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My First Half Marathon

Thursday, February 11, 2010

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… 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… 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… 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… 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!!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    A killer in-the-moment story. Thanks for the tremendous inspiration. Hope you don't mind the horrible California weather going across the Golden Gate (for real, it gets foggy and cool that time of year through "the Gate.") I live 50 miles south where the weather stays nice! Thanks again!
    3790 days ago
  • no profile photo CD7320022
    emoticon and what an inspiration you are for me! emoticon
    3790 days ago
    That is a great First Marathon story,, I will get to tell mine in Novenber after I finish the Philly 1/2,, I cant wait,, Thanks again emoticon
    3790 days ago
  • BARBIE66
    That was aesome.. you motivated me to start running as of today..
    3790 days ago
  • DAVEW175

    Great Job. You're an inspiration!

    3790 days ago
  • ROGUE_1
    p.s Hope you don't mind, I am going to add you as a buddy. Thanks again.
    3856 days ago
  • ROGUE_1
    I found your page through Kayakids and am so thankful I stopped by to read this blog. It was so uplifting and absolutely inspiring! I started running in May of last year and will be running my first half on 3/14. It frightens me to think about that distance and how the race is coming up so soon. I haven't run that far ever and my 10 week training did not have me run the full distance so I feel quite apprehensive. But after reading this, I am so excited and can't wait to cross that finish line. Thank you for the inspiration. Happy running and best wishes to you on all your goals now and in the future!
    3856 days ago
    Awesome job Kim! Congrats! If my body's up for it, I might join you in Vernonia :)

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    3874 days ago
    Great job Kim. You did an amazing job, especially by finishing faster then you thought. It's an amazing feeling to accomplish something like you did. Keep up the good work. I'm subscribing to your blog so I can read about all of your accomplishments. so proud of you. You inspire me!!
    3878 days ago
    Way to go KIM, congratulations! I have so been waiting for this blog! Sorry you had leg problems, but YOU DID IT! emoticon
    3878 days ago
  • TREESA57
    Absolutely mah-velous dah ling! oh so proud of you!
    3878 days ago
    OMG- how amazing!
    You took a licking and kept on ticking.
    I am so impressed, Kim.
    Congratulations on a great HM and for your perseverance!
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    3878 days ago

    What can I say that hasn't already been said? You did an awesome job running through the pain and sticking with your plan.
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    3878 days ago
    You are a machine! Great job!
    3878 days ago
  • SIM2008
    WOW, that is amazing!!! Congratulations on running a half AND beating the time you set for yourself and pushing through to finish the race!!!! You are an inspiration!!! I've started running and have done a 10k (which was to me much the same as your story here) and one day I hope to do a half. Your story lets me know that I can do anything I want if I put my mind to it and keep on going. Thanks for sharing!!!! :)
    3878 days ago
    WOW!!! what a fantastic finish and great run!!! I can't wait to run my first half...some day! I'll be watching for your future race reports~
    3878 days ago
    emoticon on your 1st HM and an amazing PR!! I wish I had known you were down here for the race, I ran it too, as did a group of Sparkers who had flown in from all over the country! We would have welcomed you with open arms!

    I had a similar experience last year at this same race - serious electric-shock type cramps in my calves ... I was unable to push through them and had a somewhat disappointing finish. I am so impressed with your tenacity! Not only did you push through the pain but you did it faster than you thought possible. emoticon

    Did you know if you run Long Beach in October you will qualify for the CA Dreamin' medal and jacket as well? Since you're already signed up for SF I thought I'd mention that... I did it last year and it was so much fun!

    Good luck on your upcoming races, and congratulations again.
    3878 days ago
  • no profile photo CD1425027
    Awesome job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now, are you addicted???? emoticon
    3878 days ago
    Great job, Kim! I'm even more nervous and excited about running my first 1/2 in May.

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    3878 days ago
    Kim, You rocked it but I have already told you that! Great job! I ove the one picture of you in the racing pose with one had on your garmin. so cool. I am so proud of you! I look forward to more training runs and of course Vernonia and possibly Victoria. I ove your new profile picture too. thanks for yopur friendship and I hope that it helped you on your half I know it did because my spark friends inspire me to do greater than I could do on my own. See ya Saturday

    3878 days ago
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    3878 days ago
    Holy WOW!!! WAY AWESOME!!! Thanks for sharing your accomplishment with us...Can't wait to hear what your time is for the NEXT one!
    3878 days ago
    Kim, your blog is a perfect inspiration for me. I am a sprint triathlete and I'm trying my first 1/2 marathon this spring and lately I've been freaking out about the distance. Running is not YET my favourite sport. I loved reading about your determination to finish even if you have to walk. Thanks for your perspective and motivation. Blessings, Jennifer
    3878 days ago
  • LISA0307
    Congratulations on your finish! You should be so proud of yourself. Your next half-marathons will be even better because you always learn from mistakes and you get to enjoy the moment even more. Keep running!
    3878 days ago
    Oh Kim, I am in tears here. What a wonderful accomplishment. You are such a determined woman - to run half of your race in great! I am so proud of you, and wish I was going to be there on Saturday to see you and give you a big old hug! Way to go Running Woman! (and by the way, 2:10 is an AWESOME time!)
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    3878 days ago
    Such a huge, amazing accomplishment! I have heard about a wall that you hit but somehow you make it through and well, you did amazing! Every time I see a photo of you, ou look smaller and smaller and now you look so tiny! I bet it feels wonderful! Congrats to you on all of your success!
    3878 days ago
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