Having not done a huge amount of training over the past few weeks, I'd decided that perhaps running a half marathon wasn't the best idea, if I wanted to avoid injury and be able to walk for the rest of the week, so deciding to be sensible I wasn't going to run but would come along to support the others from the Ecademy Running Club, who had also come down to run. However, after a little persuasion and a suitably worded message in the club, I decide there was no harm in going out for an 'easy Sunday jog', which to be fair is probably a better description of what I do. It's not exactly 'running'.
Another deciding factor was the weather. Saturday was lovely and springlike, sunny while not exactly warm and as it wasn't blowing a gale and freezing cold I was more inclined to get out and run. After all, I'd been training in a lot worse with the recent wintry weather.
Now, I know I should be talking myself up and have a "can do" attitude rather than an "ah, well it doesn't matter if I don't finish" but actually the first time I competed I intended to just see how far I'd get. Although, visualisation as part of training says you should imagine yourself running the whole race (and winning!), if you think about one step at a time, it makes it less intimidating and you can break down a long distance into shorter more manageable chunks - like working on your goals. So I set off knowing I had the option of dropping out at any point or just walking and running it to make it round.
Mile marker after mile marker. Knocking them off ... 1 down - 12 to go, 3 down - only 10 more to go, only 6 more ... only 4 miles ... last mile. The last part of the race is the hardest and the cruellest. You run towards the finish and then away from it, up a sneaky couple of slopes and then a long run along the seafront with the finish line tantalisingly in the distance - miles down the road (well, a mile at least).
It certainly wasn't a personal best but I did complete it and although I did a lot more walking than my previous attempt, I didn't give up. There were seven of us running and we all made it round in varying times from the superfit who did it in under 2hrs and others who were closer to 2.30 but we all made it.
Right ... when's the next one. Ouch!