It was sometime in April and I wanted take my fitness to the next level. Having done 5K & 10K runs in the past, the logical progression was to run a half-marathon. The Bupa Great Birmingham Run was scheduled for October, so I signed up and thus begun my training.
I looked online for tips and advice for tackling this distance in the best way possible. What I’ve found was a training plan done by Asics. Their ‘My Asics’ training plan was simple to use and easy to log my runs with. The coolest feature I’ve discovered was that the plan changes your pace dynamically for you so you’re always making progress. Whatever your running distance, I highly recommend you check it out.
Armed with my GPS watch, running shoes and upbeat music, I hit the streets. I ran up and down hills, on and off-road. As the distance grew and pace got quicker, it became almost a like daily ritual. I ran four days a week with no days off. Even through heavy morning rain, I stepped out and battled the elements.
Fitness however, is only half the battle. The other is the diet. I admit, I love to eat. It would feel like torture to completely cut out sugary snacks. So I set aside specific times to satisfy my sweet tooth. That way, I stay healthy and not feel guilty about treating myself.
After six months of training, the big day came. As I woke up in the early morning, rain was hitting hard. I don’t mind rain but I wanted to get the best time possible. Luckily it stopped shortly before I arrived to the starting area. As I walked to my designated area, I saw all kinds of people with their numbers making their way to the start line.
With a group warm-up session done, nerves began to set in as my wave was next to start. I took a quick look around me and it finally set in, I was about to run a half-marathon for the very first time.