Thank you again for visiting my blog and reading this post.
I'm sorry it has taken me nearly a month to write part 2 of this article but now I feel ready to complete this part of the story.
As I mentioned on my previous post that the day after the 10 miles walk with CLASP I had arranged to do the Chester Half Marathon with 2 members of running club that I attend called Emma and Maggie.
Some of you may be able to tell from my previous posts that recently I have developed a passion for running and even though I only got back from London pretty late the night before I was really looking forward to it. Part of the reason I was looking forward to it is because Chester is a city that I have never previously visited before even though it isn't very far from where I live but I was looking forward to seeing Chester and having a new experience.
It was a very early start to the day as I had arranged to meet Emma and Maggie at 7am in the morning which meant I had to be up around 6:15am to leave the house for 6:50am to meet them at 7am. Most of you who know me will probably know waking up early isn't 1 one of my strongest points as I massively like my lie ins, but I guess in some ways the earlier start can help you have a more productive day.
Once I met up with Emma and Maggie the 3 of us set off to drive down to Chester and the 3 of us were really looking forward to running. I just remember feeling excited because it must be something special for me to have that amount of energy that I felt I had that early on a Sunday morning.
As we drove into Chester I remember thinking how beautiful it was and I was reflecting on what sights I would see on the run. The car was parked near a local gym which was around a 15 mins walk to the start line and that gave me the chance to explore Chester a little bit more as we made our way to the start line.
Once we got to the start line I got the familiar feeling. I am always totally amazed to see how many people are intending to run. The starting pen was absolutely cramped with people and it is like you have to walk at nearly a snails pace to make it to the starting line but I see that as a good thing as it just adds more fun and excitement to the atmosphere in my opinion.
Just before the race started I heard someone commenting that it would be a flat race. That is like music to the ears of most runners who like me absolutely hate hills with a passion. The race started and that familiar tingling feeling started that I normally get when starting a race of excitement and nerves. The first couple of mins were flat but I remember seeing a hill and I was like Oh no I thought it was meant to be flat. It's hard running up hills and it does take a lot of strength and stamina but in the end it is good for the legs. Somehow by the end of the hill I still managed to keep on jogging for quite a while.
After the hill we got to see part of Chester Town Centre. I was quite impressed by how good it was. I didn't expect it to be that good with Chester being such a small city but I enjoyed doing a little bit of shopping there after the race was done. I think runners deserve a little retail therapy after a run like that haha.
I managed to keep a steady pace for the next few miles but around half way through the pace began to drop off a little as I was hitting "The Brick Wall" as the runners say. I was now at the point where the legs felt like they were stopping and starting. This is the part of the race where you just think it is about sticking in there and getting through it and not giving up at all. However I still see it as an advantage because it makes you realise how mentally strong you can be to cope with all the pain and come out the other side and achieve what you wanted to.
Around 9 miles in I was beginning to really look forward to the finishing line and it felt like the countdown to the end was really on. I along with a few other people just wanted the race to finish and to get through it. However the thought went through my head of just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Each step is a step closer to the finish.
We had just past mile 11 or mile 12 and there was a huge hill towards the end of the race. I was like Oh My God. A hill at the end of the race. I struggled with the hill and the beginning and now we have a hill at the end too. But again I still see that as an advantage because it shows how strong a person can be.
Towards the end me and another girl kept overtaking one another as we both had to slow down so many times. This happened from about mile 8 onwards and I lost count of the amount of times one of us had overtaken the other. However just as we turned the last corner of the last mile it turns out we both ended the race together.
That familiar feeling of relief came when the race ended and I was looking for Emma and Maggie who finished before me. I was still delighted with the time that I got which was around 2 hours 32 mins. Emma and Maggie both did amazing and they both finished around 2 hours 10 which is fabulous as it was the first half marathon for both of them and they both did incredible and amazing.
I then decided to have a little look around Chester town before I decided to head back home and to top off a really good weekend I ended up back at one of my favourite cafes back in Preston called Mystery Tea House. All in all a busy, productive and fabulous weekend.
I have also signed up to do some more races over the next couple of months. Just signed up to do the Blackpool 10k today, Bolton half marathon and Manchester half marathon. These are all in the build up to the Brighton marathon which I plan to run in April next year with a lovely lady called Sarah.
Sarah is a former colleague of mine and she messaged me on Facebook asking if I wanted to help raise money for an aminal sanctuary that she helps to support in Morroco called FLOS (Four Legged Animal Sactuary). I was so touched when I received that message that I found it impossible to say no and i'm really looking forward to working with both Sarah and the charity now to try and raise as much money as possible so expect a donation page on this blog soon.
FLOS are a beautiful charity who offer love, care and support to animals that have been abandoned in Morroco and i'm looking forward to working with both Sarah and the charity to try and raise as much money as possible. For more information please visit the charity website here http://www.flosanimals.com/
Again I don't want to turn this into an essay so I think I will end the post here.
Thank you very much again for reading guys and enjoy the rest of your weekend.
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