m steadily feeling stronger each day. Taking time to replenish and nourish myself, I think I am almost ready to go out for a run again soon?
Leading up to the race I had lots of little doubts in my head, worrying about being at the back, had I eaten enough, had I eaten the right foods to fuel me for the race. And whether I was going to be the only one who had to walk a few steps every now again to have a drink, or event stop for a wee. Just pre-race nerves I guess.
There was one thing I didn’t doubt though and that was that I could do it. I knew I had it in my legs. I had put in the miles, and I knew I could cross the finishing line.
That said, I thought when I crossed the finishing line I would be that person who collapsed in a heap and sobbed, instead I managed a bit of sprint finish, and felt totally elated. For me the journey to the start line was way more emotional, than actually getting over it. Sometimes, when out training, all it took was a piece of music on the radio to come on and this would trigger the emotion and realisation of what I was doing. What I was achieving week on week, just adding that 1/2 mile to my long run, I was amazing myself. The emotion would just flood out, and I would be running along and crying at the same time. It was at times like this when I would have a little word with myself, to say “dig in and get on with it girl!”
So yes training was a bit painful, both physically and emotionally at times, but immensely liberating and brilliant, and I would do it all again.
I think I may have got the running bug. I don’t know right now whether I’ll enter any more races or want to run further. But what I have found is a way of exercising that suits me. I love being outdoors with my headphones on, where its just me and the elements. I’m now fitter and in better shape than I was in my 30’s too, which is great.
Whether it’s training for a half marathon, taking up a new hobby, or restarting an old one, why not set some time aside in your busy schedule to do something for you. Something where you can be truly you. Make time, create some space, do it today and enjoy it!
Yes I had guilt going out for 2 hours on a Saturday morning whilst I pounded the streets, so that I could prepare myself for the half marathon. Leaving my son and husband behind at home on a weekend, the only time I get to see them together, it wasn’t easy. But guess what? They were fine, and actually they had super quality time together as a result.
And anyway it was my guilt, no-one made me feel guilty for going out running. I knew I had the full support of my family, but sometimes we just don’t like to ask to have time to do something for ourselves, by ourselves.
I had all manner of reasons for running the half marathon, from wanting to get fit at 40, to raising money for a worthy cause, and to run in remembrance and love for someone precious to me. But in doing so it also gave me time to be me, not mum, not wife, or daughter. I used the time out running to think, to create ideas for my blog, to make plans, but also to listen to music, and have time on my own without any interruption.
My journey to the half marathon has been amazing, the support from friends and family and of course sponsorship has been overwhelming. And before I started on this challenge, I couldn’t have ever imagined the kind words I would hear from so many. Sat at the dinner table the evening after the run, my husband simply said to me “I have the utmost respect for you, we’re so proud of you.”
What a truly amazing day it was, and something that will live with me forever.
So what could you do, for you? What’s stopping you taking some time for yourself, to be yourself?
Be brave, be you!
See you soon x
(My run was in aid of Just for Hailey all donations to SUDEP Action, where with your help they can strive to make a difference, and make every epilepsy death count.)