My race day started with an early morning and breakfast of three cereal bars and 3 bananas followed by vast quantities of Lucozade sport and Sport Beans.
The race began at midday and I was instructed that I really should try and finish as quickly as possible so we can find a pub and watch the rugby afterwards. No pressure then!
As we made our way to the start line I had a sudden realisation that I might not have put in enough training for this as a lot of other people seemed to be a lot more prepared than me. Not to mention a friend I was running with telling me I shouldn't feel too bad if she takes off and I don't see her until the finish since she's already run three half marathons before. *gulp* too late to back out now. It was time to go!
The first mile was pretty tough going. The temperature was an unseasonably warm 18c and there was very little breeze or shady parts. No matter I was still clocking up a fairly good ten minutes per mile.
Miles 2 to 6 went by fairly easily as I settled into a good stride and managed to maintain my time of about 10 minutes per mile. From then on it got more and more difficult. Between 7 and 10 miles it was mainly just a blur or pain and heat.
As soon as I started getting in to the double digits things got marginally easier knowing that within forty minutes I would be finished.
When I hit mile 12 there was absolutely no stopping me. I quickly had a fiddle with my MP3 player and put on the most encouraging tracks I could find. By the time I saw the 13 mile marker I was almost giddy with excitement. I was almost done and only had the last 0.1 mile sprint to the finish line. That's it I decided I was making a dash for it. I picked up my speed and ran full pelt towards the finish line in a mixture of pure exhaustion and pure happiness.
Crossing over the finish line was easily the most amazing moment of my life so far. I'd done it and in a really good time as well. 2hrs and 16 minutes. I'm not ashamed to say that I cried a little bit when I ran over to hug my sister and her boyfriend that had some to support me.
I'll now be signing up for the London Run To The Beat in October and I actually have a time to beat!
Here are some photos of my day.
Me (in the pink) and my friend before the race started
Right after I crossed the finish line. I'm about to start welling up here!!
In the pub with my well earned pint. We did make it just after the rugby kick off!
Check out my bling! About to enjoy a Sunday roast!