Charlotte’s Robe Run Half-Marathon

Apr 1, 2024 | Exercise Physiology

A few months ago, some friends from the South-East asked me if I’d like to do the Robe Run half-marathon with them! I so badly wanted to do a 21.1km run. I’d had 4 failed half-marathon attempts due to chronic pain, but the opportunity to go with friends who shared my love of running and knew of my goals to complete it was too good! So, I registered!

I had 2 goals; #1 Make it to the start line (by far my biggest challenge), #2 make it to the finish line.

Prior to registering, my training schedule included Pilates twice a week, easy runs (conversational pace) x3 a week and Parkruns on Saturdays. The best bit of information I ever learned at university about performance was ‘trial in training’. Whatever you are planning to do on race day is what you do during training. If you trained with a water bottle or vest, that’s what you’re going to do on the day! Whatever you are going to use for fuelling on the day whether its lollies or gels, do the EXACT same thing during your training. I have eaten overnight oats with fruit on it every morning since November (with a coffee, of course)! I had three sets of the same running kit so I could always run in the same gear. In addition to this, rest and sleep were key to my training! I have suffered from chronic pain for many years and prioritising my rest and sleep were essential to ensure I made it on the day. This included regular stretching, foam rolling or massages, breathing techniques and often being in bed by 8:30pm! All the way up to the night before.

I ticked off goal #1, I made it to the start line! It is nerve-wracking approaching a running festival, particularly when you’re not sure what to expect. Focusing on what you have control of in that moment helped me to get ready. Focusing on the music at the festival, your warm up and trusting the work you have put in.

But now it was time to get to goal #2. The course at the Robe Run was challenging, with many hills, trails and 4km along the beach. But I trained for this! The hardest part is when your own voice starts telling you that it’s getting too hard. Prior to attending this run I had read Nedd Brockman’s book about his run across Australia. He talked about in the hardest moments, how for months all he craved was that challenge! And I reminded myself how for over 12 months, all I wanted was to chase down those kms! Fighting back with thoughts like “at 7km we only have 2/3rds to go” and “in 2km we’ll be at 16km which means there is 5km to go, I do 5km every Saturday morning!” After 21km of that, there was 100m to go and I had my cheer squad waiting there, it felt like I floated across that finish line!

I’d finally chased down my goals! The following 24 hours would include so much food and Powerade in addition to sore muscle and joints. But, I’ve already signed up for the next one!