WE DID IT! Grand Union Canal Half Marathon

WE DID IT!

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On Sunday November 10th three of the @ELLEUKrunning club completed the @PurplePatchRun Grand Union Canal Half Marathon. We ran the 13 miles in brilliant sunshine along a muddy towpath with 878 other competitors. It was a well-organised and efficient half-marathon along a flat course through beautiful canalside countryside. We'd recommend this for those who love running as much as competing.

Five Half-marathon truths I now know:

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1. Running is as much mental motivation as physical fitness. I finished in 2 hours 20 minutes but really should have been done in under two hours. I slowed right down at 10 miles feeling sorry for myself due to a winter cold that has been going round. Pathetic! This is an easy course to run and my advice is don’t talk yourself into relaxing towards the end. Programme your playlist to bring you in fast. A combination of Kenneth Williams Desert Island Disc on Radio 4 and Kanye West got me through to 10 miles but I should have powered on for the finish with a new playlist!

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2. You don’t need the loo on a half-marathon. Really you don't. Two hours with no loo break is doable. Mentally adjust yourself to this truth pre-race.

3. Have a banana. Just the one before you start (after breakfast). Don't get streesed about energy supplements and all that malarkey – a half marathon, if you have trained and are in a positive frame of mind, is not a big ask. Remember I am the woman who worried about 5k in February this year. Just sayin'

4. Arrive with friends, but run at your own pace. I can't talk and run. I need to concentrate but it's brillaint to queue in the loo with friends pre-race and great to be cheered on by team mates as you go past the finish line. Big thanks to my colleagues @MietteLJ (2:12:52.8) and @amylawrenson (1:53:16.4).

I last ran my first half marathon 27 years ago aged 17 in Wimbledon (the picture tells the whole story) – no idea what time but I said then I wasn’t cut out for long distances – it just goes to show that you can never say never!

Lorraine Candy Wimbledon Half Marathon

At the end of this one on Sunday, I swore I would never run a marathon (there's only so many podcasts I can listen too!), but now my legs are less sore and my cold has cleared...

Want to try it yourself next year? Sign up to the Grand Union Canal Half Marathon, 2014 here

Join the ELLE Running Team in our next challenge to run a mile, really fast

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