Miscarriage Association supporter Andie Ford ran the Nottingham Half-Marathon on September 29th 2013. She tells us how it was…
I suffered two devastating silent/missed miscarriages in 2008. Since then I have been blessed with two beautiful daughters but my experience has made me keen to raise awareness and funds for the M.A. in any way I can. I can’t forget how confused and desolate I felt grieving for those losses and how much support I needed to get through it. I have run the London Marathon and the Great North Run for the M.A. and this year I signed up for the Nottingham Robin Hood Half-marathon.
The day started cool and clear – perfect conditions for running. I arrived at the start at Victoria Embankment at around 8am and changed into my M.A. vest, attached my bib number and took my bag to the kit tent. I was a little early so had a look around the stalls and then made my way to the start to warm up. It was still quite cool at that time of the morning so it was important to keep moving. I’d torn my calf during training for the race so it was playing on my mind a little that I needed to warm up properly.
The race officially started at 9.30am but I was in the green wave, further back from the start. I think it took around 12 minutes to get to the start-line and then we were properly off and running!
As soon as I crossed the start line I had that usual rush of excitement and emotion that I’ve had when running for the M.A. before. I felt proud to wear their vest and be able to raise awareness for such an amazing charity. I also had that pang of sadness that I always feel when I remember back to those dark days and those miscarriages changed me forever. But the important thing now was to focus!
The few mile seemed to pass very quickly – I looked at my watch – I’d set off much quicker than I usually would. Then again, my training was done on the South Shropshire hills, the flat of Nottingham was bound to be faster. Still, I thought I should slow down a little.
We ran through the city and out towards the Boots campus. This was quite a difficult bit. It was quiet and exposed – it was actually getting quite hot for late September! The crowds thinned out. I wasn’t sure how far I’d run as I didn’t see some of the mile markers. By my watch, I assumed it was around 6 miles but I felt really tired which wasn’t normal for that distance.
It got a little easier again as we ran down through the university park and around the lake – some shade at last! I smiled to myself as I remembered walking around that lake with my husband Ade and going into labour there with my first daughter India-Rose! My beautiful ‘rainbow baby’. I started to feel a little more energised again thinking of Indi and my youngest daughter Lilia. On we went and back towards the city again.
I had hoped to see my family at some point but had no idea where. At around 10 miles I started to feel very exhausted. As my training had been interrupted by a 5 week injury, the furthest I’d run before today was 10 miles which is why I think I’d ‘hit a wall’. I stopped and had an energy sweet and gave myself a talking to and then carried on. Stopping wasn’t an option, I just had to ignore the tiredness and keep going.
At 11 miles I had the boost I needed to make it to the end – the sight and sound of my husband and family cheering me on. What a difference that made! Now there were just two and a bit miles to go.
But – the race planners had really put a sting in the tail of this course – as you could actually see the finish line with still two miles to run. This was tough. It was one mile along the Trent and then a switch back to the end – I swear those two miles seemed the cruellest I’ve ever run.
But at last the end was in sight (again!) and a final push took me to the end in a time of 2hrs 5min 24secs. Amazingly this was the fastest I’d EVER run a half-marathon and almost half an hour quicker than the last time I’d run one! No wonder I felt so exhausted. But then came the relief and exhilaration – I’d done it! With a PB, no injuries and best of all – £270 for the amazing MA!
I am incredibly grateful to everyone who donated to my cause and also to the MA for allowing me to represent them once again. Hopefully it won’t be the last time.