Herts Half Marathon

So today was the day. Last night was spent, preparing my running gear, cutting the toenails, packing after run food and change of clothing, O yeah and an indian, Thanks Paul & Claire, I’m sure it helped.
So 7am this morning Karen is outside ready to collect me, followed by collecting Ruth, Angela and Helen. And then we head off to Knebworth Park where we meet another fellow runner Rachel.
Its freezing so we head inside where I have to pick up my number and tag as they cancelled the first one when I questioned their time limit change. But new number collected, pinned on and tag put on trainer, we were then offered a free pre run massage. Well it would be rude to say no.
We hang around till about 9.00 when they start doing some warm up exercises outside. Then just before 9.30 and its time to start.
About 3000 people there s they ask us to queue with fastest at the front and us nearer the back. It probably took a couple of minutes to cross the start line and we were off with a run around the park before we head out onto the roads of Old Knebworth and head toward Codicote. The longest road in history for me and seeing everyone running up the otherside, I kept thinking it can’t be long before the turn around happens. How wrong was I.
About 5 miles in I hear my name ‘Come on Cathy!! You can do this!!’ My running Buddy, Zoe, who didn’t run today was there to support me and this really helped and kept me going. But the Codicote road kept going. Eventually I saw Angela and Ruth running in the other direction back towards Knebworth and then Karen and Helen. Not long till the turn around, it was in my view. And I head back towards Knebworth, Back past Zoe, who reminded me, ‘You are a Runner. You can do this’, past the steel drummer, who was brilliant and a quick portaloo stop before I carry on.
Catching up with Rachel on route. Then turning right at the top of Another Hill, I head through the beautiful country lanes. Some of the hills were sworn at on route, not just up hill but also down. Not sure of all the lingo but map my run says, Elevation gain 641.6ft, Min Elevation 306.3ft and Max Elevation 448.6ft.
Anyway by now my earphones were slipping out of my ears so I took them out and so lost track of my time.
All I kept thinking was I have to make it to 12 miles before 3 hours so that I don’t get swept up.
Meeting with people on route, chatting for a bit before they either over took me and the very occasional time I over took someone, helped with the run.
They opened the roads slightly early and I thought, thats it, it must be 3 hours and I’ll be swept up soon. However I passed the 12 mile mark not long after and I kept on running.
Heading back into the Park for the last 800 meters up another steep hill, at the top Angela and Ruth were waiting and encouraging me to run the last 100 meters.
And I did it, Map my Run said 3.03 hours, medal collected, then a t-shirt and courtesy of Angela the most delicious Mars bar I have ever eaten.
My actual time from Herts Half is 3 hours 12 seconds but I am just so glad I completed the run. I would like to say a massive thank you to Karen, Angela, Helen, Ruth & Rachel for all their support today. And another massive thank you to my Running Buddy Zoe for being there to support and encourage me.
Only have to do that again to make it a Marathon and with 5 months left to train, I am half way there.
However I don’t want to see a hill for a few weeks.