It’s been a while since my last blog post. Things have been a bit hectic and I seemed to just run out of time. I didn’t even write a blog post about my 11 mile training run. I was so proud of that one too. But anyway, that was a few weeks ago now.
I always try to write as openly and as honestly as I can about my running experiences, thoughts and feelings. And this one is going to be particularly hard for me to write, so if it’s a bit all over the place, please forgive me. It’s all still quite raw and emotional.
In the two weeks building up to the Silverstone half marathon, I ran a grand total of 0 miles. Fail number one. This wasn’t planned at all. My legs were in bits after my 11 mile run at the weekend so I gave myself a few days to recover. So many other things came up and my running time had to go. I then finished my job on the Friday and started my new job the Monday of the week leading up to Silverstone. Fail number two. It was so difficult and very emotional leaving the children and having to say goodbye to them, it was even harder trying not to cry too much in front of them. It also had me doubting my decision to leave. That alongside starting my new job was quite scary and nerve-wracking too. I then woke up during the week and had a cold and felt really blocked up and snotty. All in all a pretty rubbish way to build up to the Silverstone Half.
During the week I tried not to think about it very much, and to be honest it didn’t actually feel like it was going to happen. I know that sounds really silly, but for some reason it just didn’t feel real. I could feel myself feeling more nervous as it got closer to Sunday and I was almost sick at breakfast on Friday. I tried to relax as much as possible on Saturday and had afternoon tea with my mum and nana, before coming home and double, then triple checking that I had everything I may possibly need for Sunday. I had to get my friend to pin my race number onto my running vest, I just couldn’t do it. Every time I kept sticking the safety pin into my finger.
I had a pretty good sleep the night before Silverstone, but I woke up still with a blocked nose and cold. In hindsight, it probably wasn’t the best idea to run it. But I didn’t want to not run it because I wanted to go out there and do what I had said I would do – run a half marathon and raise money for the Matt Hampson Foundation.
I woke up, had my hydration drink and some porridge for breakfast along with some Imodium to settle my stomach, which was churning. I was a bag of nerves but trying so hard not to let it show or let them affect me. Before I left the house and whilst I was travelling to Silverstone, as well as the night before, I received so many good luck messages from Facebook, Twitter and from my friends and family. I am so very lucky. I still don’t quite understand why so many people follow me on Twitter.
Once we reached Silverstone I met up with my amazing friend Andy and Kirk who were already there. And we then saw Katie, Luke and Maureen from Twitter as well and then Steve joined us too. We had to have the pre-race group photo of course! Just before we split off into those who were aiming for a sub-2 hour finish and those above 2 hours.
I was stood with Maureen until we started. I think she could see I was quite nervous but she was so lovely and kept talking to me. We were soon away – after more official photos were taken.
I hadn’t run for 2 weeks, so my legs felt amazing at the start and I started off a little too quickly. Even though I had my watch set to a certain pace, I found it difficult to stick to it. I did everything I had told myself not to do. I should’ve known then that things weren’t going to go smoothly. I had taken my headphones with me, but decided not to listen to any music when I was running. This was yet another stupid decision; I pretty much always listen to music when I’m running. (*note to self: if you ever run again, run more without music*)
The first few miles seem like a blur looking back, I remember getting to around 4 miles and taking a shot block and having to walk to have some water as I couldn’t breath and chew and swallow with a blocked nose. My dad said he saw me at mile 3 and that I waved at him, although I don’t remember seeing him. I may have just been waving in the general direction of a camera (there were so many official photographers around the course).
I think I ran most of the way up to around 6.5 miles and from then it was really really tough. I had blisters from around mile 4 onwards, it was hot and trying to breath was hard, especially with a dry mouth as well.
From mile 7 I adopted a more walk/run style (mostly walking may I add) I just didn’t feel like I had anything left in me. I was physically tired and by that point really struggling mentally and emotionally. Numerous times I considered stopping and crying. That’s all I wanted to do. At that point finishing was the last thing on my mind. But from somewhere I dug a bit deeper and went a bit further. Around Mile 9 (I think) a song that was played at my Gramps funeral was being played over the loud speakers and all I could think of was my Gramps and how much I miss him. He would never believe that I would be running and definitely not a half marathon. I was so close to uncontrollable sobbing but managed to calm myself down when I thought of how proud he would be of me. I carried on and at Mile 10 I saw my dad, which made me cry again. By that point every step was hard, not so much physically, but definitely emotionally. It was a huge battle and one I really wasn’t prepared for. The closer I got to the end, the more I realised that my sub-3 hour target wasn’t going to be within reach. I just had nothing left to give, and I am so annoyed and upset at that.
When I had gone past the mile marker for mile 13 I remember texting Andy and telling him I wouldn’t be too much longer. He had promised to wait for me and I was so annoyed for taking so long and told him I was sorry for being so rubbish, because at that point that’s how I felt.
In the last half a mile 3 truly incredible and amazing people (Ross, Kelly and Carla) were just about to pass me and saw how much I was struggling and trying not to cry. They didn’t go past me, they walked with me, talked to me and helped me go that last half a mile. They also said they wished they had found me earlier. We got to the last 100m and we all ran it, crossing the line together and then we all gave each other hugs. I can never find the words to say how much what they did meant. It was a very special moment and one that I will remember forever.
I then found my dad and had a cry. As I was walking to get my finishers bag and pick up my bag from the bag drop I saw Andy, Emma, Kirk and Steve all waiting for me. I don’t think I have ever felt quite how I felt at that point. I cannot that them enough for waiting for me. I have made some truly amazing friends because of running.
The emotions I was feeling after finishing were and still are hard to process. There was no post-race selfie with my medal. I didn’t even look to see it. My dad had to find it and put it on for me.
I didn’t feel proud of myself, I didn’t feel happy to have finished. I was so disappointed and upset with myself for not getting under 3 hours. And I was disappointed that I didn’t feel proud, if that makes sense. I just wanted to cry and forget about the whole thing.
I have never been tested as emotionally and mentally as I was during that ever. And I’ve never felt so lonely as I did when I was running yesterday. I felt like I had disappointed myself so much and that everyone else would be so disappointed too.
I finished with a time of 03:15:09.
Twitter went totally insane when I posted about my time and I had so many amazing messages, I didn’t feel like I deserved them. It was so hard trying to answer them all, and I was totally overwhelmed by how wonderful everyone was. It made me feel even more emotional reading all of the messages and I felt like I shouldn’t be disappointed but that’s all I feel right now. I’ve never felt good enough, I’ve always been hard on myself and always compared myself to others. I know I shouldn’t but I do. I crossed that finish line and felt like it wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t good enough.
I know that once I’ve realised how much of a journey I have been on and really reflected I will feel differently, but it’s still very raw and I still feel very teary about it.
My legs are in bits today and I am exhausted mentally, physically and emotionally. I am also sporting a sunburnt face. It was very hot yesterday too – but windy in some places as well.
A few tears have been shed writing this blog post, but I wanted to be honest about how I found it.
Would I do it again? Silverstone – probably not.
Am I going to run again? Right now even the thought of running makes me feel teary. I’m not sure I am recovered enough mentally to go out for a run again.
Thank you for your continued support.
A very broken K
I’m raising money for The Matt Hampson Foundation by taking part in 2016 Adidas Silverstone Half Marathon. If you would like to sponsor me visit http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/KimberleyMiles
To find out more about the Matt Hampson Foundation please visit: http://matthampsonfoundation.org/