Just over a month ago I ran my second half marathon. The first, Shakespeare Half Marathon, I ran in April of 2013 and found out that I was pregnant with little Arlo 5 days after the race (no wonder I hit the wall so hard, in spite of my practiced and planned fueling regimen).
I put my name in the lottery for for the Royal Parks Half on a whim. I was sleep deprived, feeling chubby being about 2 months postpartum, and decided to do the half if I got in. Sure enough, I got the email saying my name had been drawn!
I knew it would be a real challenge trying to train with two small children. I also knew I would be able to finish, but I had to tell myself I'd be okay with walking if I needed to. Luckily I have an amazing husband who was willing to watch the kids for me 2 evenings a week and for a couple hours on weekends so I could get my runs in. I wasn't as fit for this race as I was for my first, but somehow my time was even a bit faster (probably due in part to the flatness of the course and the fact that I wasn't pregnant this time around).
Johnny and I went down to London the day before, thanks to our wonderful friends, M and R, who were willing to watch our boys for us. We stayed in Chelsea at an AirBnB apartment just 3/4 of a mile from the race start line, which was the perfect distance for a warm-up jog the morning of the race. We got lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant, did some shopping on King street, then made our way to Covent Garden for drinks, dinner, and a movie.
It was a short weekend, but it was great to have a fun night out, and be in London sans children...a first for us!
The race itself was a wonderful experience and I would highly recommend it to anyone! There were about 16,000 runners and the organization was superb. We ran past Buckingham Palace twice, past Parliament, through Trafalger Square and the Admiralty Arch and down the mall toward the palace. We also ran through St James and Hyde Parks and Kensington Gardens, hence the name of the race.
Johnny found me quickly after the finish and we walked back to the apartment for our things, hit up Chipotle for a quick lunch (it was soooo good) and went home to our boys.
It was a lovely weekend, and I'll probably do a third half marathon again, but who knows when that will be. Oh, and if you care to watch, here's the Royal Parks Half Marathon video. You can see me briefly around 2:45, in the green shorts and bright yellow top (behind the man with the dog). Enjoy!