First Half Marathon

I did it.  I ran all the way and finished.

The weather was perfect with a light breeze on the face that was refreshing rather than cold.  It was sunny and mild for a mid-July winter’s day. Temperature about 12°C. The day before I had done all the recommended carb-loading, hydration and had slept well.

This Half Marathon is part of the Launceston Athletic Club’s annual program.  It starts in Scottsdale and goes down to Bridport on the coast.  All up it descends 200m in altitude but with some heartbreaking hills peppered through the first three quarters of the course.  It’s really pretty countryside with a mix of bush and farmland.  I saw quite a few green parrots and even received the laughing applause of a kookaburra along the way.

halfmarathonmap

Like all LAC events it’s a handicapped race.  My handicap was just over 23:00 and Husband’s was just over 39:00.  I was the third person to start out of the 35 runners, most of whom are experienced and fast!  Yesterday there were about eight of us who were tackling this distance for the first time.

Husband and I at the start

Husband and I at the start

I did it!  I have to remind myself this.  I didn’t walk, I ran all the way (even up all the hills), I finished.

It was tough.

Usually my mind has complete control of proceedings.  Yesterday the machine part of my running had to take control.

I was at the halfway drink stop in just a smidgeon over an hour and was feeling great.  I saw it in the distance so I chewed on an energy drop then collected my hand-held drink bottle from the volunteer (thanks D) and carried it with me for the rest of the way.

At the 12k mark I wanted to stop!

Feet, knees, legs: We think we can, we know we can, we think we can, we know we can.

Away they went like a little old machine without a driver because mind was not in a good place.

Mind: This is too far, who are you kidding? You are not a runner, only real runners do half marathons.

Feet, knees, legs: We think we can, we know we can, we think we can, we know we can.

It was at this point that I was passed for the first time.  Then there came a steady trickle UNTIL, at the 13k mark I heard a familiar voice.  Husband!  He was doing really well.  He has his running groove back!  Words of encouragement were exchanged both ways but Husband’s You are looking really good Sweetheart and you have a very cute bum that made me smile and spurred me on.  I enjoyed watching him run off 😉 We have a mutual admiration thing going when it comes to bottoms 🙂

I reset my resolve and kept going.  I am going to finish this.

From then on the elite members of the field started to fly by me.  The fastest finisher did so in 01:06:00.  That’s fast especially taking in those hills.

The drink bottle was so good to have.  I had a couple more energy drops at the 14k mark and again at the 16k mark.  Probably overkill, but they helped to distract and keep me motivated: I have all this energy inside me, of course I can finish! The body was feeling pretty good and mind had decided to get a bit happier so I stuck a smile on my face and the last 5k, while still tough, were also up lifting in a strange kind of way.  I remembered all the people who had sent me encouragement, Miss Melee I did hear you at the 19k mark, thank you!  There had been messages from fellow running bloggers as well as Miss Melee, and the beautiful members of The Running Group including Coach C which was much appreciated (especially thank you to L and J).  Messages from Mum, family, friends and fellow bootcampers (thanks especially to P).  How could I let them down?  I thought about a fellow running blogger who is battling cancer and dug deep for her and sent lots of positive energy her way. I had no physical reason why I couldn’t make it, just unfounded doubts in my head.  I smiled and kept running.

With less than 1k to go a chap walking along the main street of Bridport yelled out to me Did you really run all the way from Scottsdale?  Yes! I said.  I picked up my pace just a little bit and there was the turn to the finish line at last.  02:18:04 for me and Husband 01:50:00.  We did it.

The paler grey is altitude and the darker is pace

The paler grey is altitude and the darker is pace

Almost there, can't wait to press stop on the GPS!

Almost there, can’t wait to press stop on the GPS!

Distance is something to be respected.  I knew this before the half marathon but I believe and understand this with a deeper knowledge and perspective today.  Distance likes a long courtship.  It likes a close and meaningful relationship not just little dalliances here and there.  If Husband and I are to run the Point to Pinnacle in November we simply have to give distance more time.  My next goal is to make a 15k run feel as routine as a 10k run.

I MADE IT!

I MADE IT!

A very heart felt thank you to everyone who has read Unsporty Women Can Run in the lead up to our first half marathon.  I’m humbled by the support I receive through you all!!!  It is my sincere wish that you find encouragement from my running story.  If I can do this, anyone can!  To all the marathoners and ultra-marathoners who read my posts, I was already in awe of your achievements but after yesterday my respect has risen 100 fold.  If a half marathon is still on your running wish list, keep going.  Believe in yourself.  You can do this!

And lastly thank you Launceston Athletic Club. This club, though full of fast, talented, experienced runners welcomes anyone who wants to have a go, regardless of speed and ability.  Everyone is friendly, helpful and welcoming.  It costs hardly anything to become a member ($30 for the year) and each race has a nominal fee (yesterday it was $10).  Joining this club has allowed me to take my running gently to the next level through the events that they organise.  I strongly recommend joining a club!

Mind had a few speed-wobbles but we got through in the end.  Courage to start, determination to finish.

Happy running 🙂

42 thoughts on “First Half Marathon

  1. Ooohhhh, fantastic! Well done! Congrats! Wishing you many many more and thank you too, for this inspiring post. Love that pink top too!

  2. Congratulations! I’ve always been nervous about joining a running club, never felt like I’m a good enough runner, now thinking I should give it a go!

  3. Hey well done you. Did laugh about the bottom comment from hubby, as that is just what my hubby would say, in fact if he ran I know he would be just behind me admiring the view!

  4. Awesome run 🙂 Well done and in a great time too. What a fantastic achievement, and knowing the route you ran made it even more significant – it would not have been easy. Well done again.

    I loved your comment about husband commenting on your bottom – my husband said he likes running behind me for the same reason 🙂

    • Thank you 🙂 I do feel amazing. This distance is within anyone’s reach, it just takes persistence and believing that you can succeed! If someone had suggested that I would do this when I first started out I would have told them that they are delusional hehe

  5. Really inspiring read! You did it in a great time too! Have signed up to do my first half marathon on the 31st August and first full marathon on the 28th October, here’s hoping I have the same resolve and motivation to keep going as you do!

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