First Race Since Heart Surgery

22 Feb

So, after much training, heartache and frustration, the day finally arrived for me to race again. The Brighton half marathon was my first ever race when I was very new to running back in 2007. It seemed a fitting race to aim for this year, given that I had to cancel my place last year.

I felt my training had really come on in the last few weeks when I had commited to regular runs, upped my long run mileage and had been back to my triathlon club runs once a week. If I wasn’t ready for the half marathon now, I never would be. On a recent study day, I was coached by a fellow coach who is also a runner / triathlete. He made me think about my nerves about racing, address my limiting beliefs about achieving my target goal and put together a strategy for the big day. This involved visualising the finish line, taking my iPod with me, running with a friend to pace me, amongst other things.

The day before the race, I spent the day in Brighton with friends, trying very hard not to get nervous. Butterflies were flying everywhere in my stomach and I just couldn’t relax. After an lovely pasta meal, we headed back to our hotel for an early night. I struggled to get to sleep and when I did, I dreamt I died and was floating round as a ghost! Disturbing!

All went to plan in the morning, with a good breakfast and arrival at the start line in time. My focus was on maintaining a steady pace – 9 minute miles for the entire course. I was determined to say the least.

Once the gun went off, I held back slightly, not being tempted to lurch forward with the crowd of eager runners. Running with my friends, we soon found our pace and I felt surprisingly comfortable at 8:50 min/miles. Around the course, I had several moments where I battled with tiredness but I soon shook these off when friends waved at me in the crowd. Knowing the course and area helped me and I reminsced about running in Brighton whilst training for my first London marathon. I felt overwhelmed at how much things have changed in the last 4 years.

At 12.5 miles, fatigue really kicked in. The first doubts about not finishing strongly came over me. My friend pep talked me to the max and I somehow continued my pace…all the way to a 1:57:04 finish. I couldn’t have been more pleased! It was the most incredible feeling to have achieved my goal, having never experienced this before. Whilst I had completed a marathon and felt ok, I had never achieved a time I was proud of. Until now!

A day later, I am still glowing and get little bursts of happiness when I think of what I’ve done. 8 months after heart surgery, I am feeling stronger than ever. I just can’t wait for the London marathon and an exciting summer of triathlons. I am now the proud owner of my ellasport outfit and can’t wait to try them out – photos coming soon!

Bring it on!!! :)

Brighton half marathon

Brighton half marathon

Brighton half marathon

Brighton half marathon

Brighton half marathon

Brighton half marathon

11 Responses to “First Race Since Heart Surgery”

  1. Matt Fisher 22. Feb, 2011 at 2:30 pm #

    Excellent post Corinne and congrats on a fab result. You’ve got no excuse not to keep improving now! :)

  2. nickrunner 22. Feb, 2011 at 2:40 pm #

    Congratulations, Corinne!

  3. Corinne 22. Feb, 2011 at 2:44 pm #

    Thanks Nick!

  4. Corinne 22. Feb, 2011 at 2:45 pm #

    Thanks Matt. You’re so right! No excuses. At all :)

  5. Vince Samios 22. Feb, 2011 at 3:30 pm #

    Super Awesome Effort! I can’t run half a mile, let alone however many a half marathon is!

  6. Dan 22. Feb, 2011 at 10:31 pm #

    From the looks of that smile, I’d say running you’re running with new heart these days. It’s really an unfair advantage to be able to appreciate the opportunity to just run – in a way that those who haven’t had heart surgery will never understand. Congrats Corinne! You’ve come a long way since that short, breathless first post-op walk. You’re my hero. Keep setting a strong pace!

  7. Jim @bikerly 04. Mar, 2011 at 12:25 pm #

    Wow Corinne, you are a huge inspiration and have a ton to be proud of.

    I’m proud of you!
    Congratulations. Keep going :)


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