Well, the big day arrived - the Great South Run!!!! The challenge I set myself back in April when I could barely run round the corner. After beating lots of nerves and finding some wonderful advice I ran, yes ran, all 10 miles. Considering two weeks ago I was struggling to get to 5 miles without walking I reckon this is a fantastic achievement.
So, the weather was pretty perfect for running for me. I didn't get cold at all, except whilst waiting at the start. The wind was a lovely breeze that was refreshing without trying to blow me over. And the atmosphere was amazing. Loads of music on the way around was fabulous to run to, and loads of children were offering their hands to high5 the runners.
I pretty much ran alone, which was fine. I had my iPod loaded with music that really connected me with Dad, and although the music was quieter than I would have liked, it meant I was able to not totally zone out, and subsequently soak up the atmosphere all the way around.
The actual run was amazing. I ran really comfortably and didn't get out of breath. I was prepared to walk but as I was doing so well, I decided to keep going. To get around I used a strategy of knowing where the drink stations were and doing mini distances. So it was 3.75 miles to the first one, then another 2miles later, and the last at 7 miles. Then it was the distance of one parkrun to get to the end. And that focus really kept me going the whole way around.
At the end I got through the finish line in 1 hour, 58 minutes and 2 seconds. A sub-2 hour run. Even better. After collecting my goody bag,and heading back to where the rest of the running club was, I was greeted by the running club, and as soon as they hugged me, I burst into tears: missing dad and the fact I had actually run the entire course.
It truly was a fab day. I ran 10 miles, but that means I kept running for two hours. How awesome is that??!!
So, I have completed the final task of my original challenge - and what a way to finish it!!! - and raised £285 for Cancer research in memory of my dad. What now?
I have signed up for the southampton half marathon next April and training will commence shortly.