My first half marathon by Aneesa Altaf
Running a half marathon was incredible and it certainly needed dedication, perseverance, and a strong mindset. As a Healthcare Recruitment Consultant specialising in supplying temporary staffing to residential children's homes, I embarked on this challenging journey to push my limits and achieve personal growth. Little did I know that this experience would not only test my physical abilities but also teach me valuable lessons about resilience, community support, and the power of determination.
Training through Ramadan:
My training for the half marathon coincided with the holy month of Ramadan, a period of fasting for Muslims. Balancing my work schedule as well as observing fasting added an extra layer of challenge to my training routine. However, with careful time management, adjustments in nutrition, and a focus on self-discipline, I successfully navigated the dual commitments and made progress towards my running goals.
Running with my Brother:
Having a training partner can make a world of difference when it comes to motivation and support. I was fortunate to have my brother join me on my training runs. Together, we conquered miles, pushed each other's limits, and shared memorable moments along the way. Running in the park near our home, and occasionally on the running track, provided us with a safe and measured environment to improve our performance.
Overcoming Fear and Doubt:
As someone who had never considered me a runner, the thought of taking on a half marathon was intimidating. During the initial stages of my training, I could only manage 5K-6K distances, which made the idea of completing a half marathon seem even more daunting. However, I refused to let fear hold me back. With each training session, my endurance improved, and I gradually gained confidence in my abilities.
Race Day: Unforgettable Moments:
On the day of the Manchester half marathon, the weather was hot, with temperatures soaring above 20 degrees Celsius. The race route took us past iconic landmarks such as the Manchester City and Manchester United grounds, providing a scenic backdrop for our endeavour. The support from the people of Manchester was incredible, with kids offering high fives, pedestrians cheering us on, and strangers calling out my name thanks to the personalized detail on my running shirt.
The Challenges and Triumphs:
While the race was not without its hurdles, such as witnessing fellow runners succumb to the heat and observing a few sprained ankles, I remained focused on my own journey. With determination and perseverance, I pushed through and successfully completed the half marathon in an impressive 2 hours and 53 minutes. The sense of accomplishment I felt upon crossing the finish line was indescribable.
The Power of Giving Back:
The significance of my half marathon journey extended beyond personal achievement. Time Recruitment Solutions Ltd, the company I work for, participated in the run as a means to raise funds for Alder Hey Children's Charity. Running for a charitable cause added purpose and meaning to my endeavour, reminding me of the importance of corporate social responsibility and making a positive impact on the lives of others.
Weight Loss and Personal Transformation:
One of the remarkable outcomes of my half marathon training was losing over 4 kilograms. Regular exercise, combined with the commitment to training, led to positive changes in my body composition and overall well-being. This transformation served as a testament to the power of physical activity and highlighted the benefits of adopting a healthier lifestyle.
Running a half marathon for the first time was an incredible journey that tested my limits, pushed me out of my comfort zone, and taught me valuable life lessons. From training during Ramadan to running alongside my brother, and from experiencing the support of the Manchester community to making a positive impact through charity, every step of the way was amazing!