10 days before the Oxford Half Marathon race my mind was ready! It was the day when I ran 16k in a steady pace and mentally ticked a box – Done! Colleagues and friends who already ran a Half before said:
“You did 16k already, you are fine!
My training went very well. Although I was on holiday for quite some time in September, I managed to squeeze in a few runs. No need to be nervous but I was! A couple of days before the race I was so excited and couldn’t think about anything else than how will I manage the last 5k on the race day?
Beautiful: Oxford University I visited a few years ago.
The night before my first ever Half Marathon Race I was in Oxford just by myself. I stayed in a hostel. When I was lying in my bed feeling very nervous I recapped the day and although I managed everything like planned, I could hardly sleep. My biggest worry was to be late. Therefore I woke up every hour checking if it’s time to get up. Nightmare!
Tired and exhausted I cached the first bus to the stadium at 7:40am and met up with my colleague and her friend. I was so happy about their support. Last time Daniela ran the Athens Marathon while I did the 10k. This time she supported me at the finish line which meant a lot to me. After I trained so hard and finished the race in such happiness and with overwhelming emotions, it was so great and important to have a friend to share all of my thought and experience of the last 21k with.
Freezing cold 9:30 am start was delayed by 20 min
Very ambitious but also a tactical choice, I started at the 2:10 mark.
Gustavo, my colleagues friend ran the Half in 1:28 (IRONMAN training)
The course was absolutely perfect for a first Half Challenge. Why?
It was a mix of running within the city, along the canal and passing the Oxford University using the athletics track to run the famous Bannister Mile.
Personally, the race was nicely broken down into parts and therefore the 21km or 13 miles were mentally much better to handle.
I’m originally from Germany and used to km measurements. During my training I was thinking in km and just while I was running the race I realise a really positive aspect to have the race marked in miles!
Managing the miles: mentally
- mile 1: It felt so long, ok , just relax!
- mile 4: Ah, these are miles, ok how far am I ? More than 5km right? Ok cool, just relax and take a gel.
- mile 6: Half way! 6 out of 13 miles… I feel ok! Just don’t think about it.
- mile 9: Tried to calculated into km again and stopped it! I felt ok, I managed my pace well, so just keep on running and took my 2nd gel.
- mile 10: My legs felt strong and I thought just 3 more miles to go.
- mile 11: I didn’t bother about the miles I just enjoyed the scenery.
- mile 12: Very excited! Only 1 more mile to go I grabbed my mobile out of my waist bag and called Daniela. “I’m less than a mile away, are you at the finish line? I feel great, I’m OK!”
- mile 13: When I saw the 13, I couldn’t believe it. It was so emotional running towards that sign.
The finish line was so close, I managed the race so well and couldn’t believe that it was over in a few minutes. It was so overwhelming that I felt a tear in my eye. “Hey! This is not the finish line!” I didn’t expect the emotions and was so surprised and happy about my achievement that I pushed myself to speed up. My legs had a lot of energy left so I kept on running and running even after the finish line. I couldn’t believe I’ve done it!
The Half Marathon will be my new distance for 2015.
It’s a challenge and it’s very enjoyable if you train for it.
New challenges for 2015 already planned?
Let’s see how many Half I will run!