I’m not exactly sure what I was thinking when I decided to sign up for a half-marathon… It probably had a lot to do with peer pressure. But, I HAVE SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED A HALF-MARATHON!
For the first timers, there’s a bit they don’t tell you about marathon running… like… having to wakeup at 4:50 to start to run at 6:45. Um.. guys… just a hot tip…. marathon runners are insane… they’re also insanely fit! This isn’t your average 10k where you’re gonna totally smash out a 10k, then fist punch the sky on your knees at the finish line. I’d be surprised if your arms or legs even move after you cross the finish line. This is more like a ‘where the heck is the sweeper convoy and how much further do I have to run to stay ahead of it.’
What the heck is a sweeper convoy anyway? It’s kinda like a very slow Presidential motorcade but, without the actual President – and you need to avoid it at all cost. Its something that’s chasing you and you gotta keep going so it doesn’t sweep you up! They do it to clear the roads so that the normal non cray-cray people can go about their Sunday activities.
What they also don’t tell you is there is a heck of a lot of people who want to see you finish! They cheer you on and give you high fives all along the way! There’s also the occasional drunk backpacker that will give you a hug. Yes this happened. And, yes, it was amazeballs! I even got a thumbs up and a ‘call me’ from a cute EMT. Today was a good day.
This half-marathon had a bunch of entertainment along the way too. The Australian Army band made an appearance in Pyrmont, and there was a few people dressed as random things. There were even Brazilian dancers! And you absolutely MUST stop and get photos with everyone! I even moon-walked with the guys from Sydney’s radio station, NOVA!
I Periscoped and Tweeted the entire event. Well, what I mean is, I took awesome photos and reported my updates live on Periscope whilst on the run. It was great for when I needed to take breaks… and yes, I was avoiding the sweeper motorcade too!
Then, I got to see awesome stuff like this:
It’s a pretty cool feeling when you know that you’re only two kilometres from the finish line. What does suck is that the next two k’s are all uphill. But, then you round the corner, and there’s a massive swarm of people – so like in true Tara fashion, I high-fived every single person before the finish line and it was awesome!
So, to sum up a half-marathon: I did something extraordinary. I ran in my very first half-marathon! It was massive challenge and a lot of fun. I actually had an emotional moment at the end and it was wonderful! You don’t get experiences like this every day and I’m really glad I did it.
This got me thinking: When I finish #AroundIrelandOnAPushie, what will that feel like? I’m already anticipating a massive wave of emotion and today was only a taste of what’s to come! If it doesn’t challenge you, It doesn’t change you.
There was great support along the way both whilst running and with everyone via social media. A big thank you to everyone around the world! It was awesome to have so much support!
After finishing the half-marathon, I got picked up by a random kiwi. I let him off gently – too many commitments going on… he took it well.
And then I headed out for the celebratory lunch with my running mates!
Now, here’s the “NOT WHAT TO DO” guide to prepping for a half-marathon:
I took an entire week off from everything. I basically stopped my circuit training for a week. My last run was also over a month ago (mind you, it was 16k, so I figured I was as prepped as I was gonna be) I also started eating like a horse – if there was a burger within a meter of my reach, it got eaten. I also ate a massive amount of chocolate chip cookies. So basically, if it wasn’t moving, I ate it and I liked it.
I also came up with some wonderful decision that I didn’t like coffee anymore so I quit too. That was pretty extreme. I was pretty miserable…. so just don’t do extreme things like me. It’ll just end in sadness.
And, will I do another half-marathon – absolutely!
An Aussie girl gone walkabout in the great big world!