Following on from the Glasgow Men’s 10K I made the decision that I would continue to push myself with my running because a) I was enjoying it, b) it was really good for my mental health and c) it was brilliant for my physical health and was a major factor in me losing the weight that I so desperately needed to. Pretty much straight after that first 10K I signed up for the half Marathon at the Great Scottish Run. Last year around the time of my realisation about how I needed to do something about myself, I watched the Great Scottish Run at my parents. At this point I was determined that I was going to lose the weight, so watching the Great Scottish Run I thought why couldn’t I do that. I made it one of my long-term goals that I would run a half marathon somewhere and preferably the Great Scottish Run. I didn’t expect to be doing it so soon but I’ve really surprised myself with how well I’ve done both with the weight loss and with taking to running. Since I signed up I’ve had a few thoughts along the lines “What the hell was I thinking signing up for this???”, but now that we are three weeks away I feel in a good place.
I decided to follow a 12-week training plan leading up to the race and started on the 9th July. The first 2 weeks of the plan were a preparation for what was to come. Weeks 3 to 6 were all about building a base and weeks 7-10 are about increasing speed with weeks 11 and 12 being a taper before the event.
The first two weeks were mostly easy paced runs with a couple of steady paced runs and an interval session. The interval session was the first one I’d done and was really tough as I ran the first interval too quickly and nearly blew myself up. The final run of week 2 was an 8-mile easy pace run. Prior to this run I wasn’t sure how I would cope with it and was one of the “What the hell was I thinking signing up for this???” moments I mentioned above. Having completed it without any issues I realised that this half marathon dream might actually be manageable, especially with another 10 weeks of the plan to go.
Week 3 was a bit of a disaster; a complete lack of motivation saw me miss the first two runs from the weeks plan. Strangely it was going away on holiday that pulled me out of my mini funk. I went away to Scarborough with my parents, brother, sister in law and nephew. The good weather and running next to the sea seemed to do something for me and I found the motivation to complete the final runs of week 3 and all the runs in week 4. This block of training saw me having to run quicker and also switching up the pace of my runs with interval sessions, hill repeats, progression runs and long runs at an easy pace with a quicker block during them.
Weeks 7 to 9 have seen a lot more runs at quicker pace, more hill repeats and also long runs increasing the distance such as the last run of week 9 which was an 11-mile easy run. The end of week 7 saw me compete in the Sport in Action 10K in Carlisle where I was able to improve on the 10K time I ran in June which proved to me that I was making some progress. Week 7 was also where I had the next “What the hell was I thinking signing up for this???” moment. The run that triggered it was a session that had a 2-mile warm up with 3x 2 miles at half marathon pace with 1-mile recovery in between and a 1 mile warm down. This run had been playing on my mind for a week or two beforehand and I was genuinely scared of it prior to taking it on. Somehow despite it being a hard session it was awesome, the run felt really comfortable and I really felt like I’d achieved something.
Here we are with the race 3 weeks today and I feel like I’m in a really good place. My number was delivered yesterday and it’s starting to sink in that I’m going to run a half marathon and that I’m going into it as fully trained for it as I can be.