Rebecca holding up her medal from the Great Birmingham Run 2017

I ran a half marathon.

I have officially joined the half marathon club!

On the 15th October 2017 I completed the Great Birmingham Run in a time of 2 hours 34 minutes. I am so incredibly proud of what I have achieved. I knew that I would be able to do it mentally but physically I wasn’t sure if my body would hold up. I know it is a cliche but I enjoyed every mile and it really didn’t feel like I had ran a half, it felt like a 10k! Today I am going to chat about my preparation leading up to the half, what I took with me, my thoughts on the day, how I am recovering and what my next challenge will be.

Why Brum?

I had decided on Birmingham for my first half, because it is a city where I live close by so there wasn’t much travelling involved. In the past year I had started spending more time in Brum getting involved in a couple of blogger events, a few concerts and eating out- so it seemed natural to try and run it. The Great Birmingham Run is run by the Great Run company. The Manchester 10k was also run by them and it was really well organised so I knew it would be well organised – large event (read here on my experience of running the 10k).

Preparation

Moving from 5k to 10k is a lot smaller jump than a 10k to half. When I had booked this challenge back in August, I was fully aware of this. I had the Stafford 10k and a Go-Tri Duathlon beforehand but knew I had to get the miles up. I started running in the week after work more but then I started to stop as I was getting a nagging feeling in my right knee and foot. Around the same time I also stopped going to circuits as my favourite circuit session was in Stafford and when you work in Wolves I was not just going through one town in one rush hour – I was going through two. It was just too much. As it was getting closer I was getting more panicked, the duathlon in Newcastle-Under-Lyme I completed in an 1hr 1min 22secs, I found it tough and my legs felt like lead.

In the final week going into the half marathon I decided to focus on my mind. I downloaded a brand new playlist (ironically called the survival playlist) memorised the route so I knew in my mind certain points I could work towards and just reminded myself that I could least to get to 10k as I had ran 10k before.

The day

With the race starting at 1.40pm I had plenty of time to get ready. I took with me my running belt, three race gels, my debit card, phone, headphones and two bottles of water. I had joggers and sports jacket over my shorts and race top. I took the gels every 5k and every water stop I drank all the water. I learnt a lot from doing the Manchester 10k earlier on in the year. I hadn’t drank all the water properly and I was so dehydrated at the end that I had a banging headache. So now I drink at every opportunity even if I don’t want any.

When I started I didn’t have a time in mind, I just wanted to complete the half. I started off a bit slower than usual because I didn’t want to start at full pace and knacker myself out.I felt so good all the way round, everyone was fantastic coming out of their houses and cheering people on. I always enjoy the local support.

I have heard that the course was difficult with the ‘hills’ but I didn’t find it that challenging at all. I personally think it is the perfect beginner half really.

The day after the run before

As I am writing this up my legs are stiff. I decided to take the day off so I could sleep and give my legs the chance to relax and I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel afterwards. I am weary that staying still isn’t healthy so I will be giving myself the fun task of cleaning the house.

Were you at the half marathon or did you run the full? Are you planning on running one? Let me know below.

Shake That Ting Milkshake Shack

When my mate told me that Digbeth Dining Club was coming to Codsall, I knew I had to go. Digbeth Dining Club is popular in Birmingham for its amazing street food as well as music and entertainment. I have been into my street food festivals recently so couldn’t wait to see what it was about.

What food was there?

There was a small selection of vans ranging from waffles to milkshakes, Nepalese, burgers, indian, hot dogs, Caribbean. They have lots of different vendors go each time and this time they had: Shake That Ting, Bournville Waffle Company, Esmies, Baked in Brick, Manlia Munchies, The Middle Feast, Handmade Pizza Co and Frank.

Image of a BBQ cooking on a mini

Image of a Burrito

I decided to go for this chicken tikka burrito where the meat and the wrap was cooked in an old mini. I also went for the waffle at the waffle van, it was ok but I don’t think it was anything special for £4.50. Finally I had this amazing chocolate milkshake the from the Shake That Ting shack. Normally with chocolate milkshakes they have to be good enough to beat McDonalds. I usually find that with milkshakes they can be too watery as they bulk it out with a lot of ice. However that milkshake was thick with ice cream and cream and chocolate syrup – it was worth the money. All the vendors seemed really reasonable in price normally round the £4-£8 mark.

Frank the corndog stall

Chocolate Milkshake in hand

Would you recommend?

The Codsall version was lovely and it has made me want to visit the Digbeth one so yes I would recommend.