I've been wanting to run a half marathon for ages. I had grand plans to be a seasoned runner by now, but 6 months of injuries, crutches, and a 106km challenge less than 4 weeks ago has resulted in me not being in the best physical state. I had even umm'd and ahh'd about whether to pull out and find a new half marathon in a few months, but the good will of everyone who had donated money towards my challenges convinced me to run it. Last week I went on a do or die training run with the intention of running 15km alone. I knew if I could do that and not be in too much pain I could make it round the 21km in Edinburgh. I had come up with an even better plan of paying for Gareths entry fee last minute so he could run with me and help pace, but last minute turned out to be the downfall of that sneaky little plan as Edinburgh Marathon closed the entries...
Edinburgh is one of those places that I never get bored of. Having never been for the first 18 years of my life (Having been born in cornwall and living south west of London I thought taking my sister to University in Nottingham was really far north for the majority of my teens), when i got to uni I joined the ski club and went to Edimburgh every year for a big student ski competition. Limited to visiting only the dry ski slope, a chinese all you can buffet and local clubs every year it wasn't until I left uni and went back up to Edinburgh that I truely appriciated what a great city it is, and it certainly offers up a great half marathon course.
Standing on the start line over looking Arthurs Seat I was a bag of nerves. Genuinely unsure if I was going to make it round, the prospect of failing was my biggest fear. I wasn't bothered about what time I finished it in, I knew my training for it had been far from ideal but I desperately wanted to finish. With no pacers to stick with I gathered my best bet was to just run as far as I could at a comfortable pace and then start a mixture of walking and running towards the end. As crowds of people lined the street cheering as we set off, it quickly dawned on me that I usually run in kms. The signs here were in miles. With no idea what the conversion of miles to kms was I was blissfully unaware of how far I was running and instead was able to enjoy the route as it snaked through Edinburgh and then headed out towards the coast, following the sea down to Musselburgh.
I do really love running, but i wish I was so much better at it, esecially when I passed a feed station at 10 miles to see the floor littered with fresh orange slices only to get to the table and realise they had all gone. No more motivation needed than that to ensure I run much faster next time!! Kudos to the little kids who had buckets of jelly babies outside their houses and ran along side you to give you some in return for a few high fives along the more residential parts of the route.
After a quick pause at a barrier to yell support to a friend who was also running (and smashed her pb time), I was delighted to not get over taken by the elite male marathon runners who had set off after the half marathon runners, and was even more delighted to cross the finish line with a resonable number of people still behind me. This wasn't quite what I had imagined my first half marathon to be like, but I had proved to myself that i could do it. Plans are already being made to enter one in 2017 with a good block of training before hand!