Tuesday, 29 September 2015

First Half Marathon

Ok, being honest here, possibly my last! But, it's a tick off the life list, I've done it, I'm proud.
 I ran in the most breathtaking surroundings :-)
 Journeying up the mountain to the start in a steam engine was great fun and meant time to relax!
 One of the members of my Running Club runs for Eryri so I grabbed a photo op!!
The day turned out to be a  gloriously hot sunny day, just perfect for sitting in a beer garden with a cold cider, not for doing a first half marathon.

The half I chose was a trail, I find it so boring running on the roads. I also find trail races more laid back somehow, I suppose everyone knows they're in for a toughie! I met some great people on the way round, found a fellow lancashire lass who I've since spoken to on Facebook and shared jelly babies with anyone who wanted one!

The terrain was.......different........different to anything I've ever run. At one point I was running up the side of a quarry with pieces of slate underfoot!! First 4.5 miles went well - warmed up nicely, I was pleased to get to the feed station where the tastiest flapjacks were waiting and cold water, some of which went over my head!! Next bit went well - I ran side by side with a Vegan Runner (yes I did offer her a Jelly Baby - whoops) - Nicola - asked her where we were up to and when she said almost 8 miles I was shocked!! However, just after that I suddenly became Bambi on ice - my legs just went - the girl's around me were so kind, gave me encouragement, offered me gels and then advised me to drink Isotonic at the next station, which I did.

From the 9.0 mile  station I only had 2 miles to the next feed station, those 2 miles went okish! I sipped Isotonic again and set off feeling good, strong even, enjoying the trail.

The last 2 miles were torturous - my legs were just aaaarrrggghhh - I hit the wall. It was so hard to keep them moving. The girl's I'd sort of been with right through started to pull away. 11.2 miles is the furthest I have ever run. Was it psychological? I don't know....

Eventually I had to go to 100 steps of walking, 200 steps running to get me through. The last bit was right along the Ffestiniog Railway line - the end in sight - my legs so weary, but I knew Mr.L would be waiting for me. I could hear him shouting from what seemed like miles away. He was so proud of me - he said "one because you were running and two because you were smiling". Haha, I'm thinking more good luck than good management!!
 Everyone I met on the day was shocked I'd chosen it as my first half. But as I said in this post, time was not on my side ;-) Things I learnt were;

  • How supportive women are of each other (I knew this anyway but wow, what a great reminder)!
  • Always drink Isotonic - it's there for a reason ;-)
  • Train more........
  • Eat straight away after you finish, otherwise you end up feeling sick like I did
  • After the above, then and only then drink alcohol!!
  • Listen to your body - it is always right
  • Stretch - every time, so important to avoid injury
  • Eat whatever your body tells you afterwards - my diet is mainly protein and that suits me, but since my race I have been craving carbs like you wouldn't believe!!

Thankyou for reading. If you want to know more about Trailffest and see the terrain, there's a short video here! Maybe it will inspire - who knows! :-)

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you're awesome! And I really liked hearing your tips afterwards.