Monday, 17 March 2014

Recent learnings

Guys I did it, I actually did it! Just over a week ago I finished my very first half marathon. I am a half marathon runner - whoopee! I can't believe I've actually done it and also that I actually enjoyed it! Shock horror! There was such a buzz and energy during the race that it was heard not too. I don't know if this was due to the glorious sunshine (the race was on the first real spring day that we've had this year), the amazing crowd or just the adrenaline coursing through me. Whatever it was it really worked and I had a total blast! Honestly, as I type this I'm like what is this you're saying? How are you the person that didn't run until early 2012. I love that this is the person I now am!

As I was running I realised a number of things, which I thought I'd share with you here. So read on for such insights into my brain - oh and I've also thrown in a few other non-running things that I've learnt this week.
  1. Half marathon runners don't all run the entire race. This might seem obvious to some people but it was one of the things that was really worrying me prior to the race. I was fairly certain I would not be able to run the whole thing and I thought I'd be the only one in the race doing that. How wrong I was. Not everyone does that. It depends on what type of runner you are. Are you running the race for the experience or for the PB? For me it was the experience (even though I did beat my PB for a 5k, 10k and 1/2 marathon) and so I walked when I needed to and ran for the rest of the time. This method allowed me to finish in 2.24, with the second half of the race taking less than an hour - unheard of for me. So if you're about to do a long distance race please don't get caught up in the idea of running the whole way - it's not a necessity.
  2. Music works wonders. When you're digging deep as you scale a mountain, okay a small incline, and that song starts pumping into your ears you suddenly feel like you can do it. You can push that little bit harder, you can keep going and you can pick up speed. For me that  was either Eye of the Tiger or anything by Kelly Clarkson - perfect for getting your arms and legs moving faster.
  3. You can sprint the last 500 meters. You might feel like you're about to die at 11 miles but when you hit the 12.5 mile marker you'll get that second wind and you'll be flying towards the finish line. One of the best feeling was getting that brilliant burst of energy and overtaking people in that last stretch.
  4. That first iced hazelnut latte of the spring is amazing! Yes I gave in to the temptation (twice) this week and it was perfect. FYI a delicious cold coffee is the most brilliant way to wake yourself up on the morning walk to work.
  5. I can always eat ALL the roast potatoes, no matter how many there are. Whether there are 30 potatoes put in front of me or three I guarantee I'll finish them. I'm not sure what's wrong with me but I seem to be unable to leave any in the bowl. I am officially a roast potato dustbin. It's fairly obscene.
  6. Banana and chocolate cake is a revelation. I made one for the first time this week and it was sensational in all it's creamy, chocolateyness. There were chocolate chunks in it and everything and I was somehow able to eat two slices as soon as it came out of the oven. I promise I'll share the recipe soon.
  7. I missed not running for a week. Weird I know, but I'm about ready to get back to the pavements. Again not something I'd even imagine I'd feel. But after a week of recovering I need to get running. Only short distances mind you!
  8. A dinner of cheese, chutney and sourdough bread is delicious. I ate that combination for three of my meals over the weekend and I wasn't bored of it, in fact it was exactly what I fancied and I think I could keep eating it!
So what about you, what have you learnt this week - share please! 




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