SO, you may or may not know that I’m training for the Brighton Marathon. An actual marathon. No, seriously. I must be crazy.
Let’s clear something up first – I am not a runner. I’m not one of those people who wear compression socks and running vests and actually look like a runner (you know, proper runners). I’m a mum who started running. I wear mum gear to run in. I look like a mum running. I run like a mum.
I’m ok with that. Because despite the fact I’m not a runner, I have notched up some serious mileage over the last four years. My initial training for Dirty Dozen (see my first blog – how I got in to this running malarkey) started from 1-2k at a time, building up to 12k. I surprised myself and did it. So, what next?
An accidental Half Marathon
Well, next came the call on a cold (and hungover) New Years’ Day from a lovely friend of mine to say “Let’s do a Half Marathon this year.” Full of the optimism (and probably still a sizeable proportion of Prosecco) my reply was “Yes, let’s do it!” And so we did – we booked our places on the Hastings Half then and there.
The first four months of the year consisted of a lot of cold, wet night runs. Trying to build up strength, time and stamina over a sustained period of time. We motivated each other, we got each other up hills, and through muddy fields and we laughed, we screamed and on occasion, we cried. Then, on Mothers’ Day, we went for the big one. A 20k circuit – make or break time. During that run, we endured ice, sleet, and a climb over a 3ft wall of snow but we did it. We ran 20k. Together. Happy Mothers’ Day to us!!
A few weeks later, I found myself on an icy and dark drive to pick up my Half Marathon friend, and make the journey to Hastings. We were so nervous, we barely spoke the whole way there. And when we arrived, it was even more nerve wracking (cue me in a Portaloo – enough said. It wasn’t pretty). On the starting line, surrounded by the real runners it all felt a bit real. A bit too real. But a few kms into the race, fuelled by each other and the supporters along the way, we found our running mojo. We talked about anything and everything along that route, we experienced every kind of emotion. We dug really deep. And when one of us got to the end and was ready to give up, the other pulled it out of the bag.
That moment when you think “What the *@%!”
The last few kms were definitely the hardest – we could see the finish line, but it seemed so far away. It seemed like the longest part of the whole run but we did it. We crossed the line, together at a quite respectable time of 2:06. We were emotional, exhausted, elated.
That experience taught me so much about myself, about what I could achieve if I was determined and disciplined enough. But, what it also taught me was the importance of having the right people around me. About support, and friendship and following this journey together. With the right crew, anything is possible. Want to challenge yourself? Do it. Build the right crew around you, and you can achieve anything.
Next step for me, Brighton Marathon 2019. I’ve been sharing my experiences and runs on our Instagram page and will keep posting here – want to know how I ended up signing up for an actual marathon? Watch this space! Tahlia x