2 years after my first 1 km run, I will complete my first half marathon on 2 June 2013, on the Heritage Bank QLD Half Marathon course at Doomben Racecourse.
Talkers talk and walkers walk. Although walkers occasionally talk, talkers almost never walk, and they certainly don’t run half-marathons. After two years of consistent running, I had become a talker. In a wild week of random optimism, I’d impulsively paid the entry fee for the Heritage Bank Queensland Half Marathon, and announced to almost everyone I knew that I was ready to tackle a half-marathon.
Before you’ve ever run or even begun training for a half, it’s easy to talk about “tackling” one. One day I ran with a group of more experienced runners who told me I was fit enough to do a half. What a terrific thing it is to be thought of as a person who could run more than 21km on a whim.
Since March time has been on my side. My main race is in July at the Gold Coast Marathon, with HBQHM as my practice, 20 weeks to get myself together. I would have to eat better, I thought. Lose a few kg, keep my km’s up over the hot days of summer, not get injured, not boast or appeal for sympathy, not tackle anything, just run, slow and steady without drama. Up to now, I had done just that.
One day I ran 10 km. One day, 15 km, which was a new distance and privately astonishing–I had never imagined I’d ever run 10 km, then 12 km, then anything over 14 km. Going 15 km was a kind of miracle. 15 was practically decadent–and took an hour and a half–and was still a long haul from 21.5km. To reach that far, I would need a better bag of tricks. When it came to running, I had my method and my plan. My plan told me how far, and how hard to run. No thinking. No listening to subjective inner voices. I plugged in my earphones and followed the plan like a running robot, and increased my kilometres to the maximum distance of 2 hours of running, with two weeks left to the practice race day. It’s kept running simple for these longer distances, the farther I ran, the smarter I have had to become.
Then very unlike a robot, I began to feel proud of myself–the red carpet that always leads to disaster. I’ve taken an impromptu five-day run hiatus (not part of the plan), and with just nine days before the race, I decided to go rogue. I’ve taken time off to chill out, rejuvenate and relax (plus it’s really cold in Brisbane right now). My bodies hurting, my mind isn’t in the right place, and I feel like a zombie walking about at home and work.
My heads still in this game, I’m still rooting for myself to pull out of this 5 day slumber. I might need a little bit of ‘donkey and the carrot stick’ motivation to keep going. But I’ll get their, I’ll make it, and I’ll set my first Half Marathon Personal Best.