It feels like a long time since I sat down to write. The past two weeks have been so busy with plans and work and getting ready to go on my holidays, it just feels as though this month has been a whirlwind!
Last Saturday I achieved something that I am proud of and I wanted to share it here. I completed the Scottish Half Marathon. The Scottish Half is my 4th half marathon so far but this one was a little bit different. It was the first half marathon that I was really pushing to improve my time in and it was also the first race that I’ve ever done completely alone. The race was out in Prestonpans on the East Coast of Scotland and finished up in Musselburgh Race course. It was worth the 6am start to get out there…just!
The day was beautiful. This year we’ve had a dire summer in Glasgow so the last thing that I was expecting in mid September was the cloudless blue sky that I was met with as I walked to the Meadowmills sports centre from Prestonpans Station. It was just stunning. In fact, everything about that race was perfect. From the spacious and brightly coloured starting points along the track at the sports centre, to the ample space for warming up (I mean, how many races do you get to run where there’s a whole field and a track to warm up on?!), to the gorgeous route along the coast with families and residents out to support the runners. We were really spoiled!
Having said that, it was not an easy race by any stretch. It was a hot day and coming from a relatively cool summer I could see a lot of runners suffering. I was pretty worried about getting dehydrated even though they had water stations well placed and some of the locals were also out with drinks for the runners…and their garden hoses! I kept a steady pace through out the race and although I could feel my body cramping up toward the start of the 12th mile I pushed hard and finished on 2 hours 7 minutes. For some people that time is pretty crap but I’m very proud because that is a full 9 minutes faster than my last half marathon. We finished up in Musselburgh Race course and the atmosphere was like one big party, I could tell that people would be hanging around for a while in the gorgeous weather soaking up the sun and the achievement. Not for me though, after I collected my medal (my favourite so far, it’s a huge majestic lion so what’s not to love!), I was straight back to Glasgow so that I could head out for my friends birthday – well after getting a bit lost in Waverly station….
To be honest, it was a little bit lonely doing a race all by myself but I had lots of messages of support from my friends and family and my boyfriend. Although I’m no stranger to going it alone, it was liberating to do this by myself but it did reinforce how much fun it can be to have someone there to share the experience. After a little nap and some pampering Chris and I headed out for my friends birthday and I had a well earned and much appreciated pint of Guiness! It was a lovely evening and although we didn’t stay out too late it was a great end to the day and nice to be surrounded by people who congratulated me on my little run!
I recovered really well afterwards which I’ll put down to doing a Yoga With Adrienne video every day of the week before and on the Sunday morning too – sadly although the Guiness was great I somehow doubt that that was the miracle cure! Although I discovered some pretty bad sunburn on my back the next day! I did wear suncream but it was a lesson not to miss out on my back in future…d’oh!
All in all it was another great race experience and I’m grateful for the day and the support. Sometimes you have to just give it your all even if there’s no one there to cheer you on!