My first half marathon!!!

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I didn’t sleep last night, just kept dozing and waking so I was quite glad when the alarm went off. I had tea and toast for breakfast then extra cups of coffee and tea. Hubby drove me to lancaster and everything was well organised and well marshalled. We started 10 mins late due to an RTA on the bridge.
Then we were off. I felt a bit like a pebble in a stream as people flowed past me on all sides. At the end of the first mile, just after we crossed the bridge I was overtaken by a group of chatting women and then I think that I was at the back.
The first half of the race was running towards the river estuary and into the wind. I had worn my waterproof as the forecast was for rain, but was grateful for its wind proofing. Slowly I lost sight of the pack ahead of me and by mile 4 I felt like I was just running on my own. I felt a bit demoralised then, feeling bad that all the Marshall’s would have to hang around until I finished, wondering why I had thought it was a good idea to do something I patently have no talent for!
Anyway I had started so I was going to finish so I kept going. I had a bit of Pollyanna time, thinking of all the things I had to be grateful for! It wasn’t raining, the people who’d sponsored me and supported my fundraising, the support I have had from complete strangers in my training and of course the fact that I was able to do this. I thought about a couple of my patients with metastatic disease and my friend who was busy caring for her mum with Alzheimer’s.
About mile 5 I could see someone ahead then who kept looking behind them so I guessed they were in the race too.
Mile 6 I decided to take my waterproof off and my garmin dropped off, the strap broken. Maybe that was a good thing, I just put it in my pocket and the race picked up a bit for me from there. I caught up with the lady in front who was lovely, we had a little chat. Mile 7 to 8 was the hill which was nothing compared to hills at home so I moved on from my lady and overtook a man in front of us.
I remember seeing the 9 mile marker and feeling that most of the run was under my belt then before I realised it there was the 10 mile marker! I think mile 9 -10 was downhill. There was less wind here and it was higher on the hill so I was enjoying a lovely view of the mountains in the south Lake District. By now I could see some more people up ahead. Having passed a couple of people had made me feel better, less like an imposter now that there were people running at similar speeds to me. I wondered if I could catch them too. I noticed that the person ahead of me was taking a few walking breaks, so a bit of a mind game, I tried to keep running when she walked. By mile 11 I’d caught up with her and we’d both caught up with the young man in front. She told me that she’d run the Dublin marathon last week and that this was her recovery run! Very brave! Now we could see the footbridge back to the start. It was slightly downhill to there so I was able to keep a steady pace then only one mile to go.
There was someone only about 50 m ahead of me but I couldn’t catch her. When she heard me getting close it must have motivated her to push on! Then I saw Dave and joe at the end of the cycle track and that lifted my spirits. Joe tried to run with me and be motivating but I had to ask him not to as there was still half a mile to go and I needed to concentrate! There was a lap of the running track to the finish. The girl in front was still walk/ running but I was still keeping my steady jog. With 100 m to go I had this crazy idea that I was going to do a sprint finish. For about 5 seconds it felt fantastic- I must have been using different muscles and that feeling of stretch and stride was great! I overtook the girl but I couldn’t keep it up at that pace and managed to cross the line at slower pace but with that burning in your belly that you get when you have given your all! The clock said 2hrs 43 mins and I can’t remember the seconds.
So that’s it! My first half.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me with kind words, good advice and sponsorship. I couldn’t have done it without you!
Will I do it again? Probably, one day !

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About mawil1

Hi my name is julie and I took up running at the age of 46! Hence 'mawil' Middle Aged Woman In Lycra. I did it at first because someone asked me to do a charity run with them. I couldn't run at all, but pride wouldn't let me be seen to be unable to run so I started a walk run programme. I stuck with it and to my surprise I found that I liked it- after a couple of weeks of progress I was hooked! My blog is about my progress in running and how I fit it in with the rest of my life.
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24 Responses to My first half marathon!!!

  1. John says:

    Brilliant, your race sounded a bit my half last year. I think I’ll get my ass back in gear and do another half next year.

    • mawil1 says:

      Thanks! It’s odd to have done it. I thought that I would feel ecstatic if I completed it but in many ways it wasn’t different to a training run. I think that maybe I like running but I’m not a racer! Having a couple of races to aim for though helps to keep you motivated when the going gets tough. I thought that I might aim for the bupa 10 in May as my next outing! How did you feel after yours?

      Sent from my iPhone

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      • John says:

        I was fine… I did injure my leg at about half way (I didn;t have a GPS so I’m guessing.) I had no soreness and could walk ok the next day. I took a few days off then went for a six miler and injured my leg again, so had a three mile walk home! Saw a Physio and had a sports massage and it was sorted. I did the Manchester 10K last year it was great, so I’ll see you there next year!

      • John says:

        While I remember, try and do some foam rolling and stretching today, you’ll feel better for it. A rolling pin will do the same job if you haven’t got a foam roller.

      • mawil1 says:

        It must have been so demoralising to get injured. Thanks for the advice re stretching. I was stiff just after riding home in the car. A bath has helped but I know it’s my hip flexors that seem to shorten so I’ll be doing some work on them – some handy yoga positions!

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  2. Well done – now you can stop thinking of all the different strategies and training – just enjoy and know you have done it before!

    • mawil1 says:

      Yes my sentiments exactly! I’m so looking forwards to running where I want and how far I want just for fun! I’m sure that I will still learn and get fitter but I’m glad the pressures off!

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      • You are not an imposter – overtaking people – “someone only about 50 m ahead of me but I couldn’t catch her. When she heard me getting close it must have motivated her to push on!”

        From my experience don’t try to overtake unless you can do it with gusto – if they speed up so much the better – see if the new pace is acceptable – then stick with it or pass them.

        8 out of 10 people don’t put up much resistance and those 2 can be handy pacers or people to chase!

      • mawil1 says:

        Yes one does weigh up ‘if I go past this person can I keep it going’. I suppose if your steady is faster than theirs then you will overtake, but if you need to run faster than you can sustain it isn’t going to work. I didn’t have the reserve to go faster but others were slowing down. At least I know now what my base is and I can build on that in the future.

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  3. elainewaine@hotmail.com says:

    Aw, very moving final blog, I think your euphoria will come once you have rested up. Great time, amazing cause, well done you! X

    • mawil1 says:

      Thank you, Elaine and thanks for your support! Out for a big nosh up now to replace those 1300 calories! That should pep me up!!

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  4. pwhent says:

    HUUUUGE congratulations Julie – a fantastic achievement and a brilliant description of your run. Now you deserve a well earned drink and a big meal to replace all of those calories. After a well deserved break what is next?

    • mawil1 says:

      Thanks for your kind comments! Definite plans to keep on running because it makes me feel good! Over winter I’d like to lose a few pounds and do some of the speed and strength work that I never seemed to find time for in my training programme. Then I’m thinking 10k in May and maybe another half next autumn just to see if I have made progress! There’s always a plan but it’s all about the personal challenge! What do you do in the winter, it’s the off season for triathlon isn’t it?

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      • pwhent says:

        Yes Winter is the off-season. I try and take a break first and then just tick over doing things I enjoy like Parkrun, club bike rides, cross country etc. I also try and spend a bit of time improving my technique – it’s the bike and swim this Winter!! Then come 1 Jan back to some kind of regime. A Spring 1/2m or 10k is a great target to get back in shape again. Good luck with it all.

  5. Well done. I hope this does not mean the end of your blog.Much enjoyed.

    • mawil1 says:

      Thank you I’m glad you like my blog! I’ll probably carry on mainly because there are some blogs I like to follow and I feel like I have made some ‘friends’ through communication with them. I know that people of our age probably don’t consider people we wouldn’t recognise on the street as friends – I suppose they are more like ‘pen pals’. Anyway it’s been fun so I’ll keep it up!

      Sent from my iPhone

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  6. nicwnacw says:

    Well done you, so very pleased for you. Hope you do continue to blog I enjoy both your posts and your support.

  7. The Tri Road says:

    Congratulations on the finish and thank you for the race report. 🙂

  8. Congrats! Mile 9 is always my toughest when I run 13.1. During my first race it was mile 10 that made me wanna lay down and die.

    Keep it up! What do you do about running in the rain? I live in Seattle and it’s always pouring wet 😦 Kind of a drag, especially since I started running the middle of July and did Oktoberfest Half and have barely ran since race day.

    RIght now I’m taking up body building, really wanna compete in next years Oktoberfest though, so fun 🙂

    ~Jess

  9. joemacgown says:

    Awesome! I enjoyed reading about your race. Its funny all the things that go through your head when you are running in something like this! Sounds like you had a great first race. Looking forward to hearing about your future races. We are lucky to be able to do these things. It is easy to take for granted.

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