In a few days time, I will be attempting to complete my first half marathon, and the nerves are starting to set in now. But what am I getting myself so worked up about?
A Half Marathon?
Without wanting to state the obvious, it’s a HALF MARATHON! 13.1 miles. 21.1 km. Either way, you look at it, it’s quite a distance. For the average runner, i.e. me, that’s about two and a half hours of running.
Previously, the longest distance I have ever completed running is 10 miles, and if you’d asked me at the end of that if I could have added another 3.1 miles, the answer would’ve been a huge NO!
Of course, I’ve been training for this race, but I’d be lying if I said I’d been following my training plan religiously for the last twelve weeks. So far the longest distance I’ve worked up to is 12 miles, which I walked quite a lot of, I felt like crying and I nearly called my husband to come and save me only half-way through.
So that’s not really filling me with confidence.
Trail, mud & Winnie the Pooh
The half marathon I have chosen, is actually a trail race, with mud galore, and steep hills to climb. Whilst everyone in Team YMC knows I actually quite like a bit of mud, in hindsight, I’m thinking a trail race wasn’t my best decision.
The lure of a very pretty Winnie the Pooh medal stole all sense from me when I signed up. So I’ve tried to prepare by completing my long training runs on trails, but I’ve really noticed the difference in effort required for them, in comparison to road running.
Will I get lost?
The route of this race is quite odd. There are two laps and they wind in and out of random loops through a forest. I recently read that in past years, quite a few runners actually got lost, and as a result, some ended up running further than they needed to. Nobody wants that!
Finally, and perhaps my biggest concern…
We’ve all heard of runner’s tum, right?
Well, if you haven’t, consider yourself very lucky. Due to this race being in the middle of a forest, toilet stops won’t be available.
Then there are the inevitable neverending queues for the “pre-race nervous poos”. (Admit it, it happens to us all!) I certainly do not fancy any bear impersonations and mentally scarring any unsuspecting dog walkers, so that doesn’t really leave me with many options, although I’ll consider anything for that Winnie the Pooh medal if I have to!
I guess nerves are good for a race and I should embrace the adrenaline that will get me through it. My aim is to just take my time and enjoy the experience. And get my hands on that medal.
Let’s face it, it’s always about the bling!
Wish me luck and I'll be back next week to let you all know how I got on...
You can follow my running adventures on Instagram @buggy_running_katy