Running a half-marathon – 73

PhD Life

I am going to be running my first half-marathon tomorrow. Before this year, the farthest I have run is eight miles, and that was six years ago. In training I have run ten miles; I am hoping that the adrenaline of the occasion will carry me to the finish line. It may well be the case that I tell you a tale of cramping up in front of a relatively large crowd next week.

With respect to work this week I have finished running several different experiments which means that next week I can relax a little. I even have a little trip on Wednesday; I am going to a town that has no value other than being close enough to London for easy transport links, but a much lower cost of residence – which is true for most towns the world over including the one I originate from.

I am going on a course for the maintenance of HPLC systems. I decided to sign myself up to this course for personal development. Typically, at least in my university, all the knowledge of how to operate scientific equipment comes from finding someone who knows how to use it and then persuading them to teach you.

There are relatively few opportunities for ‘structured’ training on equipment which I find rather annoying. If you want to become a better communicator, there are hundreds of opportunities for you in academia. If, however, like me, you enjoy learning how things work you have to fend for yourself. I am hoping that because there are relatively few opportunities for gaining this technology specific training, I will be more employable.

From the universities point to view, I do understand why this type of training is less prevalent, and that is because it is all too possible that you pay someone to train and then they never end up using the equipment. Often when you don’t use a new skill, you lose it. If I were in charge of training, I would implement the same policy.

Hopefully, it will be worth the early start!

Unusually, for partaking in such a big challenge tomorrow, I am not that nervous; I am quite confident that I will finish the race, but most of all I am excited to have it over with. I have enjoyed most of the training, but after 10 km it has been a struggle. I think going forward my longest distance will be 10 km it is long enough for a good workout, but not so long that I am hurting the next day.

To those of you that have completed marathons I now have greater respect for you; like Gimli, I am more of a natural sprinter. Back to the weights and shorter distance running for me!

Gimli sprinter

Published by Louis

Spend less than you earn, Invest the surplus, avoid debt. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants

43 thoughts on “Running a half-marathon – 73

  1. Well, you have me beat. I’m just running little over a 10k (6.8 miles) in a couple hours. I’m nervous enough as it is for that.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Being a running coach a few years ago, in my opinion you should be ok with the extra 3.1 miles. Like you have said, the adrenaline should keep you going that bit extra. My advice would be to pave yourself, and try not to go off to quickly. Start off slow, and finish the race with a kick at the end. Good luck ☘️😊👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yup, that’s what I’ve been doing in my practice runs. I’ve done a 10k before (January 2018), so it’s mainly that last half mile that will be the tricky part. 😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Been running for long time for phd and youth and more our running next week and abseiling too enjoy! Good luck


      1. It for autism chairty some autism want to abseils 584 ft needed a medic on side so I’m joining in facing fears we find out from the experience xx


  4. It’s all right to know your limits, no shame in that. You’re doing GREAT!
    In life, no matter what you do, know when to stop when you have to.

    No point it backfires on us when we push it..time, money and energy wasted for recovery.

    All the best for the HPLC!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hope it went well! When I first did a half marathon in 2012 I had only done 10miles previous so sure you smashed it! Having cultivated a dad bod over the past few years I’m back on it, but only doing 3 or 4k at the minute.


  6. Hat tip to you for your blog, for being a scientist *and* wishing to write well, and for running a half-marathon: hope you enjoyed success. I had to comment and say Gimli is my favorite LotR character. And should you ever feel yourself flagging as you approach any finish line—real or virtual—you can simply borrow his strategy, and quip, “Toss me!” ~Deb


  7. I’d just like to comment on the advance in your own writing since that first post. You’ve learned two excellent skills that were missing at first. Firstly, you’re writing in short paragraphs: hooray! Long paragraphs on a screen are so off-putting that readers run away. Secondly, you’re introducing the topic or main point of each paragraph right up front: important, again, particularly when your readers are staring at a screen. They seem like little things but are powerful writing tools. Great stuff, goal achieved 🙂


    1. Thanks, Rachel! It was a conscious decision to write in shorter paragraphs as it was recommended to me, but I have to admit I dd not notice myself introducing the main point of the paragraph.

      Thanks for your feedback; I was struggling to find ways in which I had improved.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I hope your half marathon went well — I only ever ran 11 miles before mine. I’m sure you were fine 🙂


  9. Hope that your half marathon went well! It’s a major accomplishment to even get to the start line!


  10. Just picked up running and I’m doing Running Down Dementia till the end of August, but I hope I’ll get to run a half-marathon or even marathon one day!! Best of luck!!

    Liked by 1 person

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