With two weeks of barely any running, two heavily strapped knees, and a duffel bag full of nerves I lined up for my second half marathon of the year.
Two days before the race I finally convinced myself that I needed to go see a physiotherapist to see what, if anything, could be done about my 96 year old creaky knees. The most worrying thing about the whole experience was not the injury I had inflicted upon myself, severe tendonitis and patella distress, but the fact that she said I should shave my knees. This was to ensure, for future races, that the strapping she would use to keep my knee caps in one place would stay on better. So to the weird looks I already get while running, she wanted to add bald knees! Luckily, come race day, the strapping stayed on with just spray glue so my knees can stay au natural.
Silverstone is a race track used for Formula One races and everything else on wheels really. The course followed the different tracks, contained a lot of loops, and had great quality tarmac, a fact my feet enjoyed very much!
At the start, the sun was still trying to burn through the morning fog and a bitterly cold wind cut through my limited layers. With nerves creeping up on my stationary self, I tried to stay moving; occupying my brain as well as my body before the race started. The first mile was my slowest, my body trying to remember how to run, Bambi on ice style. Pain permeated my legs and knees but, once the first mile was behind me and my body had warmed, the pain dissipated to the usual dull distress. The race flew by and I felt amazing, increasing my speed mile on mile. I had feared this half marathon would be the end of my challenge, that it would show me that my body simply couldn’t handle the strain, but it showed me the opposite; not only could I do it but my body wanted to.
The race itself was incredibly well organised, hardly surprising being a London Marathon event, with oodles of loos and hugely friendly volunteers the two things I look for in a good race! It was a field of about 7,000 runners but it never felt crowded and I would highly recommend this race to anyone trying out a half marathon for the first time.
As my reward for finishing the race and shaving seven minutes off my personal best, I bought myself a London Marathon top. I wear it with pride because in 40 days I know I’ll be lining up there with a grin on my face.
Miles Left to Run: 831
NEXT RACE: Reading Half Marathon 3rd April
Three Song Playlist
Flume – Never Be Like You
Jack Garratt – Surprise Yourself
Miike Snow – Genghis Khan