Date: 14th April 2013
Profile: Hilly (my view, that is!)
Weather: Wild! Wet, windy, very stormy
Positives: great course, lovely medal, fab experience
Negatives: goody bags, weather!
I was so excited about running my first ever half marathon!
Training began on 30th December 2012. I wanted to start the New Year with a bang, and so I started with some cold, wet, windy runs. Turns out that this was a good plan! @TheWelshWookie and I were looking forward to our weekend away in Edinburgh, and had booked into the Holiday Inn at Cowgate for the night before the race.
We chose that hotel because it was within easy walking distance from the start and finish. Perfect!
We had a lovely walk on the Saturday, past this aptly named pub:
I took that as a good sign! I noticed at this point in the walk that the route was going to be quite hilly, and on the cobbled streets for part of it too. Hmmmmm.
We walked past the office of the Children’s Commissioner, who is Tam Baillie, who I knew from working with Barnardo’s. I just love the pic of him on the window! Looks just like him! 🙂
@TheWelshWookie and I then headed for an early dinner to the Hard Rock Cafe, and we were seated under a cool piece of memorabilia:
After an early night, @TheWelshWookie was up and out early, as he was a volunteer marshall on the course. I was looking forward to having a supporter at some point! I headed for breakfast, to find the restaurant filled with fellow runners (and joggers like me) from all over the world! I knew, by then, that it was raining outside, but the forecast was, apparently, OK.
But nobody told the weather that….
It was wild! So much so that the T-shirt marquees blew away, and there was a delay at the start until they made things safe 😮
I was soaked through, despite wearing my anorak, before the race begun. There was little race build up (probably due to the weather) and I was in the fourth wave, just eager to get going!
Here’s the Scottish Government building- the starting point of the race:
When it was our turn to start, I started slowly (ahem… more slowly than usual), I didn’t want to get carried away in the first couple of miles! The first miles took us through Leith, and along the waterfront, to Musselburgh. The rain was pelting, the wind was blowing, and I felt good!
By the time I got to the 5 mile mark, I found @TheWelshWookie’s posting- he was the gate lock keeper, on the main road. It was a welcome wee boost to see him!
I turned left, and realised that the road ahead was cobbled and uphill. This seemed to go on forever, and was quite slippery underfoot. We made our way back to Edinburgh city, to head around Arthur’s Seat, which was both hilly and wet. And windy. So windy, in fact, that in some places I was blown backwards, and could barely make any forward movement!
Then, at around 9.5 miles, disaster struck! I had been using my iPhone both for music and for measuring my progress on the Nike+ Running app. But the battery died! Argh! I had enough juice left in it to call Tony and let him know that I wouldn’t be able to call him when I was done. Lesson learned! That was the low point in the race- but I pulled myself together, and pushed on.
Things got much better after that- though the weather didn’t change! As I reached mile 10.5, we arrived back at Cowgate, for the final run through the old town, when I slipped on a metal cap in the road, and almost fell- almost! I walked for about 1/4 mile, just to check that I wasn’t injured, and I plowed on uphill again.
The final couple of miles were great- the crowd support was good at the end of the race, and that certainly helped. There were supposed to be bands at eery mile mark, but perhaps some cried off because of the weather. Those who did perform were great, and a welcome boost for joggers like me!
The pacemakers were also good- upbeat, friendly and encouraging.
I crossed the finish line in 2:22:49 feeling really proud, elated and full of energy- not quite as shattered as I thought I would be! And I knew that this was the start of a new jogging phase for me 🙂
@TheWelshWookie was waiting for me, which was great. Can’t wait for next ear- though I see that the date has changed to June- because of the weather, I assume?
Brilliant. Shiny, sparkly and heavy! I love it!
Goody Bag: there were no bags, so I had to try to pick up and balance what I could, which wasn’t much. I managed a PowerBar, an energy drink and a bottle of water. That was all. Hope the bags are available next year.
T-shirt: I love the technical shirt, so much so that I wore it for the MOK10K:
We had to queue for some time to get the shirts, but that’s because of the problems with the tents blowing away! Fortunately, the organisers were handing out foil blankets, which were essential given the low temperatures. Don’t I look fetching after all of that?
Bring on next year!