Royal Parks Half Marathon

Well, Sunday was my first ever half marathon – the Royal Parks Foundation through the lovely Hyde park, around Big Ben and the houses of Parliament.

I was so nervous the day before, it was ridiculous and I was still nervous when I woke up! On the journey I ended up chatting to three different people who were all heading that way, which was lovely.

The organisation of the race was fantastic, it all went so smoothly, the racing chip was on my number, which was sent out in advance, so that certainly helped to make things quicker. This is the largest event I have ever been involved in and it certainly was impressive.

at the start in the pen!

The first seven miles went really well and I spent the whole time muttering to myself 1,2,3, fly, fly, fly and it worked really well for me and kept me going with great posture and technique. If my legs started to feel tired I concentrated on my shoulders and the swinging of them, or my pelvis movement or something else, and that kept me going.

at mile 8, all was great!

I saw my wonderful OH at mile 8 and I managed a cheery smile and a wave. At mile 9 it all got a lot harder, so I plugged in my iPod with a kickarse playlist to get me through. It helped!

I have to say that at about mile 9.5 I got what felt like a blister the size of a golf ball on the ball of my foot and it became really painful. I kept going, but by about mile 12 I was having to heel strike as trying to land mid foot first just hurt far too much.

I saw Gavin at about 800 meters from the end and by this point I was just gritting my teeth to get through it and apparently I didn’t even manage to smile or wave at him. (Sorry)

gritting my teeth

I was so pleased that I crossed the line and I love my wooden medal, but I didn’t remember to get a photo as I was just hurting far too much. My time was 2hrs 39 mins and I am very pleased with that and the fact that I didn’t walk at all. Spending £4 to get my name on my top was a fantastic idea and certainly something I will do again for long races, the motivation from having supporters call out my name was so wonderful.

When I got home the blister was only about the size of my thumb and I think it was from the tape in my shoes, when I looked the top layer was starting to peel upwards. Lesson learned – always check the condition of the tape!

I raised £295 for Diabetes UK, so a massive thank you to all of my sponsors who so generously gave. There is still chance to sponsor me if you wish to – click here. 

Two days later I am still hurting, but using the foam roller is helping a great deal. I am very proud that I managed to transition to a natural style running which seems to suit me in time for this half and that I wore the Inov-8 trainers to do this. Remember there is still time to vote for me to win the Inov-8 competition!

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