Hastings Half Marathon

As you read this, I’m running the Hastings Half Marathon wearing some very special pink elephant bows made for me by fellow Sewist and Runnist, Scruffy Badger.

This race means a lot to me. I had a really bad running year in 2011 that culminated in a 10-mile race where I stopped running at mile 6 and started crying. I walked for five minutes, then reluctantly started running again. What else was I gonna do? I had no other way of getting home. I didn’t reach the finish line and feel euphoric. I felt totally fed up. Which meant that my desire to run in the memory of a recently deceased friend felt like a bit of a joke. I hadn’t done well by Margaret at all.

Of course, hindsight is a wonderful thing. There were reasons that race didn’t go well. I’d been dragging my behind around well-rehearsed, now-boring routes less and less often. My newly-discovered passion for sewing had definitely interrupted my training. I was isolating myself, travelling to the race and back on my own, not even talking to a single other runner. And still in shock from recent events, I’m not surprised that I needed a damn good cry.

But I wanted this year to be better. So I’ve trained. I made a point of exploring new routes that weren’t just laps from my front door. I ran to Liverpool Street, through Victoria Park, past Highgate Cemetery, through Cardiff and around the canal paths of Peterborough. I took myself out with Fehr Trade and Run Dem Crew, flailing at the back of the group. My one regret is that I didn’t manage to run on my weekend in Yorkshire because of a cold. Those hills would have been brilliant training for a hilly half marathon.

I’ll report back on how today went. Please send me your best wishes! It’ll keep me going, knowing you’re reading and possibly shouting at the monitor, ‘Go, Karen!’ (Please shout at the monitor. It will make me grin to think of you all doing this.)

I’m a plodder, but I’d like to finish the race and feel proud of myself. I’d like to not stop and walk this time and I’d certainly prefer not to cry like a baby! I’d like to do the right thing. When I feel myself losing heart, I’ll look down at my pink elephant bows. Thank you, Scruffy Badger – you don’t know how much this gift meant.

And after all that, I’m going to drink a really large glass of wine…

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

39 Responses to Hastings Half Marathon

  1. Tamsin says:

    Oh Karen, you brought tears to my eyes. Good luck, I really hope it goes well for you this time. If there are tears may they be ‘happy that you did it’ ones.

  2. Ashley0107 says:

    Go Karen!! Those cute little elephants are sure to keep you going 🙂 Good luck!

  3. Kerry says:

    Good luck and GO KAREN!

  4. Elisalex says:

    You are an inspiration. Gooooooood Luck and Well Done (in advance)!!!

    PS. Are you running in a Sorbetto??

  5. GO KAREN GO!! Hope you had a splendid run today and flaunted those pink elephant bows with pride!

  6. Go Karen!! I am trying so hard to learn to enjoy running. I hope you found your groove and had a wonderful race.

  7. Katy says:

    You’re a trooper! Good luck Karen.

  8. Threadless says:

    Whoop, whoop! GO KAREN!! What a lovely way to explore all of the amazing places you go. Wishing you good luck and fleet feet in Hastings x

  9. Joanne says:

    I shouted! You’ll be great – you’ve got your run-faster-bows on girl! xxx

  10. Felicity from Down Under says:

    It’s late at night here and the rest of the family is in bed, so I whispered at the monitor – but really, I’m shouting, GO, KAREN. HIT THE TURBO BUTTON! I’m shouting with everyone else. Can you hear us all?

  11. Gaylene says:

    Go Karen! Go elephants! Hope it’s lovely and sunny for you.

  12. Lene says:

    You girls are absolutely wonderful – all out there running long distances – you are an inspirattion to me both as fantastic dressmakers but now also as brilliant runners – go Karen! And Winnie is also running and making impressive times. Karen, Melissa and Winnie – I have great admiration and respect for you ladies.

  13. pfctdayelise says:

    haha yes! polyester Sorbetto is in order! best of luck Karen 😀

    Shouted at the monitor by Louis and I! Oh my friend, if anybody can do this you can, I KNOW it. Keep looking at your badger/elephant bows to spur you on. You’re amazing and you WILL complete this race. Xxxx

  15. Elle C says:

    Even though when I am writing this, you are in all likelihood finished the race, I am screaming at you internally (6:40 am here). Hope you did well.

  16. Elizabeth says:

    Just one glass of wine? 😉

    I hope the race went well today. I run, but have never raced. Kudos to you!

  17. Fiona says:

    GO KAREN! It’s such an achievement to even have trained for the thing! I’m in awe of anyone who can run any distance! Hope it went well!

  18. Miriana says:

    Dear Karen, I did shout “Go Karen!” at the monitor! I hope the race is going/ went well, I think you can in any case be proud of your strength of character and determination!

  19. Wendy says:

    Well done you! I hope you had a good run. You are a real inspiration 🙂

  20. Lynne says:

    GO KAREN!!!!!! 🙂 You’ve probably finished by now, but I hope it went really well. The pink elephant bows are fantastic, and are bound to have helped!! 🙂

  21. Graca says:

    I never shout at my monitor, but here goes, “GO KAREN!!!” Enjoy the run and your celebratory glass of wine.

  22. liza jane says:

    Woot woot! Go Karen!

  23. Anna says:

    Just the fact that you are running this race is great! I could never aspire to such a goal, so I live vicariously through you. GO KAREN!!! and enjoy that glass of wine no matter what your time is…

  24. oonaballoona says:

    i literally just shouted out loud at the screen with both fists in the air.


    and drink drink drink with scruffy’s lovely elephants when you’re done!

  25. Carly says:


  26. silvia says:

    Go Karen! I’m sure you did wonderfully!

    I’ll buy your first round 😉

  27. CGCouture says:

    Go Karen! Break a record (or at least personal best)!!! 🙂

  28. Roobeedoo says:

    Run Run RUN RUN RUN WOMAN!!! The Pink Elephants are chasing you!!!!

  29. Bold Sewist says:

    I hope by the time I am writing this you are enjoying your much deserved large wine after a great race – I’m so impressed!

  30. gingermakes says:

    Yay, hope the race went swimmingly! I’m sure you must’ve gotten some good luck from the pink elephant brigade!!

  31. shivani says:

    hope it went well! I am belatedly shouting “Go Karen! GO!!!!!”. And those pink elephants rock! x

  32. Karen Marie says:

    You rock! Didn’t read this til almost 2 pm Central Time ( which I believe is 8 pm in London). My daughter and I shouted at the screen to Go Karen! Since you are done racing, feel free to save it for the next time you need a cheering section and there isn’t one around!

  33. Now I didnt catch this in advance, but all day yesterday & all day today I was thinking of you & am so glad to see the post you posted today ….but had to comment here just to let you know I didnt need to read this to be spurring you on!! Go faster elephants & all. I’m proud of you 🙂

  34. symondezyn says:

    I know I’m late but I’m sending my Canadian good race energy your way to stockpile for the next time! Love the pink elephant bows! 🙂

  35. Alessa says:

    I’m a bit behind on my blog reading, but: Go, Karen! 😀 Hope the race worked out to your satisfaction!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.