My Half-Marathon was a huge success!

My walking half marathon was a huge success!! The reason it was so positive is that I felt strong doing it and my body worked in the way I expected it to. This hasn’t been the case for the last few months with my leg injury so to feel so good on the night felt incredible. The walk started out slow as the half marathon started at 8:25pm not far from Tower Bridge – this meant we encountered many tourists and locals out on a Saturday night meaning we couldn’t walk to fast due to congestion. At about 10:20pm our route took us near the West End as the theatre shows were letting out, again lots of congestion as we walk on the sidewalk/pavement.

At the junction of the full and half marathon routes it felt bitter sweet for me but I’m glad I had officially changed to the half marathon as I would have been tempted at that point to do the full. About 9 or 10 miles into the walk the congestion started to ease as we were in more residential areas and along the Thames. At this point I was able to power walk, my body almost felt it had pent up energy wanting to be released. I walked very fast along the Thames probably bettering my 4 miles/hour usual rate (my chip hadn’t been reset for the half distance so the timings were meaningless). I passed people who had started out an hour before me, I accelerated past many groups, some spurred on and others demotivated. I kept overtaking and overtaking, almost like I couldn’t go slower if I tried. It felt great. My leg didn’t hurt at all, a first in months.

I crossed the finish line in less than 4 hours, with some exertion apparent but loads of energy remaining. After collecting my medal, having a cup of tea and taking in the atmosphere I headed off walking to the tube station to get the night tube home. My adrenalin was still pumping, I wasn’t tired, I would be home by 1:30am – a not unusual hour for me to be awake on a late night.

Aside from the actual walking there were emotional moments thinking about the people I was walking for – Mum, Dad, Ed, Ray, Mr J, Mary, Kathleen….. And to talk to other walkers about their motivation for doing the Shine Walk and reading the names of those on other peoples’ bibs who have been lost, are struggling or survived.

I think it felt easier for me because I had already done 2 full marathons, forcing myself to be active and awake overnight and not getting home until after 6am, exhausted and barely able to stay awake. With the half marathon the physical exhaustion just wasn’t there. This is a distance I do on my hikes or close to it. And because of the slower pace due to the congestion it was manageable. There was nothing I needed to push through mentally either as it seemed to be over so fast.

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Will I do another full or half? I’m not sure. Stay tuned.