That’s it. The deed has been done. Your patient five-month following of the adventures of a rustic vegetable has been rewarded. The Half Marathon has been run.
Here’s where we started:
And here’s where things stood as I lined up at the start line yesterday:
Things got a little weird in the last couple of weeks of training due to a little trip to New York City (more on that later):
Thursday’s run got moved to Wednesday so as not to be required to run up and down the aisle of an aeroplane.
Friday’s run was allocated to a Golden Ticket since jet lag and running don’t mix well.
Sunday’s run was two laps of Central Park (just about) in the late afternoon when temperatures were sub-10°C. That was a great run and I felt really fresh at the end of it. So fresh I couldn’t feel my arms.
Tuesday’s and Thursday’s runs were done on the treadmill in the hotel gym. I really hate treadmills. I have a whole new appreciation of living in a climate that allows me to run outdoors all year round.
Sunday’s allocated training run was moved to Saturday and called the Scotland Run. Funnest training I’ve ever undertaken.
One more go on the treadmill on Tuesday. Thank all the gods.
Friday’s last training run before the big day was about an hour after we arrived home. It was more of a Cliff Young shuffle than a run but I covered the distance.
And thus on Sunday the Big Day arrived.
I have no photographic evidence of the start because I was alone. Getting a jet-lagged husband and three teenage boys down to a race start line by 8am on a Sunday morning? Not going to happen.
I was grateful I had participated in the Scotland Run the week before (my first ever fun run). Having experienced a start with 8,000 runners, Sunday’s start line with less than 900 runners was a breeze.
The run went reasonably well. I guess asking an ageing body to work its guts out for a couple of hours isn’t going to go completely smoothly. My right hamstring grumbled and my left knee sniggered but it never rose above a mere complaint. But the stitches were bitches. The last one, stabbing me in the chest for the last two kilometres, was nicknamed Cruella De Vil.
While I started alone, there was support when I needed it from the Spreadsheet Enforcer and the Gauntlet Thrower and family arrived at the 17 kilometre mark to provide photographic evidence that I actually ran. Just the Husband and Youngest Son. Eldest Son and Middle Son stayed in bed. No prizes for guessing who is my favourite child.
There was a clock at the finish line so I could know my time. I didn’t even see it, I was so focussed on just getting across that line. While my running app gave me a time, I’ve not always been overly confident of its veracity so I waited for the official results.
Two hours, two minutes and 56 seconds. I was thrilled. I was hoping for two hours in a sort of wishful, wouldn’t-it-be-cool-to-do-it-in-two-hours kind of way so to have come a few minutes close was exciting. Besides, who wants to crack a super time for their first race? It just means too much hard work to beat it next time.
And today I received notification of official photographs in which I appear and fortunately there is one of me crossing the finish line:
So now I have a week off running, apparently, but then I’d best get back into it. I’ve already booked in for Run Forrest in June. (And no, it has nothing to do with the Tom Hanks movie.)
So thank you all for coming along on the runs through the heat and the rain, through knee troubles and headaches, through frustrations and triumphs. We made it. Now, can I offer you some beetroot relish?
Postscript: For those who may have remembered that as well as the race this weekend, I also had to sing in a concert on Friday night and Saturday and Sunday afternoons, that all went smoothly. And I made the interesting discovery on Friday night while waiting out the back to go on stage that it is actually literally possible to fall asleep standing up. You just don’t stay standing up for long. (It’s okay, I grabbed the back of a chair in front of me before I hit the floor.)