Diary of an aspiring Half Marathon Runner - Super Saturday!

My targets for this week:
1. Run at least twice.
2. Try & cover at least 14 miles combined.
3. Longer run target = 9 miles – eek!

I’ve just had a reality check moment – here I am, starting off my blog like most weeks – I’ve already run the midweek session (5 miles, nothing out of the ordinary to report & as usual, took a while for me to get going!) and I’m taking advantage of a quiet moment on Friday morning, and I’ve just written the words “9-miles”. Wow. 9-miles. Just the thought that I’ll be running this distance tomorrow morning has made my heart beat that little bit faster, and my palms a tad sweaty.

This is the first real milestone week for me, and how it goes is likely to have a big impact on the rest of my training. I think I mentioned previously that apart from some 10K’s and a few 7 mile runs – until I started this training I’d only ever run further than this one other single time – an 8.5 mile run with SLJ on their increase your distance course (after which I decided I really wasn’t cut out for longer distances and promptly ditched the rest of the course & went back to my comfortable 4-5 miles).

So this week – 9 miles (oops, there goes my heart rate again!) will be the furthest I’ve ever run.  I’m trying my hardest to stay positive – it helps that last week I had a really good run & I honestly felt that if somebody had turned round to me at the end & said, actually – let’s keep going, I could have done. But there is still that niggle of doubt – that negativity that we all have within bubbling just beneath the surface, laying in wait for that opportunity to pounce – and today with the memory of that 8.5 mile run (which felt like hell itself) to fuel it, its whispering louder than usual “what if you can’t do it?”.

So in stark contrast to last week, where I was really looking forward to the 8-mile run, this week I am dreading it to be truthful.  On the one hand, my competitive streak is sniffing the air in anticipation of establishing a new distance record on my Garmin, but as exciting as this prospect is, I am worried that my previous conclusion that “I am not cut out to run long distances” is correct.  Never in my life have I ever wanted to be wrong as much as I do right now (and I don’t like being wrong!), but I honestly believe that if I can have a successful run tomorrow it will give me the confidence needed for the longer distances yet to come, as I can lay that demon to rest.

Even as I write this I am sitting here arguing back & forth with myself – “what if …” – “stop it, stay positive – you can do this” – “but, what if…” – “nope, don’t go there – it’s not the same. This is training with a real goal in mind – that was just having a go at something” – “but…” – “lalalalalalalala I’m not listening!” No doubt this will continue as in reality there is only one way to settle it – I guess we’ll find out the winner tomorrow!


… So its Saturday morning and as I eat my breakfast & watch TV before setting off, I am catching up on the events overnight at the Olympics hoping to draw some inspiration from the amazing team GB before I head out the door.  Just as I’m about to lace up my trainers, one of the presenters asks a question “will this be another SUPER SATURDAY?”  I know that they are not actually directing this at me through the TV! But still, I feel in a way they are as it pretty much sums up how I’ve been feeling this week – I really, really hope it will be a Super Saturday!
Tune in next week to find out….

… only kidding!  As if I would leave you all hanging like that!  Well, I only went & bloody did it!  9-miles (9.2 actually!) me!  No problems on the way round, no collapsing at the finish line feeling like hell – I felt amazing – actually, I felt like an Olympian!  Very briefly, followed by feeling like a bit of a wally after jumping around like a complete loon in the golf club carpark when I heard the buzz of my Garmin indicating that I had done it!  I think the golfers thought I’d lost the plot!

I know that I will still have ups & downs.  I know that I’ll still have the odd run that doesn’t go according to plan & I know that I’ve still got a way to go yet before I’m ready for the big day itself – but I honestly believe I can do it now!