Well it has taken me a couple of days to recover after sunday's half marathon. I am extremely pleased to say that I made it, all in one piece, minus what felt like a lot of blood, sweat and nearly tears!
My aim was to complete it in 2hours 30 mins and I am pleased to say I came in at 2hours 26 minutes! Considering 6 months ago I could barely run to the end of the road and back, to actually keep putting one foot in front of the other for 13.2 miles is a pretty big achievement for me!
To give you a brief lowdown... the first 8 miles were easy... actually enjoyable I have to say. I came up to my beloved Chequers Inn (my favourite pub in the village of Laddingford) water station at 8.5 miles and the reception from my friends lifted my spirts to give me a spurt of energy to reach around the 10 mile point and then I ran full pelt, head first in to THE WALL!
Because I wasn't one of the speedy - almost pro - runners who were long gone and through the finish by this point it was quite a lonely patch of very long road back in to Paddock Wood. If it wasn't for my lovely husband, Will, who arrived on his bike with an isotonic drink in the nick of time, I don't know how I would have got through those last 3 miles. But I did. It was pretty much one of the hardest things I have ever had to make myself do and I decided at this point that I am 99% sure I will never run a full marathon. To say that pretty much everything hurt would sum it up pretty concisely.
So, my first half marathon is complete. I am definitely going to do another one, being slightly competitive I now want to beat my time. I know I can do it now and I have to say the buzz afterwards was pretty amazing.
Thank you to all my sponsors, friends and family who helped motivate me through the training and without which I don't know if I would have made it through that finish line. I am so chuffed to have raised over £400 for the Saddle Up for Spinal Research campaign. It's still not too late to sponsor, the Just Giving page is open... http://www.justgiving.com/Lauren-Barber
For the minute I am going to stick to four legs rather than two, so signing off the running blog... until next time!