After 12 Years, I Finally Broke 2 Hours In The Half
Last year, Kelly challenged us to attempt the impossible, and it was a call that resonated deeply with me. I have been harboring a running dream for as long as I have been a runner, to run a sub-2 hour half marathon. For some people, that might not seem like a challenge, but for me it was insurmountable.
Eventually, it became more than just a goal, or a time, it started to impact on my running mental-health. For a long time, my brain convinced me that I was defined by my inability to achieve this goal which, every time I tried and failed, hurt a little bit more. This hurt was magnified when both my husband and my twin sister, both of whom only started running because of me, sailed past this 2-hour barrier with ease.
Thankfully, in 2016, I joined a running club, and I met a number of lovely people who equally wanted to break the 2-hour time limit. In December 2017 we became known as the sub-2 group, and our training began. Our goal? To break 2-hours in 2018. We had a training plan which had been devised especially for us by our club chairman which included tempo runs and speed work and all the stuff I knew I should be doing, but wasn't.
It worked though. During the course of 2018, I took 2 minutes off my PB at Swansea Half Marathon, and then 12 more seconds off at Kimbolton Half Marathon, bringing my PB to 2:07:39. Still a long way off 2-hours, but I was starting to enjoy racing again and with each race, I could feel my confidence increasing.
Finally, I took the plunge and entered the Eton Dorney Half Marathon, my last-ditch attempt to run sub-2 in 2018. I wasn't confident, I had 7 mins to knock off which was a big ask. However, I had the course on my side, 4 laps of pancake-flat rowing lake. The race could not have gone better, and I crossed the line in 1:58:39. I couldn't believe it. I STILL can't believe it.
I have been trying to break 2-hours for twelve years. TWELVE years. So thank you Kelly, for challenging us to strive for the impossible. I will cherish my medal forever and I proud to say #SheCanAndSheDid.
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