How I lived my first half marathon

Hey girls,
That's it half marathon is (CARGO) past. I must admit that I am happy, happy to have done it, but also very happy that I no longer have to think about it. It really stressed me out, I who had never made an official race. (only 10,000, 2 weeks before for a race against cancer, but it had nothing to do haha)

I felt capable, but at the same time not at the level. I trained for months, with more or less diligence. When I think that a year ago, I would hardly run, at least no more than 5 km! I wonder where I found the motivation to take on such a challenge!

My preparation for half marathon

I started training with my team in late January. At that time we were going out between 7 and 10 km, we started. Half marathon did not happen.

We used to meet every Monday to run together, it was really cool! It allowed me to get out of my comfort zone because each outing was different. We alternated between split, ribs, stairs, long exits or shorter and quiet exits.

After 3 months, I wanted to challenge myself and bring some spice to this practice by registering for the first time in an official race. For a few days I had 10 km in my mind, so in the end, on a whim, I signed up for the 2019 Run In Lyon half marathon.


I coached the whole team in this adventure, and from that moment we prepared for this challenge! From June I started a little more intensive preparation with 2 to 3 trips per week. In the end, I managed to stay one and a half months at this rate, then it was summer, holidays, heat wave, … The pace became less respected.

I still managed to do some long excursions, 15 km, 16 km, 17 km … So finally these 21 km, a week before the race. I was reassured, I knew I could, even though it was difficult and that I had to stop sometimes to drink and rest on my legs.

D-Day: Race in Lyon 2019

The first 10 kilometers

6.00am: the alarm rings. The departure to SAS (Green: 1h55) is at 9. I drink half a glass of water and eat only one banana. I had a lump in my stomach and was scared to swallow the smallest thing that would hurt my stomach or make me pee during the race ( #teampetitevessie haha)

With the team we meet at 8:15 next to our departure SAS near the Vieux Lyon metro. The tension is mounted, but I try not to think about it and breathe. We laugh, take some pictures, and we join the other participants in leaving SAS. 3, 2, 1 … And let's go!

We start the race at a fast pace, up to the eighth kilometer we were between 10k / h and 10.5 km / h with peaks to 11 km / h at times. I was told that on D-Day we get high on adrenaline and that we often do better than we used to. Until then, I felt good, so I kept up.

Crossing the Bocuse Bridge in Collonges au Mont d & # 39; Or (between the 8th and 9th km), I began to feel that I had to slow down a bit. So I was going at an average speed of 9.5 km / h. I waited impatiently for a 10 km supply, I was very thirsty.

The first difficulties

At the supply level, I slowed down to drink, ate a slice of banana and walked for a few seconds. As I walked, I felt like I was in trouble. In my head I said to myself "puree, I'm only on the 10 km … It's 11 again … it's going to be difficult". I knew I wasn't going to start thinking like that, but it was stronger than me.

The 4km that followed, I limped, I slowed a little more to be around 9km / h on average. I felt on my feet that slowly began to let go.

I thought I'd give up

When I saw the entrance to the Croix Rousse tunnel (14 km) I do not know what happened, but something fell into my head. I no longer felt capable, but I no doubt knew the end of the route, this tunnel, … But for the last 7 miles, I felt unattainable.

I stopped just before entering the tunnel. I couldn't take it anymore, my legs couldn't take it anymore, and the mind was obviously no longer there. Part of the team was still with me, they asked me not to let go. I started running again, then I started to cry.

In fact, I felt that I was not on the level, I was disappointed not to be able to keep like them. (I know you shouldn't compare, but hey, we still trained together for more than 6 months, so the comparison is done without will). I felt that I was the only one who told myself that I didn't mind, that I wasn't trained enough and that I hadn't given myself the means to get there. I actually had a moment off BIG BAD TRIP for 2 minutes.

Last refueling, last 5 kilometers

At the end of the tunnel we had passed 16 km. The last fuel point was there. I stopped to drink, eat, walk. I tried not to think about the last 5 kilometers, not to think about this loop before the park with its golden head would return to Bellecour. 5km is nothing in normal times. But there I could really do more, and I was sorry.

I resumed my race, not without problems. But I wouldn't let go, though it was difficult, even though it hurt everywhere, even though I felt blisters on the ends of each of the toes and on the soles of my feet.

From the 15th to the 19th kilometers, my pace fluctuated between 8 and 8.5 km / h. Much slower than I can do, much worse than my exit from a week ago. I do not understand …

With every little climb I went, I couldn't take it anymore, and the ribs were always my weak point. Because I don't blame myself. We had 3-4 between 16 and 20 km. Still, they were no longer than 10 feet each time, but it was too much for me.

We arrive at Hôtel de Ville, then Cordeliers. I feel the end is approaching, more than 2 km! I'm starting to accelerate a little to resume the pace at an average of 9.3 km / h.

I see Place Bellecour in the distance, I am told we are coming to the end. In my head I said to myself "no, it's not over yet, we still have to make a loop to get to the other side of the square". I still wanted to cry, but I kept my energy and concentration in my legs and in my head.

Review of my half marathon

I ended up crossing the finish line in 2 hours, 16 minutes and 44 seconds. The longest 2 hours of my life. To my surprise, I didn't cry. The only thing I thought about was actually the medal and then eating and drinking. I was HS

But I'm proud of myself, proud to have done it and completed it. But I'm especially glad it's gone.

I experienced it worse than I thought. It was much more difficult in reality than the 21 km solo tour. Why? I don't really have any answers. I think it's a mix of things: stress, fatigue, a pace can be too fast at first and above all a lack of confidence.

Honestly, I don't think I will try again. And if I'm really crazy enough to do it again, I think I'll sign up solo to put less pressure on myself.

Competitions have never been my thing, although there is no effort or ranking at the end. It reminds me so much of the years at primary and secondary school, where I always came last in cross-country, where I was always the last to be selected in EPS lessons, and where I stopped most of my activities just because at the end of the year had to participate in a show or competition.

I prefer solo activities, just for fun, without pressure. This race in the end was to challenge myself. But I think I didn't need it to reach 21km, I would have done it if I really wanted to do it, run or not race.

Today I will stop running a bit. The last few months have disgusted me from the practice. I no longer went out to run for pleasure, but for objective. The goal to stay at 21 km. Exercising 3 times a week, exercising intervals, doing the ribs, that's not what I like to do. I did it just because I knew it would help me move on.

I'm going to have a good month long break. Continue strength training carefully and we will look for running later. But not on long trips or long distances, that's for sure haha

Photo credits: Facebook page Run In Lyon

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