At the beginning of the year, I was out for a 5k with my running buddy and good friend Pam. It was a dismal day, grey cloud hovered over us like a heavy blanket, and it was starting to drizzle. Winter, it seemed was unrelenting in its vice like grip over the UK. We were cold, wet and not feeling the love, that particular day.
Once home, and a couple of hot coffee’s in, we talked about upcoming races for 2018. We both had a few 5 and 10k’s booked in the spring/early summer, but we quickly got onto the subject of our ultimate challenge; the half marathon.
Now it has to be said that we are both nestled comfortably into our fifties, in the nicest and most glamorous way (of course!) and our bodies are gently nudging us that time is of the essence. So, before we parted that day, we had made the decision that this was going to be our year. We would choose a half marathon at the back end of 2018, book it, and then there was no going back.
Fast forward four months and we are heavily into our training. A couple of things set us back a little, but not too much as to threaten the whole plan. Pam injured her ankle just before Easter but bounced back with determination weeks later. I had a crippling bout of depression again, which saw me back on medication and reluctant to do anything apart from stare out of the window and cry. But, it is now nearly the end of May, and we are well on track with training.
We are both nervous but very excited at the prospect of running our ultimate challenge, the thought of crossing that finish line and receiving our medals, plus experiencing the run itself. We are not under any illusion that it is going to be easy.
In the last two weeks, mileage and time have increased slowly, but easily, incorporating hills, good weather, bad weather, lots of research and purchases of running merchandise to help make the whole experience as easy as possible.
For some runners, a half marathon is just a warm up, but for us, it’s going to be like climbing Everest; the ultimate goal.
Our long run this week was a 10k in baking heat. But we managed it easily, proud that we survived the sun, a bit of chaffing and a sore foot, not to mention a smattering of sunburn.
In the next few months we are going to throw in two 10 milers, just to see how we do, and stock pile jelly babies like squirrels.
On days when the journey seems a little tough, or we nail it, I always remember one of my favourite running quotes, which spurs us both on to keep going. “I may not have a runner’s body, but I have a runner’s heart, and really, that is all that matters”.