I did the Gosport Half and got my PB but had a serious off day. This was a Half Marathon off-day that produced a pretty on-mazing result.
It’s been a while coming & sorry for the delay!
As I mentioned in my previous post, I was so nervous about running the Gosport Half and a huge thanks to all of you that sent me your best wishes and words of encouragement! It was really great and gave me a bit more of a positive push!
I didn’t sleep too well the night before (but in fairness, unless you’re a pro, who does?) despite being fed an awesome carby meal and given a very comfy bed to sleep in. My leg started to ache on Saturday night so jumped in a hot, bubbly bath to calm it down. I then slapped on a great deal of Deep Heat to make sure it wasn’t going to yell at me the day after. (Apologies to my cousin and her hubby who will probably still be smelling Deep Heat)
I had various alarms set on Sunday morning (I’m the worst person for getting out of bed anyway, never mind getting up to run 13.1miles) and got up to make myself the Banana Butter Blast (Banana and Peanut Butter smoothie) that was going to power me through. I felt physically sick with nerves.
As we made our way to the site, got our numbers and avoided the torrential Gosport rain (first time I’ve done the bin bag trick), I couldn’t decide if I was excited, nervous or both. My cousin runs with Fareham Crusaders of who I seemed to be an honorary member for the day and they were a funny bunch to start off with. As the klaxon went, so came the bizarre sound of ‘Run Rabbit Run’ from the speakers. Not my choice of tune but seeing as iPods/MP3 players/phones were banned, I didn’t have much choice.
Now I don’t know about anyone else, but I can’t really run well without music. When I’m starting to feel like someone up there hates me, I find an upbeat/bouncy song to keep me inspired. And this I could’ve done with on the weekend. Immediately, I was very aware that this was going to be a long Half Marathon. Why didn’t I risk the music to keep my spirits dancing? Because if you were spotted, you’d be disqualified. Can you imagine running 13.1miles only to be told it doesn’t count? That would’ve destroyed my soul even more.
All was going alright for the first lap. My times were within the 9min 15-30 range and my legs were feeling alright. Then, a steward at mile 6 said ‘Oo, we’ll be seeing you again next time around.’ Not helpful. Mentally, I was struggling. I was running at a faster pace than usual, was running with someone very awesome and who’s been doing it for years and I had no music. This resulted in a slightly horrendous can’t-breathe-so-I’ll-just-cry moment right in the middle of the second lap. I couldn’t breathe, my hips were hurting and I didn’t want to let my cousin or anyone else down. Then I got cross at myself for it.
I took all 4 energy gels, had the odd cup of water on the way around and was very aware that, mentally, I was ready to give up. And that’s the problem. I need to work on the mental part of running. If anyone has any pointers, I’d be really grateful for them. Seeing our family stood cheering and waving was a boost but it was the times in between that were really hard.
When we approached double figures, I was done with running. But my cousin kept encouraging me and helping me to stay in the right mindset, which must be hard when you could easily run it in 1hr 35min without your highly emotional and achy cousin in tow!
When we got to 13miles… I was so glad. 400m came and I just wanted to stop running. Our family were spaced out from the 400m mark to the finish and they really helped. I put every last effort into throwing myself over the finish line. And then it was done. And then I cried horrifically…again. And then I got a spot prize which was probably down to being an emotional wreck. And I got called Mandy… It was all very odd.
I also, despite all of this, got my Personal Best of 2hrs 7mins 55secs. 12minutes quicker than the Cardiff Half.
My experience was literally one of gels, sweat and tears.
I’m really proud of my achievement and couldn’t have done it without the help of my cousin or the family.
I seriously need to invest in some more trainers that are right for me and right for my body. I’m not made for running. I have a rear end to challenge Nicki Minaj and it needs serious support. But I’ve got the time before March to invest in the right pair, wear them in and make sure I’m ready for Bath next year.
In the meantime, it’s all about chilling out a bit and slowly getting up to a good running level 🙂