Half Marathon #2

When I signed up to run a 5K back in December 2019 I never imagined I would run a half marathon. Here I am just over a year since I started running and I've just completed my second half marathon.

Six weeks ago I saw a message on our work's internal social media saying they had just been offered some last minute charity places for the (virtual) Royal Parks Half Marathon. They were asking for a minimum suggested sponsorship of £350, and at the time I was really unsure about raising that amount of money, but also at the time I was actually rebuilding to 10K after coming back from a minor injury. Not one to say no to a challenge though I applied for a place and to my surprise was given a spot. And there started my 6 week journey to half marathon. 

As expected my training didn't go 100% to plan as my hamstring was playing up a little bit, but it went surprisingly well all things considered. I wasn't aiming for a fast half marathon, simply to complete it and raise money for charity at the same time.

So how did it go? Firstly I'm so excited to have raised over £1000 for charity. I have been absolutely amazed by everyone's generosity. As for the actual run. It went pretty well all things considered. I feel like I struggled less with this Half Marathon than I did my one in September, plus it was such great weather conditions for running! I got a horrible stitch after around 6K which I couldn't shift until around 11K but it was much easier to run through this than it was last time. I also had my family waiting for me on my finish line, holding my finish line and my medal, not to mention my dad came out to take some photos of me at the start of my run. And just generally the distance didn't feel anywhere near as far or as impossible as it felt first time. 

Fast forward to Half Marathon Day and things that I have learnt:

  • Running a half marathon by yourself is so tough mentally. I'm yet to experience running a "real" half marathon but I can imagine how much more motivation it gives you to run with others and to have people cheering you on.
  • Second time round you have a greater appreciation of the distance. I remember with my first half it felt like forever! However, yesterday's half marathon didn't feel so long.
  • Picking the right virtual race can change how you feel about it all/how it goes. When I did my virtual Great North Run the app was great (until it crashed on me) but at the end there was nothing. No medal, no finish line or anything sort of immediate to mark your achievement. However, yesterday's half got it right. I didn't use the app to record my run (but it had audio cues etc along the way), but prior to the run I also got sent a finish line and a finishers medal. Just having those bits seemed to make all the difference to the ending yesterday.
  • Half marathons are not easy. Don't let anyone tell you that they are, but they are also an incredibly achievable goal to aim towards.
  • Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something. You can and you will.
  • You'll just want to do it all over again when you've finished!

Is anyone else thinking about taking on their first half marathon? 

My Second Ever Marathon: Sub 4 Hours!
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