2013-06-11 | 10:09 p.m.
I've put off writing in here for raaaather a long while, one of the reasons for which (and one of the highest contenders is apathy) is that I didn't want to write about something I wanted to achieve, as I was fairly unconvinced I could even do it but now I have I am here to tell (brag, boast - semantics...meh!).
On Sunday I participated - and ran the whole bloody way - the Southend half marathon! So I had spent about the entire month prior to it full to the brim with dread, nerves and self doubt. But I did train for it after winter had ended (you know, that little time of our lives that lasted November to freaking mid-April!?) and had slowly and steadily built up my mileage.
In short, it felt like a real achievement and is something I most definitely want to do again next year. Here is a summary of my thoughts of the 13-mile course, just in case I can encourage anyone to follow suit.
Pre-race: So the start line is just over a five minute walk from my boyfriend's flat (who has done the race serveral times in the past, encouraged me to do it with him and then decided not to saying he wasn't fit enough!). Luckily three of his friends are running it as well so I have some running buddies briefly, before they all shoot off into the yonder once the race has begun. A 15 minute delay due to car park overcrowding does not help my nerves one bit. But it's now 10.15 and we're off!
Mile 1: A good thousand people have overtaken me by this point. I see the 1 mile banner and I am not happy. I feel like crying (mainly due to PMT). One of my flat feet is hurting and I have a stitch on my left side. Ahead of me in the throng of runners include some dude who is power walking, a blind man (hats off to him!) and an elderly lady.
Mile 2: My foot hurts and the stitch is still there. I can't do this! Or can I? It's taken me 25 minutes to get to the mile 2 banner so I better get a shimmy on!
Mile 3: The stitch isn't that bad actually. And my foot pain is tolerable. "Dance Tonight" by Paul McCartney is oddly inspiring to encourage me to speed up and be joy-filled. Plus it's turning-around-time on lap 1 of 2 of the seafront and only three miles until I get to have my sports drink off Ollie in the crowd - might as well continue!
Miles 4 - 5: I'm now taking on water from the drinking stations wherever possible, heeding Jenn's mum's advice from her doing the London Marathon this year. I don't want to stop though and it's a little tricky drinking from a cup whilst bouncing along. I am just throwing it at my face and hoping for the best, much like my attitude to popcorn consumption at the cinema (most of it usually ends up down my bra/inside my clothes and I leave a Hansel and Gretel-esque trail of kernels on my journey home). Feeling good now though, Magic by BoB is a great tune!
Mile 6: There is my lovely boyfriend, with a Lucozade Sports drink for me! His flatmate and his mum are also there who I bluntly tell, "I won't hug you as I am sweaty." Smooth.
Mile 7: Now on to the second lap of the seafront, I wave to Ollie et al as I pass them again and just half a mile later I'm cheered on by my steno friends and couple Katy and Chris, and their baby, who've come to support me. Katy encouragingly tells me, "You're going to win!" Feel an enormous boost despite this well-meaning insincerity.
Miles 8-9: Realise that my pace is upping, I'm slowly but surely overtaking a lot of the people who overtook me at the beginning. I think I can do this! Actually stopping for a few seconds to have my drinks of water now though - the throwing at the face thing is going to do me a mischief.
Mile 10: See Katy and Chris again, yaaaay! I'm nearly at the end of this seafront section and onto the final bit.
Mile 11: WHAT SADISTIC BASTARD PUT THIS HILL HERE? I refuse to give up and run up it. My anger at this only fuels my desire to run faster; that and some girl keeps gobbing in the street. It's windy and that's going to go in my face any second. Better run even faster to get away from her.
Miles 12 - 13: I have another stitch now, on my right side. I'm still overtaking people. I am knackered and a bit in pain but I want that finish line. It's round the corner, it's round the corner, it's round the corner...THERE IT IS AND I'M GOING OVER IT!
We had to wear ankle chips and so the official times were released yesterday. I was aiming for 2 hours 30 but managed it in 2 hours 5. The guy who won was a little lightning bolt and did it in 1 hour 13 minutes! I just think it's utterly amazing what the human body can be trained to do.
I then went to the pub with Ollie and his friends and was joined by Katy and Chris and got drunk on one pint.
Ah, I'm so happy right now.
Just a little thing to add on the end of this entry: I don't expect anyone to be arsed to remember but last year I did some extra work in a film called Closed Circuit which is out later this year. I played a stenographer (which comes fairly naturally since it's my profession an' all). I thought I was going to make it to the cutting room floor but nope, I've unfathomably made it to the trailer. Here's a still! I only wish I'd tilted my head more, so you could see the enormous eyebrows they drew over my own human ones.
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