The Problem With Breathing Part II

This is a picture of a dog I want, it has nothing to do with this post.

I mean I bet you’ve been beside yourself wondering when I was getting around to writing this, right? Don’t answer that unless it’s something I want to hear.

In our last encounter, your intrepid author was about to embark on her fourth half marathon. This time, along the Thames Tow Path. Despite a lack of adequate training and the knees of a rugby playing octogenarian, she was quietly confident she could pull this one off with aplomb.

Instead, she once again found herself accepting sweets from strangers half-way round the course (she has form for this) and was nearly sick in a bush. Breathing wasn’t the problem, a 13.1 mile half marathon distance was the problem.

BUT, come on, it wasn’t all bad and at times it was even *whispers* enjoyable. The trail itself was beautiful and the chance to ogle some supremely expensive riverside properties and fancy-pants houseboats was very satisfying if you are a very nosy type of woman, which I am.

As usual the running community were bloody legends, from the group of runners who shoved Haribo in my face to the woman who wondered if she should stay with me as I threw a whitey literally metres from the finish line and had to have “a quick lie down”.

Chatting to ultra runners before we set off was a joy as they scarfed bowls of pasta and mugs of tea at the goody laden pitstop near the half start line. One woman gleefully exclaiming: “You get so much food, it’s just a great day out”. She nearly had me convinced, the cheeky mare.

But I had forgotten the mental gymnastics required to cover any sort of distance and that’s really where I came undone. The negative self-talk kicked in about mile 11. As I plodded down towards the main road that would lead to the entrance of the Royal Windsor Racecourse, my internal whinging toddler began in earnest.

At various points I hated cars and roads and people and clouds and stripes and the sky.

To top it off, a woman I’d left for dust caught up and overtook me with an encouraging word. The absolute worst, am I right?

But that finish line though. Despite cramp in both shins, I manged to casually jog across the line and offer sweaty kisses to my children and their father, whilst simultaneously grabbing the pint he held aloft. It was the best pint I’ve ever had.

So, while I love a 10k, the half marathon distance is no longer for me. Nope, instead I’ve just signed up for a two-day 100km “walk” in June. I’ve done this because I am a total and utter d*ckhead.

I’m sure you agree.

Freelance writer, runner, crochet wannabe and good egg. Writes about running, embarrassing expat moments and family life