Done. Boom. Never again.

The half marathon is done. I crossed the finish line with Brodie which almost made up for the misery of the previous 13.1 miles. Almost.Things didn't start well when I realised I had forgotten to pick up my Nike+ sensor which rendered my iPod, well just an iPod really. It meant I would have no idea about my pace or distance as I made my way around. But Caroline, you're thinking don't they have mile markers to tell you how far you've run? Why yes they normally do, but not when you are in the last few people running and therefore everyone wants to pack up and make their way home so they take away the helpful things like direction arrows and mile markers. I'm gutted that I didn't log the 13.1 miles as well - think how pretty that would have looked on my graph! I really struggled with not knowing what my pace was. Two weeks ago I ran 10 miles in 1hr45min so I reckoned I could do that last 3 miles in 45 mins easily. Bwa ha ha ha. Yeah, not so much. I picked this particular run because of its proximity to home and so I wouldn't disrupt my family too much. I didn't really put too much stock in the fact that it was a small event, almost entirely made up of 'serious' runners. These people were not fun runners if you know what I mean, not that I had fun, don't misunderstand my use of that word. The course itself was mostly along a cycle track and involved a big loop. The scenery was mind numbingly boring on the way out and forget about the way back. What saved me was my Dad appearing on his bike around mile 8. Had he not been there I think I may have sat at the side of the M8 til someone came looking for me. After that I felt disoriented as there were no markers or landmarks to follow and because of the small numbers and my slow pace I ran pretty much the whole way on my own. Occasionally a dog walker or cyclist would pass me and look at me quizzically. Didn't the rest of the runners pass by an hour before this? The mental part of keeping going when I had idea how far I'd run, how far I had to go and if I was running 48 minute miles (it sure felt like it) were kind of disheartening. Yesterday I was confident my training would get me there. I should have researched the route more thoroughly so I knew what to expect, I should have chosen an event with more atmosphere and less bog of eternal stench cycle path through Blackridge. I should never have let those two people pass me on the final 200 yards, sprint finish where were you? I'm happy though. I set out to finish and I did. I ran and ran and ran until I thought my wee legs were going to give in on me. It didn't matter that I was last to finish the line. My lovely sister-in-law sent me this Thanks Lou! Could this be any more appropriate? I think not.

Also my bruv crossed a triathlon finish line yesterday which is amazing. Really, that is dope Bro.

Well done Kerry the Bullet Bell and Vikki the slightly slower Bullet Snedden, you are really way better friends that I probably deserve for making you do this.

I'll get back to you on the 'never again' part..........

The night before

So I'm running a half marathon in the morning. It seems ridiculous to even type that, what am I thinking? I'm scouring the internet for advice only to discover that I'm pretty much too late to undertake any of the advice suggested. Ah well.I'm a bit nervous to be honest, not for the actual running - I'm actually not too worried about that. I'm just worried about making a fool of myself in one way or another. I'm not worried about my legs holding up but I do have concerns over my digestive system if you know what I mean....... I'm worried that the other runners will think I'm a spectator because I don't have the physique you might expect from a 'real' runner. I do know that you will be rooting for me so that helps. You know the friends and family and people I've never met who read. You're awesome like that.

Also, did you know they have a Princess half marathon at Disney? That would be A-MAY-ZING

graphic source

What do you think about?

Someone asked me what I think about on long runs. The answer is everything and nothing. In the interest of explaining this further here is a rough breakdown of what I thought about during last Saturday's ten miles. 0.1 miles - Why does my left knee feel like it is clicking? 0.3 miles - Oh no, I forgot to lay out clothes for Brodie and Grier, what on earth will they be wearing when I get home? 0.5 miles - I wonder what Cathy Cambridge will be wearing on the Queen's boat. 1 mile - Oh look, a new tea shop is opening up. How nice. 1.1 miles - It's very quiet this morning, I haven't passed a single runner/walker yet. 1.2 miles - probably shouldn't wear these particular pants again while running. Not comfy. 1.5 miles - Check iPod. Only 1.5 miles gone, really? 2 miles - That looks like a really long hill. I've run up this before but it didn't seem as long last time. 2.1 miles - I'm too hot. 2.2 miles - Oh I should probably have a drink from my water bottle. 2.3 miles - Union Jacks! Hurrah for the jubilee. 2.5 miles - Finally at the top of this hill, downhill for a while now. 3 miles - Wow, that lorry was really close. 3.1 miles - I wonder if I dropped and rolled right now would anyone stop to help me? 3.11 miles - I wonder if I dropped and rolled would that ambulance stop to help me? 4 miles - My middle toe on my left foot is numb. I wonder if that's a problem? 4.2 miles - I'm too hot. 4.5 miles - Uphill, downhill, uphill, downhill. 5 miles - Halfway there. Take that iPod lady, you can start counting down now.... 5.1 miles - see iPod lady - you just said 4.9 miles to go. 5.2 miles - I'm running faster than I normally do after 5 miles. Is that good? Between 5.3 and 8 miles - absolutely nothing, just breathing in and out, one foot in front of the other. 8.1 miles - Yay, only 2 miles to go, a wee bit tired now. 8.5 miles - I hope I've calculated this correctly and don't actually still have 5 miles til home. 8.9 miles - Nearly last mile, nearly last mile, nearly last mile. 9 miles - Last mile! 9.1 miles - I can see my house! (almost) 9.2 miles - All toes on left foot are numb. 9.3 miles - Please let the traffic lights be at the green man so I don't have to stop. My wobbly jelly legs might not start again. 9.5 miles - Last swig of water from water bottle. Now fight overwhelming urge to throw away bottle with each stride until...... 10 miles! Finished!!!!!! High five iPod lady. High five self. Try to act cool as walk last couple of hundred yards home. Jelly legs, wobble wobble.

See? Everything and nothing. I'm sure there are people who ponder great philosophical questions when running. I'm not that smart.

I'm bringing running back....

This morning I ran for the second time this week. Only 4 miles and I can't say they were particularly comfortable. It was rainy and miserable and my head was throbbing after about 5 minutes. I'm nervous about it but I'm thinking I will run the half marathon next sunday. A few people have said really unhelpful things to me like - surely you just keep running? I have resisted the urge to make a snarky reply such as - well couldn't someone have told me that before I started these 5 months of training? I'm going to keep positive. Because really all I have to do is just keep running, just keep running, just keep running....................