Scottish Half Marathon - Mandy's aims

As some of you will have seen in our first ever vlog, we are super excited to be ambassadors for the 2018 Scottish Half Marathon. Neither of us have ran this event before, which hosts a 10k and half marathon, and so are really looking forward to it.

Despite having taken up running 10 years ago, this will only be my 5th half marathon. I've always been a bit of a plodder and 5ks were about my limit, working up to 10ks - but of course that all changed when I met Owain :) Unfortunately, my half marathons have had rather a chequered history. I ran my first one in 2011 and it is the only one I have managed to run non-stop. My second one was in 2012 and although it is my fastest time to date (a speedy 2:32!!), it was at the height of my illness and it was soul destroying.

Since then I have really struggled with balancing my Graves Disease and my running; I seem to get a good run of building my miles up and then I am wiped out for weeks. It hasn't helped that I am rather clumsy and have had a few sprained ankles thrown in there too.

I had resigned myself to sticking to just 10ks but then decided to take on the challenge of the Foxtrail Winter Series which included a trail half marathon in March. I knew I would struggle with the terrain and the distance so secretly trained for the Manchester Half marathon, which took place in October last year. My training for Manchester went well but it just didn't go according to plan on race day. Unfortunately, I lost momentum with the miles over the festive period and so the Foxtrail Half in March was another battle of will power. The only thing that kept me going was the awesome ladies I was running with.

So, 4 half marathons down, all a bit of a struggle, why on earth have I signed up for another one?

The Foxtrail Winter Series gave me confidence in my running - I might not be fast but I achieved more than I thought my body would be capable of. It made my re-focus on the fact that I run for enjoyment, not for times. Since then, I've lacked focus and so am looking forward to a new challenge to inspire me to get out and explore. For the last year, I've maintained the balance between good health and consistent miles (well until recently when my doc changed my medication but that is another story :)). As part of that, I am also managing at least an hour run at the weekend and so have a good base to start from.

The race isn't until 23 September so I definitely have time on my side to build up my miles gradually and I am going to follow the 12 week intermediate half marathon training plan that is on the organiser's website: https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/scottishhalfmarathon-com/media/2017/07/04115639/Scottish-Half-Intermediate-training-plan.pdf.  I expect I'll need to alter this slightly as the longest run is 2 hours and I don't expect to be under 2.5 hours but it gives me an excellent structure for my training.

 

My race aims

As lovely as a PB would be, this race is not about times for me. I want to be able to run the full distance and enjoy it. I have loved seeing the photos on social media of runners completing their races as part of the EMF weekend - whether it be 5k or the marathon. They are proud of their achievements and don't care what time they have completed the race in. In the past, I have hated taking part in races, beating myself up over my pace and been embarrassed to share my finish times with others. So the Scottish Half Marathon kicks off a new me - and my aim is to run the race with a smile on my face.

 

Mandy Williams

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