My First Half Marathon and so much more....
The night before:
I finished my first half marathon on Sunday….what a journey!
I got to California on Friday. It was pouring down rain…..Saturday came….it was still raining…all I could think about was here we go….I get to run my first half marathon in the rain….I live in the rainiest state in the country so it shouldn’t matter, but being from California I went there to get away from the rain! It never rains in California…well I guess it does sometimes…lol!
Fast forward to Sunday morning……it was absolutely gorgeous…. 20,000 runners were entered in the marathon or HM so we decided to get to the race by 5:30am….I was there with Chuck and Liz – friends I met through my husband 20 years ago. The sunrise was beautiful; the sky clear, it was cool but not too cold….I was in heaven….it was going to be a great run. I was not nervous at all just excited.
It was finally close to race time so we walked up to get in our wave. I had signed up for the 2:10 to 2:20 wave figuring I would finish in about 2:16. Chuck and I were about the same pace. Liz started a couple of waves later (and I might add she is somebody who has never been a runner, just started training two months ago, and ran the race in an 11mm pace….she’s amazing!!)
Before we knew it we were off…..the first 3 or 4 miles felt great….we were clipping along at about a 8:40 to 9 mm pace…about mile 4 there was a hill…no problem we both flew up it then we got to run down it…..at mile 5 there was a water station and I should have taken some water, but I felt great so I didn’t……that’s when the trouble started for me….right after I passed the water station both calves instantly cramped….wow…I’ve never felt anything like that before…..my stomach also was not cooperating. I ran another mile before I finally had to wave Chuck on and stop to use the restroom….got past that and could hardly walk let alone run, but there was no stopping me….I tried running a little differently so my calf would stretch…..it helped a little.
It was all a mind game from there. I decided that I was not going to stop unless they carried me off the course…so I kept going….it hurt more to walk then to just keep running.….I made sure I grabbed a water and vitalite at every station and as long as I kept moving I knew I would make it. I was running through my mind that a 2:30 finish would be respectable for my first HM and at least I didn’t quit….I couldn’t let myself and all my wonderful friends who have been so supportive down. My music helped me get lost in the moment too….by mile 10 I did walk a little…again it was torture to start running again…I don’t remember much from mile 10 until mile 13….My splits for those miles were a little over a 10mm so I must have still ran more than walked.
I remember looking up and seeing the finish line….I was going to start to walk again, but then I heard the crowd. As I approached the end there were so many people cheering us on I couldn’t stop so I just kept running…..then I looked at the time….2:10….I quickly looked at my watch and it said 2:07 it has an auto pause feature that probably stopped when I went to the restroom… .I still didn’t believe it, I thought there was a mistake….I was in so much pain I didn’t really enjoy the moment, but I had to get to the expo area and find the results tent. They had it set up so you walk over a sensor and a computer flashed your time…..it said 2:10!!! Wow- I finished 6 minutes faster than my goal for the race….
My first half marathon was one of the most physically and mentally challenging things I have done due to the pain ….but more rewarding than you can imagine….I did it….13.1 miles…..!!! Those weight loss demons are now behind me….I just have to make sure they never catch up again…..I now know I can prevail no matter what tries to stop me….. I just have to keep moving forward.
I just signed up for the San Francisco Half Marathon on July 25th……..I get to run across the Golden Gate Bridge……and I’m going to do the Vernonia Half in April….ok….yes….I’m addicted….and a great high it is!!!
Oh by the way…..I have a renewed appreciation for Marathoners….you rock!!
Sorry...I don't have a finish picture...I did get a cool surfboard medal!!