Two steps forwards…

Two stepLast week my buddy @janeblackmore popped up and asked me if I wanted a place in Reading Half Marathon.  The words “of course” fell out of my mouth before I’d even had time to engage my brain and think it through.

Uh oh.  Money where your mouth is Bucks. Best get your act in gear and don’t be letting the side down.

Minor aside.  Now I don’t actually *know* Jane.  We’ve never met IRL (in real life).  We only know each other through Twitter.  It did briefly cross my mind that maybe I should be cautious about meeting up with her.  Well that was a stupid thought.  (Amusingly Jane’s mum was levelling the same kind of warnings to her about me!) Having now met the delightful lady in question, I can confirm that she is a veritable love, is impeccably well behaved, doesn’t have a potty mouth like me and is not in the slightest bit mental.  However she does run quicker than me, but we won’t mention that again.

Anyway – I rock up on Sunday morning in Reading to meet Jane at the allotted (god forsaken) hour.  Instantly recognise each other and we hop on a shuttle bus, babbling away nineteen to the dozen like we’ve known each other for ever.  All good in the hood.

Meet up with four other lovelies and do the usual pre-run faff: get changed into gear – drop bags off – have a nervous wee – chat a bit – tighten shoe laces – have another nervous wee.  During the faffing we got split up so I ended up starting with a girl called Becks.

Now I’m a plodder.  I’m a simple 10 minute mile girl.  Becks had been bigged up as *speedy gonzales* – in other words – an 8.30 minute mile girl.  I’m quaking (literally) in my shoes.  I don’t want to start off with someone that runs THAT quick.  There are a number of reasons for this:

  1. I need to get my head in a good space for The London Marathon as I’m still having the odd funny five about it
  2. I get a little stressed out running with people that are a LOT quicker than me
  3. I don’t want to run on my own the entire way – that’s just not fun!

Anyway – we babbled away to dispel the nerves and eventually get started.  Randomly – we started behind three guys – two dressed in a camel outfit and one rocking an Omar Sharif look – hilarious!  So Becks and I crack on for the first couple of miles and it’s all good.  I’m keeping up with her! We’re shouting at each other occasionally as we’re both plugged into our i-whatevers and being anti-social.

I won’t bore you with the ins and out of the entire 13 and a bit miles. The highlights were that I stayed with Becks until about mile 8 and then had to stop to inspect my foot trauma – lots of blood but no cause – random!  There are two things that really stick in my mind from Sunday….

Firstly the fact that I got *possessed* during the last mile.  For some reason I decided that getting a bit of a lick on was a bloody good idea.  So I did.  The amount of evil looks I got as I belted up the hill into the Madejski Stadium was a little intimidating to say the least.  Did I care?  No.   You can be treated to a nice view of my backside thank you people. I’m off!

Secondly was how choked up I got when I ran into the Stadium.  Now I am hard as nails normally.  (I’m not really it’s just what I like people to think.)  However I wasn’t prepared for that.  I’ve done a few half marathons before, but never with a crowd as big as this.  And especially not generating the amount of noise that I was greeted by as I pegged it into the Stadium.  Running and crying is not a good look and it’s not one I went for on Sunday.  Only just though.  Huge lump in throat and major chin wobble going on as I finished…

For the record: I finished about three minutes behind Becks and just in front of the Camel and Omar Sharif.  And I managed that in 2 hours and 7 minutes.  The goal was sub 2 hours 10 minutes.  Result!

Early bath and an easy afternoon on my sofa, and then I spent Sunday evening frottaging over graphs and data from my Garmin so I now have a plan as to what I want to achieve at The London Marathon.  Mentally I’ve given myself a pat on the back.  I’m chuffed as punch with my time from Sunday and my head is in a really good place.  I’m physically feeling good – nay great even – and know that I can do this.

Twenty four days and counting…

4 thoughts on “Two steps forwards…

  1. love it!

    however i feel once we meet again you will see the potty mouth bit may have just been politeness and had you been stood next to me at mile 10 you would have heard some shall we say ‘colourful’ language.

    will bring kleenex to london the mall will set you off streaming like a child with hay fever.

    and afterwards we are going to the pub!

    • Thanks lovely! Reading was a definite high point on what had turned into a bit of a drudge… Your attitude towards #vlm, and running in general, given what’s going on with BB is an inspiration. And I cant wait to go for a drink with you once its all done and dusted!

  2. What a great story! I am so jealous of where you are with running at the moment, for two reasons:

    #1 You are simply ahead of me, operating where I want to be, and I’m five years old stamping my foot in indignation on the inside 😉

    #2 I have been getting over a stinking cold and not been for a run for nearly 2 weeks, and despite the fact that I never thought I would EVER say this, I’m going crazy not getting out for a run!

    All that being said, and without meaning to sound in the least bit patronising, I am SO proud of you and what you are doing! Just such an inspiration to me, though I doubt that’s your primary motivation 😉

    Can’t wait to read more on this score, and anything else that you feel like posting about – Big Love! x

  3. Aw Ollie. You’ve been there for the majority of this rollercoaster and know more than most the driving force behind my desire to do this, which makes your words all the more touching to me. Thank you.

    I totally get where you are coming from too. I go stir crazy these days if I dont get out every day or so – to the point now where I run in my lunch hour from work. Madness or motivated? I can’t work out which… 🙂

    Big love back at ya dude x

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