Sorry I have been a little quiet on the blog the last few days. As some of you might already know, this was because I was back at home in The Netherlands to compete in my 1st Half Marathon! Now, I haven’t always been a runner, far from it really – growing up I was more into team sports and for years I was a keen hockey player. As I got older I started going to the gym to keep fit but even then I was more of a classes or cross-trainer kind of girl…and then we’re talking about 30 minutes max!
However, when I moved to London I found that so many of my friends were into running and training for long runs and races. I admit that for a long time I used to refer to these people crazy….especially when they tried explaining to me “but Roz, running is so addictive” Ha I just laughed! Then, finding myself getting bored with my exercise regime, I eventually caved and thought maybe I should give this running thing a go and see what they are all on about. I always considered myself to be a pretty fit person but I knew I was a useless runner; meaning I would be out of breath and struggling to go much further than 2-3km.
So I decided to download an app called Get Running (link) which trained me brilliantly to literally get me off the couch to comfortably be able to run 5km! So being a girl that likes a good challenge, I decided around November 2011 to set myself a New Years resolution that in 2012 I would complete my first ever 10km race. Which I did. In May 2012 I competed in the London BUPA and in September 2012 I took part in the London Virgin Triathlon as the runner (10km) as part of a team. I suddenly started to get what people had been telling me for years…running is addictive! I found it was great for my body and for my mind – being able to just switch off and run to my music and finding it an amazing way to clear my head. I felt this sense of power and achievement and wanted to push myself further and further. So for 2013 I felt I needed a new challenge and the CPC Loop – The Hague Half Marathon seemed the perfect one because it meant I would be able to join my family members at this famous sporting event in my own home town. For the last 4-5 months I trained a lot, pushing myself to 15-18 km runs (sometimes doing 40-50km in a week). Unfortunately because of this, in the last few weeks leading up to the half marathon, I ended up injuring my IT band, which is a common runners nightmare!
So as you can imagine, this Sunday morning before the race, I was a bunch of nerves; my knee wasn’t properly healed, it was very cold (wind chill of -6), they were expecting snow and the wind was blowing fiercely…ahhhh help would I be able to do it?! Luckily my sister, her boyfriend and my sister-in-law were also competing in the race and for them this was the 2nd time round doing the City Pier City 1/2 Marathon. Their encouragement and support was so valuable and together we were able to pep each other up! Here we are yesterday right before the race feeling very excited, nervous but keen to just DO IT!
The last few moments when getting ready to go….the countdown, the atmosphere, it was just amazing! Being there in the crowds with 35,000 other runners and all the supporters around, music pumping, people jumping up and down; it was impossible not to be excited and wanted to start running and get this 21.1km over and done with :)
And I am proud to say….I DID IT! Yes it was cold (there was snow), yes it was windy (the parts along the seafront were a serious physical and mental struggle) and yes at points I thought my knee and my right foot were going to either collapse or explode from the pain – but I did it. I just ran, and ran and ran until I could no more and the moment I sprinted across that finish line…I was exhausted but I had the BIGGEST smile on my face and no one could ever take that achievement away from me! And here it is; my medal, woooohoooo :)
These are my official race results of the 21.1km Half Marathon. I was aiming for a time between 1:50 and 2:00 so especially considering my injury I am very pleased with my final time for my first ever half marathon!
|5 kilometer||25:59 (25:59)|
|10 kilometer||52:49 (26:50)|
|15 kilometer||1:21:33 (28:44)|
|20 kilometer||1:49:31 (27:58)|
As you can see below, I started really well but after 10km I hit a bit of dip – my knee was hurting and my right foot was suffering from a strange burning sensation I’d never experienced before (at one point I even had to stop to take off my shoe and give it some air for a while because I felt the blood in my foot was bubbling and boiling and I was convinced my foot might actually explode haha). At 15km, realising I only had about 30 minutes to go I felt my energy levels pick up again and I got excited once I realised, I could do this – I would finish it and I even managed a little sprint at the end, woop woop!
Now I realise running isn’t for everyone – trust me, I never thought I would be capable of running 21km, but I have to say I am quite proud of myself for this achievement and completing my first half marathon is a memory that I will cherish and will stay with me forever. My body is in quite a bit of pain today, I’ve hobbled around the office like a cripple! Running these kind of distances can be really hard on your body but hopefully with enough rest and taking care of my muscles the next few days I will slowly recover and can continue my running ‘addiction’.
Because YES it is official…I am one of the crazies now and I am not ashamed to admit it!! Next up?? The London Royal Parks Half Marathon in October! Here we GO :)