I’ve always been a good runner, I was lucky that throughout secondary school I could come first in our intra-school cross-country runs without the training. But could I attempt the Cambridge Half Marathon without preparation?
As a result, I would also be selected for the cross-country team and still finish in a respectable position. Last year, when I ran the Cambridge Half Marathon, I thought I could still be lucky and run with no training but I was wrong.
At the start of the race, my friend (pictured) and I decided we would run together with the 2:30 runners. But as the race set off I had a sudden urge to run with the two-hour pace makers and left my friend behind.
I don’t remember much of the race apart from around mile 10 where I definitely hit the wall. But I ran on and even managed a sprint finish, completing the race in 2:00:38 (those 38 seconds was probably the total I walked!). I felt pretty good about it considering I hadn’t trained.
I ran in new trainers (I had planned to train in them!), which didn’t seem an issue at all during the race. But once I had finished the race, a couple of other finishers mentioned my ankles must have been so painful. I was confused until I looked down and saw they were cut and had bloodstained my trainers.
Although I did make sure I cooled down properly, I was surprised that I didn’t experience delayed onset muscle soreness which is the painful feeling you may get after running. However, the Friday after the race, I found myself on the floor after a shooting pain went straight through my hip. I couldn’t partake in any physical activity for three months, and had to take it easy for another couple of months after that.
Since the summer I have joined two new sports clubs, netball and football, in the hope to stay physically fit and will use these as cross-training days. I’m extremely fussy with the weather when it comes to running (too hot, too cold, too wet), so hope that the commitment to the team sports will help with getting me out running by myself!
I’ve learnt my lesson from last year and my training plan starts on 11 December. I have been on a couple of three mile runs in the past week, on top of netball and football, so fingers crossed the motivation doesn’t drop over the next couple of weeks! I definitely don’t want to experience the same pain as last year.
You can help towards my training by following me on Strava (Harmony Hennessy). The more followers I get, the more pressure there will be for me to train, so click that follow button and I’ll follow you back. I’m aiming for 1:45 this year, although if training goes well, 1:30 would be nice!
By Karan, Sports Marketing Graduate Trainee