For my 28th birthday, in an effort to get my running mojo back, my mum bought me entry into the Sheffield half marathon 2013. But after 10 nights in Cuba and general over indulgence for several weeks (OK months) I was not feeling particularly race-ready at one week out. I went for a run on the Wednesday before and did 6.35 miles, figuring that if I could do that arbitrarily chosen distance, I would be able to finish the race. Although I hadn’t done a huge amount of running, I had been consistent in going to the gym and maintained a reasonable baseline of fitness which I hoped would get me through.
I was semi-prepared to crash and burn but as I lined up at the start line I got my head in the zone and told myself that I would take it easy, aiming for the 2hr mark.
When I got to the 7 mile marker I knew I would be ok. My legs, my usual weakness, felt good and I’d settled into a natural rhythm. My breathing was a little laboured and I struggled a bit with a double-sided stitch, but that was hardly surprising with the lack of long distance cardio I’d done in the lead up. I kept trucking on, staying positive, not looking at my Garmin but instead keeping a comfortable pace.
I ended up crossing the line in 1 hr 50 mins 17 sec – my second best half marathon time ever!
As I summed up on Facebook: I came physically unprepared but mentally strong and got my second best marathon time ever. True grit for the win.