Thoughts on Running a Half Marathon

Thoughts on Running a Half Marathon

One morning in January I woke up and decided to run a half marathon.

Not that second, goodness no, but I’d signed up for Britain’s Ocean City Half Marathon (or in less of a mouthful, Plymouth Half).

Half Marathon Map

You know when you’ve had something on your bucket list that feels entirely unattainable. Well this was one of mine. I’ve watched friends complete them (I even cried just from the amazing atmosphere watching the runners come in two years ago). However, the idea seemed ludicrous to me.

I’m healthy, and actually pretty fit for someone with a little more junk in their trunk than is ideal.

I play badminton, and do 2 HIIT classes a week, usually combined with something outdoorsy at the weekend and occasional cycling, squash, swimming or other such fun. Running, however, has not ever been my bag.

I actually find it pretty dull.

The incessant plodding on tarmac just seemed far too repetitive and boring, without much gain.

However, when I ran my marathon in May last year, a part of me enjoyed the challenge of running that little bit further each time. It wasn’t exactly fun, but I also didn’t hate it.

Thoughts on Running a Half Marathon 2

Therefore, when I’d woken up and blearily scrolled through my social feeds, noticing that entries had opened, I just threw caution to the wind and thought, if not now, when?

Nearly 4 months later, I have run, and run and run. Seriously, when I started I could barely do a mile without a little break, and I’ve trained far more diligently than I would have expected.

The day is nearly upon me, and truthfully, I’m terrified.

I’ve never run a proper race before. Heck, I’ve barely run beside a single person before, let alone thousands. I don’t have a half marathon “game plan”, I haven’t bought some fancy energy gels, nor have I got a specific time in mind to cross the finish line – it’s quite a hilly course and in all honesty, it truly depends on how I feel on the day!

The thoughts that run through my head during a run are far from professional, usually something along the lines of:

  • Before starting – “Right, psyched, let’s DO this”
  • Just before starting – “bugger, did I download the latest episode of My Dad wrote a Porno to listen to?”
  • Starting – “I forgot to start my fitness app, better do it now before I miss too much”
  • Half a mile in – “geeez I’m actually really tired today, why did I stay up so late, why am I bothering to run”
  • 1 Mile in – “I can do this, not too far to go, it’ll get better surely?!”
  • 2.5 miles in – “I should probably stretch, this is the reason I can’t touch my toes, I should take this more seriously otherwise I’m never going to get more flexible”
  • 4 miles in – “just look at that wobbly shadow, THIS is why you need to run more” 
  • 5 miles in – “HOW am I only this far through, 5 miles just seems so long”
  • 6 miles in – “I should probably pick up the pace a bit, I’m sure most toddlers run faster than this”
  • 7 miles in – **Breathing too heavily to think** 
  • 8 miles in – “Blimey my thighs are aching, my shins are aching, I can feel blisters on my toes”
  • 10 miles in – “So. Nearly. There. Soon you can stop. This has gotta be worth it, right?!”
  • 12 miles in – “Well, technically I haven’t yet ever done 12 miles, but I can almost guarantee I’ll be thinking – holy crap, my heart rate is HOW high?”
  • 13.1 miles in – “HOORAY (Hopefully) – That was the best feeling ever, but…NEVER AGAIN!”

Thoughts on Running a Half Marathon 3

Right now, I’ve only ever done 11 miles in total, so it’s still quite a stretch to push that all the way to 13.1. I can only imagine the last two thoughts as they might be on Sunday for the Half Marathon, but I hope and pray that will be the case, as no matter what time I manage to drag this jiggling bum around that route, all I hope to do is finish!

There’s still time to sponsor me here if you feel so inclined, and I’d really appreciate your support!


UPDATE – 24/04/2017 – I BLOODY DID IT!

I can’t quite believe it, but wow, I actually managed to run 13.1 miles, surrounded by 2500 other runners, and I didn’t even come close to last! and a time of 2:26:32 I am just overjoyed! Between mile 8 and 9 I struggled, until I suddenly saw Adam and Ned with fresh water and jelly babies, and then the last 2 miles were seriously tough, but a big bald friendly chap called Matt really pulled me through up that last steep hill and I even managed a sprint finish over the last 200m or so! NEVER again, but boy am I proud of myself for somehow mentally pulling through it, and I’ve got the aching legs, blistered heels and bruised toenails to prove it! 

  • Sophie

    Loved reading this! I’ve run half marathon distance before (so long ago now) but the most I’ve ever done at an actual race event is 10km, so I’m really looking forward to hearing how you get on – it’s something I’d love to do at some point. Good luck with it and enjoy yourself – you can do it!

    Sophie xxx

    • Thanks Sophie!! I’m so nervous, but also excited to get it over and done with! Even if I have to walk around most of it, I’ll do it and cross that finish line! xxxx

  • Wow you’ve done so well! Best of luck on Sunday, I think you’re going to smash it!!

    • I’ve written a little update, and will post more in my lovely things round up I think, I can’t believe I did it, madness! xxx

  • NatalieLeanne

    Good luck girl! You can do it :) xx

    • I genuinely didn’t think I could during some parts, but somehow I got there!! :) xxx

  • Debbie Brook

    Good Luck Alice, proud of you xxx

  • Yay, go Alice! Only speaking from 5k and 10k experience but I think (and hope) you’ll be surprised how much you actually enjoy it on the day. You’ve put the training in so now all you need to do is get to the finish and before you know it you’ll be celebrating in your new home :)

    • Thanks Emma! I loved the atmosphere, and the crowds cheering us on were incredible, but the actually running part was so tough! I’m not sure i’ll be doing anything like it again, at least, not until I’ve somehow forgotten about the pain! xxx

  • I honestly think no matter how long it takes you or even if you finish or not you should be SO proud of yourself for just pushing yourself to do it because i find that really strong and impressive :) youre definitely motivating me to get off my ass haha x

    Sinead – Dreaming Again

    • That’s such a lovely thing to say, thank you Sinead! I honestly could not run to save my life in January, and hey, I just ran 13.1 miles (well, I walked a little) but it just goes to show, you might be still classed as obese, but if you put the effort in and just tell yourself you will do something, you really can! xxx

  • I will check the sponsorship page now. I have actually been longing to run a bit lately. I am not sure I can though – my tummy hurts when I run upstairs and I produce so much milk that it is uncomfortable to run but I definitely feel a need to go running at the moment.

    • You’re doing so much more walking though, and that’s a great start! Plus, just think how quickly you managed to lose all your baby weight! I’m pretty sure I still weigh what you did fully pregnant! You’ve you to take care of your body, it’s been through so much! :) xxxx

      • You are right! I just blogged a little about it – I need to focus on the positive changes I have made. When I was pregnant I was lucky to walk 500 steps and now I have walked 10 000 or more no problem! And as the baby gets bigger I am sure it will be easier and easier to get out of the house.

        • Exactly! You’ll both find a routine and slot it in together I’m sure! I Can totally imagine you doing yoga together or you going for a,run somewhere beautiful pushing he pram! But currently, even managed 10,000 steps is an achievement so just take it slowly! :) xxx

  • You’re inspiring!

  • Nice post

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  • Congrats girl! I hope to be able to do this someday!

    • If this taught me anything you totally can! Just tell yourself you’re going to then train and run and just do it!! Xxx

  • Lizzie

    Huge congratulations and what an amazing time!! I say every year that I’m going to do one but like you I can just never seem to find any enjoyment in running…just pain!

    Really enjoyable read :)

    • Thanks Lizzie! So much pain, my aches have subsided (luckily I forced myself to keep exercising) but my poor little blisters and toes aren’t looking happy! xxx

  • That’s so amazing! Congrats! I’d love to run a 10k but I’m literally so lazy haha! I tried getting into running at the gym during the winter, but then I injured myself on the treadmill, so that wasn’t a great start. Now my leg is better, I might have to give running another go, because I actually really like it! I know, I’m weird haha!

    xo April // April Everyday

    • You’re definitely not alone, I know tonnes of people who love going for a run, I just find it a bit boring, and if i’m bored, I’m not really motivated to do it! Perhaps now I’ve completed my half marathon I can run for fun rather than worrying about having to increase the miles or run certain distances in certain times! Who knows, until I’m less painful, I can’t really see myself running a lot for a while! xxx

  • Oh my!! What a amazing story and you did it! congrats girl!!

    Georgina |

    • I know! Hasn’t sunk in at all that I actually managed it, how on earth did that happen, madness!! Have you ever done anything similar that’s pushed you to the limit? xxx