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Charlene Smart: Respect the Run

I am now less than two weeks from The Ultimate Goal and my last long run was yesterday. I completed my 7th half marathon race – the Selwyn half marathon.

My goal for a long time has been to do a half marathon under two hours, it has always been in the back of my head. The aim for my half marathon yesterday was to get to as close to 2 hours as I could – considering the amount of running and distance I have been doing recently in the lead up to the marathon I thought I could do it. I knew it would be tough but I really thought that I would be able to crack that 2 hour mark. And plus…isn’t 21.1km like nothing compared to the 35km run the weekend before?!

Note: Let me premise my next paragraphs by saying that I did actually run a personal best time yesterday, it just wasn’t as fast as I was hoping it would be. I ran it in 2:04:41.

Before the run Pauline and I were talking about respecting each and every run, because no matter how much you have trained things don’t always go to plan.

Honestly, the first 4km sucked, plain and simple, they were not fun at all. Especially km 4 – my legs felt like lead and I thought that my run was shot! I thought how the heck am I going to continue for the entire 21.1km if I was feeling like this this early in! I was thirsty and was dying for the first water station. Just after 5km the water station appeared, I was so happy to see it and all I could think was, I wonder if I can stop now? Water downed and off I went.

It was like a miracle, I instantly felt better, felt on top of the world. The next 5km went so well, I was in a good head and running space, maybe this wasn’t going to be so bad after all?!

I have been training with gels, sports drinks and everything I will need for the marathon and learnt that it is so important to make sure you take your gels with water. At about the 15km mark I decided that I would take my last gel (my favourite GU mint chocolate) in the hope that the drink station wasn’t too far away, it felt like eternity! After the 17km drink station I felt like I was going to be sick, I had to walk for about 50m. I thought are you actually joking me?! Why is this so hard today?!

Despite all of my “slip ups” during the run I did do a personal best and improved my time by more than 10min from the Christchurch half marathon in June and I know that I can do under 2 hours which I plan to do soon! Maybe a few months or after the marathon….

Respect the run and make sure you hydrate sufficiently, something I am going to do for the marathon.

The final stretch on the run!

The final stretch on the run!