My First Half Marathon – Fitness Week #8 of 52

21.1 kilometres

On Saturday I ran my first (unofficial) half marathon.

The obligatory post run pics

I decided to wait a day before I wrote about it because if I sat down to put my thoughts into words yesterday it would have gone something like this …



OMG I just ran 21.1kms.

Today the runners high has drifted away, and all that remains is the physical pain.  Every single muscle in my lower limbs is screaming and burning, but it’s good pain. Pain I welcome with open arms because I have finally achieved my 2013 fitness goal.

It has always been lingering in the back of my mind that I never got to run my half marathon last May. My last 18km long run a couple of weeks before the big day left me with a crippling ITB injury that only time off could heal.

And I was so pissed off that I gave it an extra month or two to heal, just in case.

Our move to Darwin last October renewed my love for running. When I realised that we were just 1km from the beach which beholds some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, I knew I had to lace up my runners and get on with it. Darwin also has fabulous running tracks right along the coast, what more could you ask for?

Ok maybe a little less heat and humidity would be nice, but I’m not complaining. I figure if I can run in these conditions, hopefully I will hold up in more favourable running climates ie Sydney Marathon 2014.

Just over three weeks ago I set out to do a short run, and it ended up being an easy 17kms. I couldn’t quite believe it. The next week I was super pumped and set out to run a half marathon, but by the time I had dropped Maggie off at daycare and set out to do my run it was 9am. In Darwin time that means high temps, humidity and full sun, if there is no monsoon hovering above.

I lasted 13kms before I broke and stumbled home completely exhausted and dehydrated. 

I spent the next few weeks being quite ill, trying to do short runs and figuring out how on earth I could achieve my running goals. With HB gone 12 hours a day from 5.30am, six days a week it is all up to me how I can manage to be a fulltime SAHM and having some sort of life myself. After the shocking run in the heat I realised I could not do my long runs on Fridays when Maggie was in daycare, and I had to devise another plan of action.

I came to the conclusion that I could either hire a treadmill, or find a babysitter that is willing to come early in the mornings so I can sneak out at sunrise and get my runs done. Since I hate treadmill training with a passion, I put all my effort into finding some hired help.

We had our first trial day on Saturday, and it worked out great for everyone. The lovely lady we chose is just a delight and Maggie warmed to her straight away. I’m hoping she sticks around for awhile, but I will understand if she finds better, longer hours with another family.

Back to my half marathon …

I set out just after sunrise on Saturday morning and ran my first half marathon. I did it in just under 2.5 hours which included a quick pee stop, some brief pauses at water fountains along the way and about 10 minutes of running along the beach and climbing up and down a cliff face.

To say I was proud of myself would be a slight understatement. 

Unfortunately, there is only one official half marathon event in Darwin, and that is in July. There was just no way I was waiting for that to happen.

I finally broke through the mental barrier in my head that said I could not run that far, my body was smarter and already knew I could do it months ago.

After a little nanna nap I was ready
to enjoy a lovely girls night out dinner.

The next day I dragged my aching legs out for a family bike ride.
We stopped for breakfast at our favourite cafe afterwards,
and life is GOOD.

My plan now is to do some hill training, speed work and core strength training to improve my performance and build up my muscles.

Sarah’s Fitness Week: 

  • Monday – Rest Day
  • Tuesday – 5.2 kms + ab workout
  • Wednesday – 5.2 kms + ab workout
  • Thursday – 10 kms
  • Friday – Rest Day
  • Saturday – 21.1kms
  • Sunday – 12km cycle +  ab workout

Total: 53.5 kms 

HB Writes 


running, 30 kms, long run, marathon training, nipple burn, nathan hydration, spibelt, hoka one, tattoo
Pre long run photo and post run stats

Last Sunday’s 24.5km run blew out my middle toe on the right foot. Same problem I had on the left foot a week before on my 21km run.  There were a couple of other issues with the long run, but they all have solutions. The toe injury is basically a combination of friction burn and bruising which I think comes from wearing a wider shoe these days and having a little more movement in the front of the shoe. The plus side is that I’ve built up a nice callous that will protect the toes in the future.

Could I have avoided the pain? 

Well it looks like there is a solution that doesn’t involve a packet of band-aids. I’ve given in and had a couple of runs this week wearing Injinji toe socks. They’ve allowed me to keep running, and toes have healed. Let’s see how they go in the ‘I don’t like replacing my socks very often’, test.

New milestones this week include doing 60 consecutive pushups for the first time in my life and completing my longest run since arriving in Darwin.

HB’s Fitness Week:

  • Monday – Rest day and the Push Up Challenge 
  • Tuesday – 6km run and PUC
  • Wednesday – 5km run and PUC Woohoo 60!!
  • Thursday – 12km run and PUC
  • Friday – 4km and PUC
  • Saturday – Rest Day and PUC
  • Sunday – 12km family cycle, 29 km run and PUC. 

Total: 56 kms 

Please let us know of any topics you would like us to write about.

Questions? ask away! 

example …
Question: Does HB ever put his running gear out to be washed?
Answer: Maybe once a week …. ewww
Lesson: There is no such a thing as a silly question 🙂

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