The morning of the Great Eastern I was full of nerves. I had caught a sickness bug from my daughter the day before and spent the Saturday morning being so sick I nearly pulled a muscle in my tummy. Thankfully by the lunchtime I could keep down food and fluids so I spent the whole afternoon and evening rehydrating and carb loading. My biggest fear was that I wouldn’t be capable of running a half marathon so I did all I could to optimise my wellbeing. I went to bed early (having watched half of Rocky as inspiration) and slept as well as someone can with a lot on their mind!
I woke at 7am on Great Eastern day and had a coffee and a big bowl of porridge. I spoke to my husband about my fears and said that if I felt in the slightest bit unwell during my run then I would stop. The biggest worry from the sickness bug was dehydration. I had no symptoms of it at this point and if I’d felt unwell on the day, had sickness or a bad tummy, fever or body aches I would have deferred. So I had an isotonic drink to ensure my sodium and glucose levels were topped back up and decided I would drink slightly more than usual at the water stops en route.
As we waited in the starting pen I told my team mates I was feeling slightly nauseous but it was probably nerves. The man in front of me visibly leapt forwards in horror!
When we started running I felt strong and my fears subsided. I could do this!
The cool yet sunny weather conditions were pretty perfect for running in and I felt excited as we started running with five thousand others through the streets of my home town like an out of control conga line. I spotted a few people I know as we snaked round the streets and I gave them an enthusiastic wave. A little girl had a sign offering high fives for power, I took one!
Near Central Park I spotted the lovely Lisa from Punk Circuits. She was going great guns and looking strong.
When we got to Dogsthorpe, the fire brigade were out and cheering every one on. I smiled as we ran past my husband’s childhood home thinking of the stories he had told me of growing up here.
In Werrington we saw my big sister Jo just before the halfway point. A friendly cheer means so much on these events. We (eventually, haha) overtook an elephant and a minion who were doing absolutely amazing. Ultimate respect!
At the halfway point, music was blasting out and it gave me a huge boost. Everything feels a bit easier with music and I often play Feels by Calvin Harris in my classes as it’s such an upbeat and feel-good track so to hear it now was amazing.
Soon it was time to crack open the jelly babies. Being able to get in some instant sugar really helped make the last few miles less torturous than last time. All the reading I’ve done surrounding the dreaded “wall” (which runners hit and feel like they have no energy and their legs are like weights) suggests it is indicative of inadequate hydration and fuelling and my experience with this race backs up that theory.
As we looped back into Dogsthorpe again I got excited. We were on the home straight! The firemen were spraying people with water. I ran under the hose to cool down a bit.
Then we spotted the lovely Edyta looking very smart in her PCSO uniform! She shouted words of encouragement which were so helpful as we began to flag.
The last little bit when you run down Eastfield Road and near the Embankment and then away from it is so mentally tough! Every cell in your body is telling you to run the other way towards your loved ones!
We saw Rebecca at this point. Always nice to see another friendly face in the crowds!
As we reached the final 400m sign I had enough jelly baby fuel in the tank for a sprint finish and I ran as fast as my little legs could carry me.
Thank you to everyone who works hard to make this such an amazing race. We are so lucky to have it in our home town!