It was last year, supporting fellow runners whilst heavily pregnant when I decided to run the Kenilworth Half Marathon. It occurred to me, if I was able to run whilst 30 weeks pregnant, then I could probably complete a half marathon a year on.
Kenilworth Half Marathon
This year is extra special, as the Kenilworth Half Marathon celebrates its 20th year. In 2017 the route was modified to encourage more local support and celebrate the event. The start and finish line is now situated in the main town, which creates lots of opportunity for support along the way.
Let the Half Marathon Training Commence
In June, I ran my first race since having baby Bobby, the local Two Castles 10K. With a little help from my brother, I ran this in just over an hour with Bob in tow. Therefore, I felt ready to let the half marathon training commence. 🎖
I had 12 weeks to prepare, which to any runner, would seem like plenty. However, I soon faced the reality of trying to find the time to train regularly a busy mum of 2!
Despite my husband being very supportive, and on hand, it was only possible to schedule one training session a week. Most mums will tell you, finding 5 minutes to pee in peace is near impossible with a baby and pre-schooler. 😒
Nevertheless, I used this time effectively and began stepping it up gradually from 10K. The first week I did 12K and it nearly killed me. I couldn’t believe how much harder a few extra Kilometres was. However, I knew what I had signed up for. And so the following week I was determined to push it to 13K. But, once I started believing it was possible, I actually managed 16K.
Many experienced runners were telling me if I could manage 16K, the race atmosphere would carry me through the rest. But this wasn’t enough to make me confident of my true ability, so I decided to block out a whole morning (so I wasn’t stressing about finishing within a given time) and ran the race route.
I really enjoyed this experience, to begin with anyway. It was a lovely sunny day with a gentle breeze and I felt positive in my running capabilities. That was until I reached 18K of 21K. Fatigue began to set in, and I was battling with myself on whether or not to walk, something I just don’t tend to do as a runner.
An overwhelming thought of ‘I just can’t do this’ came over me, and I began walking. Oh the disappointment!
It took me 100 yards to realise that my body was capable of completing the final 3K. I immediately began to pick up the pace again…I made it to the end.
From then on, I continued to do 10 mile runs each week up until the week before.
Unfortunately, I was feeling a little under the weather on my last training run, bailing at 7K. Needless to say, this shook my confidence at little.
At this point, despite wanting to get back out there, and have a feel good run, it seemed most sensible to conserve my energy and wait for race day.