Sunday, 21 October 2012

My first half marathon!


Well it’s fresh in my mind I thought I would write up my blog about my half marathon experience this morning. Firstly its sweet relief to finally being sitting down! My legs are pretty sore and feel like they weigh a ton but on the whole I am feeling pretty good and am on a finished race high. I shall hopefully be able to do justice to the race story and explain just how much I loved the experience.

Saturday 13th October

I wake up a bag of nerves. The whole week I have managed to keep it together, managed to be more excited than worried and on Saturday my resolve feel apart a little bit and I began to panic over issues that never bothered me before.  I paced around Derby shopping centre getting myself into a right flap about socks. Yes I said it socks. I was panicking to the point that I had to ring my lovely friend Sarah who also ran the half and actually asked her sock advice. It may have been the most random call I have ever made in my life. However, thanks to Sarah having a rational head on her shoulders she calmed me down and I felt myself relax a bit.
A short train ride and drive later I was in Leicester. After a lovely meal with Sarah and her aunt and uncle (who generously let me stay over) we had an early night to be run ready the next day.
We didn't carb load at all, we just ate a substantial amount of good nutritious food and made sure we didn't feel over full or hungry.

Sunday 14th October

So this morning I woke up and the nerves had finally subsided. I had a really good night’s sleep and felt confident I could do the race. After a great breakfast of cornflakes and a banana we set off. Wonderful servant hearted Andy, Sarah’s husband drove us to the race.  Parking was restricted and the area around the start was pretty rammed so us runners set off with good look fist bumps from Andy and the support team.

For those thinking of doing the Leicester Half a few tips, if you need the toilet head straight there!  We had to queue for quite a while so we started later then the official start time because we had to dash from the loo to the start line.  The race starts with a downhill mile. I did what everyone had told me not to do and set off too fast, up until the point I caught up Sarah I hadn't really realised. It was much amusing when I turned to Sarah and said “I am running too fast aren't I”
Thankfully I managed to get myself under control and although I achieved some major personal bests in the first 10 miles I really began to slow down.

The amazing support team (Andy, Dan and Ethan) appeared out of nowhere and handed me a delicious Lucozade sport drink which I was in dire need off!  I was also really boosted by their cheering and clapping. I strongly recommend having a team of people chant your name whilst your run it’s a real morale boost. 

So with 5 miles to go I was doing well, I was achieving my goal mileage time and was feeling ok. The story changed as I hit the 10 mile mark. Even though I knew all I had left was 3 miles which I have done so many times it was in all honesty the hardest 3 miles I have ever run in my life! I felt like I was dragging my body along by sheer force of will. My average mileage really slowed and I had to consciously tell myself to keep it up! Thankfully I had purchased an SIS Sports Gel in case of emergency. Mile 12 I ravenously tore through the top and super speedily downed the energy gel. It worked wonders probably more subconsciously then physically. It helped to power me up the final mile. I had been warned the final mile was a hill but it was a more of a steady incline. I still had to push myself up, thankfully my amazing friend Sarah, who finished with the awesome time of 1 hour 56 Minutes, came along to run a small burst of the final mile with me and give me some much needed encouragement. With that added encouragement and the amazing high of being so close to the finish I pushed myself on and finished in 2 hours and 16 minutes. I am so chuffed with this time. I was quite worried about what my time would be.  I am well aware that when you enter a race most people’s first question is “what was your time?” I wanted to be confident with my reply. Thankfully just a few miles in I was so enjoying being part of the race that I lost fear of what my time would be and just wanted to complete the race and enjoy it. 136 minutes and 13.1 miles later I feel amazing and cannot believe I have actually done it. Considering I had not run over 6 miles earlier this year to be able to say I have run a half marathon it’s unreal.
Thanks to the support team and Sarah it was such an enjoyable raced and I am excited to train for the next one!



I am still raising money for The Katie Piper Foundation and will have my just giving page open until the 15th November.
If you would like to give a donation please visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/LydiaBales

Currently Reading: Flyte by Angie Sage (I loved Eragon)

1 comment:

  1. Lydia - MASSIVE respect for doing this. Genuinely am in awe of you :)

    ReplyDelete