I got up feeling really nervous. I've only done this race once before and had my husband's support but yesterday I was going on my own and knew no one there. It was a 40 minute journey there and the sun was shining. It was the most beautiful day.
In the back of my car I had a bag with a change of clothes, my inhaler, my go gel for energy, my garmen fore runner, my water, a reading book as I got there so early and my hat.
I was hoping to see a friendly face from my running club but I only saw someone I didn't know very well so I said hello, got my number and returned to the car.
I received a message from my mum and dad who wished me good luck. Since they also live close by I kept wondering if they were going to turn up and to my surprise, I saw them walking towards the car. They hadn't told me they would be coming so it was a huge boost for me. I loved it. It made my day. They were both wearing their trainers too. This is my mum and I.
The day was beautiful. It was a gorgeous blue sky but will a chill to the air. However, when we started running it got so hot. I took some water around with me because that is how I train. Not many people did but I found myself constantly sipping it in the heat. It got really hot.
At the same time as I was running the half marathon which is one large lap, others were running it twice for a marathon but they started 2 hours before I did.
I maintained a great pace for the first half which was quite hilly, but in the second part I took a high energy gel and just found myself losing strength and energy. This was hard. And every time I saw a water station I threw water over my head and back to cool me down and filled my bottle up.
Many people were walking towards the end but I did that two years ago. This time I was determined not to walk at all and I didn't. I refused to. At mile 11 I just wanted to stop but willed myself on. I have run 15 miles before without stopping so I knew I could do it. At this point I am using positive affirmations such as, "You can do this!" "Keep going!"
At one point I had finished my water and was desperate for some more. When the water station came up I filled my water a bottle, poured some more on my head and back and continued.
As I came into the finish line another water station greeted me and I covered my head with water once more before I did my sprint finish overtaking a couple of people.
Finishing time was 2 hours and 8 minutes. This was my personal best by 3 minutes. I was really pleased. I told my mum and dad to look out for me at 2 hours 8 minutes. They couldn't believe I was spot on my time. Nor could I! lol!
I stayed to stretch out on the grass and sat with my mum and dad. It was great. However, one or two others had really suffered and collapsed at the end. It was sad.
But I think carrying the water around with me prevented me from suffering any ill effects. I definitely recommend it. This is me when I had finished. Someone was cheering me on, a woman from my club!
I didn't eat too much yesterday, after my run I didn't feel hungry. But I made sure I drank my protein shake, had a banana straight after but I had to force it down.
Overall I had a lovely day which was made more magical by the people I love. My mum and dad absolutely loved it. They looked so young and were having lots of fun, chatting to different people.