Last night’s run was all about redemption. My last Step Up To Half Marathon group did not go to plan. In no small part due to my poor preparation. I had not drunk all day or eaten properly and then somehow thought I would be able to run 14+km in the heat. Needless to say, I couldn’t. It was the first time since my Parkrun Graduation that a run had gone terribly wrong. I mean, I had set off too fast (and still do) on quite a few runs and started my sprint finish too early (I do this quite a lot too) but I had never help more disappointed than that night.
This run was about putting it right – about proving I could.
More determined than ever, I planned my route, hydrated during the day and prepared all of the run fuel I could possibly need. I even bought a CamelBak Hydropak to make sure I didn’t suffer the same consequences of not being properly hydrated I did last time. Kitted up with that, and a couple of Science In Sport gels, I set off.
It was a straight forward out and back route from Cranfield to Marston Mortaine Forest Centre. A combination of country lanes and housing estates. Nothing was going to stop me.
I set off at 6pm, after a long day at work, and made my way through Rectory Woods and out into the long, lonely country roads. The weather was humid and “close” and I knew I needed to keep my water levels topped up. The Hydropak really was a life-saver.
A short while (and a rather steeply inclined crossing of the A421) later, I made it to the Forest Centre. I now had the awful thought that I was feeling knackered, my legs were heavy and it was getting dark… and I was only half way through.
An about-turn and I was on my way home. Only 8km to go…only 7.9km to go… I was literally counting down in what seemed like 100m sections. Why on earth did I ever think I would be able to do this. Distance running had never been my thing.
Finally I was into the home stretch. 3km left. I knew there was an awful hill at the end of my run but really hoped that I would have hit the 16km mark before I got there. Thankfully I did.
The feeling of jubilation filled my body and for a split second, I even had the unrealistic thoughts that I could keep going. A minute later, it was clear that wasn’t the case. But, despite what my legs were telling me at the 9km mark, I made it. I had run the furthest distance I had ever run. I had made up for my previous failings and felt back on track and ready for the final push to the Great Manchester Run