Week eight – my first half marathon

How do I put 13.1 miles into words? Surprisingly not as bad as I thought, for my first half marathon, I can definitely confirm the anticipation was worse than the event. 

Last Sunday I completed the Roding Valley half, a hilly course round Essex that demoralisingly loops back on itself twice. Finishing seven minutes slower than I hoped, I surprised myself in my ability to keep going past the ten mile barrier I’d built in my mind. So here goes, my first half marathon lessons learned. Enjoy!

Ten miles is just a number 

These past few weeks I’ve been convincing myself that reaching double figures was as far as I could go. Sure, the extra 3.1 miles were slow and difficult, but to be honest, they were no harder than the last five. 

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day 

For weeks I’ve struggled with my pre-run meal, but on Sunday I got things right with porridge, honey and banana. Fuelling my body made the gels much more bearable and the hills feel less of a challenge. 

It’s taken me a few days to recover 

From an achey knee to a stiff hamstring, I’m listening to my body and taking things a bit slower this week. The perfect timing for this weekend’s adventure (watch this space!) 

It’s pretty damn nerve wracking! 

I’m the first to admit, I was nearly in tears on the start line of this very low key event. This doesn’t bare well for London, if anyone has any waterproof mascara recommendations, send them my way. 

Knowing the course helps

Of course I had the upper hand having run this loop countless times before. Although this isn’t much help to those training for a race on the opposite side of the country, do your homework and try and work out where the inclines will be. 

It’s made me excited for the big day

I still can’t get my head around running the same distance again, but finishing my first half has given me the confidence boost I so desperately needed. The training plan seems to be working and, fingers crossed, the next eight weeks will fly by. 

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