I signed up for the Blackmores half-marathon and here’s what happened

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I’m not too sure what got in to me. I am by no means a runner – the longest run I’ve done is the Sydney Morning Herald’s 14 km City 2 Surf and I walked half of it. I convinced my husband to sign up with me (and till this day I’m surprised that he did) and at the time I thought it was a good – and romantic – idea to do this on our second wedding anniversary weekend. 

And boy, was I in for a surprise.

Just a little background about where I was in the cardiovascular fitness department. I wouldn’t say I’m totally unfit. I run short distances ranging from 3km to 7km probably about once a week or two. I do a lot of walking in my previous job, where I see patients and was on my feet constantly. So, I guess I don’t paint a picture of someone with the worst fitness level on earth. Perhaps I thought that now I’ve got a few City 2 Surf runs under my belt, I was ready to challenge myself to a longer run. 

Here’s my experience with running my first half-marathon EVER.

Friday, 14th July: Sign up day, 2 months before race day

I was feeling pumped and excited. But also a little bit in disbelief as I paid $105 for each entry. What the heck did I just sign up for? Have I really paid all this money to put my body through 21.95kms of torture?

Saturday, 15th July: One day after sign up

I pulled my husband out of bed earlier than he would have liked to go for a run. I was quite determined to train for this half marathon. I spoke with a friend – a runner friend – and he convinced me that a two-hour time goal was a good goal to start with. Now, my first mistake was asking someone who runs 100kms in the mountains as his challenge. My second mistake was agreeing to what he said.

Sunday, 16th July: Two days after sign up

Well, I woke up feeling a bit sore. I had this idea of running at least five days a week until day of race but I might just skip today’s. After all, I’ve got about two months to go!

Saturday, 12th August: One month after sign up, one day before City 2 Surf

Oh, did I mention that I also signed up with my work for City 2 Surf, a month before my half marathon? Well, I did. I thought this would be a good gage on how my training so far has gone. At this point, I was running pretty regularly. Not five times a week regular, but at least three times a week. I’ve been pushing my time goals for set distances and I was interested in seeing if this year, I could push my time for City 2 Surf.

Sunday, 13th August: Day of City 2 Surf, one month before half marathon

I did it! I got a personal best of 84 minutes – a time goal I never thought I could achieve a year ago. It was exhilarating to know I can achieve what I set my mind out to if I put work into it. 

Now, to go foam roll out my legs.

Saturday, 26th August: Two weeks to race day

Training has fallen to the way side. My husband and I haven’t run at all since City 2 Surf, and to make matters worse, we’ve just received our race singlets – A cruel reminder of what’s to come. 

I’m panicking now.

Tuesday, 29th August: One and a half weeks to race day

Oh my goodness. I’ve just won two running sessions with Bec Wilcock, Nike trainer and ambassador. This couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. 

Saturday, 2nd September

First running session with Bec and her Run, Girl, Run group. These are some of the loveliest – and strongest – women I’ve come to meet! We did 15kms today, and apart from falling and scraping my knee on the concrete midway, I have to say I’m starting to feel slight relief.

Sunday, 9th September: One week to race day

Last long run before Race day. Bec and her girls are planning a 19km run this morning and I knew this would be the ultimate test before the real thing. I’m feeling nervous again but glad I have this group to help push me along the way. At the end of it, we celebrated with a hearty breakfast. I cannot believe I made it through the run! I was struggling at the end of it, I’m not going to lie but Bec said this run was more difficult than the course on race day. 

Well, I don’t have a choice but to believe her, do I?

Sunday, 17th September: Day of Race

We made our way into the city and I’m feeling all kinds of nervous and yet excitement. My husband had been travelling a lot so he was doing most of his training separately so I felt like I didn’t have him by my side as much as I would have liked. A last pep talk by Bec and as soon as the gun went off, there was this surge of energy from the tremendous crowd around us.

2:06:44

That was my time for my first ever half marathon. I cannot believe that I’ve done it. Sure, I didn’t hit my time goal of two hours but I’m so proud of myself and my husband for pushing ourselves and going for something that scared us! There’s just so much strength within us that’s waiting to be unleashed only if we let it. 

Can I suggest something to you?
Choose that one thing that scares you and just do it. You might surprise yourself like I did!

Dominique Nguyen