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Walked My First Half Marathon, The Trailbreaker

Saturday, March 31, 2012

I walked my first half marathon today, the Trailbreaker in Waukesha, WI

Today was a dry, but cloudy and somewhat cool day with a high of 52, but if it got much above 45, I would be surprised. Didn't see any hint of sun, but no rain either. Only a little bit of cold wind, so much better than a few days ago was breeze/wind wise.

My "race" started at 9:30 AM and bib/race packet pickup was this morning. I planned to get there at 9 AM and have my hubby drive me. But he had banged up his toe real good (Luckily it doesn't look broken like my son and I have both done in the past two years, me in 2010 and my son in 2011.) and wasn't comfortable wearing shoes. So I had to drive myself, but it is in my town, so that isn't a problem. Only thing was I should have left earlier then, as I knew parking would be a nightmare, that was why I wanted him to drive me. I was there by 9:05 AM, but had to find a spot. The school across the street was a popular parking spot for runners, but a lady from the school started shouting at people pulling in, as the school had some kind of activity, so while I had already gotten out of my car, I went back and moved my car.

But then I had to walk at least half a mile to get to the start spot and the bib pickup table. I picked up my bib, and my timing chip and put them both on. (A bib doesn't work too well with a belt pouch that one moves around. I tore the darn thing up a bit.) Then I had to find a bathroom and my event was starting anytime. The first bathroom I knew of had a line, then the portapotties had an even bigger line. Found another bathroom with no line, quickly went to the bathroom and headed out. I saw a large group of runners starting and I knew my event started at 9:30 and the next wasn't until 10:30, so I asked someone standing there and she said it was the half marathon. So I joined the group and started, passing the start line and the photographer. Was nervous a bit, as I had no idea if I was supposed to be placed or needed to do anything with the timing chip, etc.

The miles went a bit faster than I am used to, if there mile markers were placed correctly. Once I got off the city sidewalks and to the bike trail, I put my ipod shuffle on and listened to my music. We had police directing traffic at all intersections which was nice. I think everyone thought this odd walker with the heavier layers and the big hat was just really weird. Was a bit nervous on the city streets to try and keep at least a runner in front of me whom I could see in case I got turned around or anything. I wanted to see which way I was supposed to be going. Once on the bike trail, I settled in a bit more.

Was fun watching the other half marathoners and marathoners coming back down the trail, as both went up and then back. The marathoners had to climb a huge tower and a large hill on their way too. Some sure looked like they were going to pass out, but most looked really strong and some great leg muscles, etc. Really only a few chunky people, but I like seeing some, as it can be somewhat inspiring to me. Anyone can do a half marathon, if they put their minds to it. (Now I see sunlight, wish we had had some this morning.)

After the turnaround I didn't see as many other people, mostly marathoners passing me. I started to feel a bit alone at that point and well, a bit crazy. I mean who in their right mind decides to WALK a half marathon? But I told myself, yes, at least once outloud, to just keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep going. A few songs came on my ipod that made me sing a tad too. It helped. I wonder if it is somewhat normal to have a down period sometimes during the 8th or 9th mile, as I have noticed on my treadmill during training that that is the hardest time for me. That is not quite close enough to done to say only a little to go, but one is starting to get tired. I could tell I was probably doing a faster pace then I had during training, as my right leg was complaining a bit more than normal. So I kept going.

Around 2 to 3 miles to go, I heard two people talking. The female felt it would be embarrassing to have to walk across the finish line. I do understand the feeling, but wish people didn't have that feeling. Bothered me a tiny bit. My legs kept bugging me a bit, but kept right on going. Nearing the finish line there was two kids who were waiting for someone else who started clapping a bit, which was nice. There really weren't many spectators. I crossed the finish line and was handed a medal and asked if I did the half or marathon and stated I walked the half. She said I had a good pace then, to which I replied I really had no idea. They took the time chip and I went inside and grabbed a banana, some water, etc.

Called my hubby after I sat a few minutes to see if he had come. I had told him to come at 1 PM, but had crossed the finish line at least 10 minutes or so before 1 PM. He answered the phone and had not come, as he still was not feeling very well. I dreaded walking that half mile back to my car to drive home. I slowly walked back to my car and came to the spot where I had stashed my goodie bag, when we crossed near where I had parked and my bag was gone, along with my race t-shirt. So they only thing I have from the race is the medal. Was looking forward to wearing the t-shirt. :(

My official time was 3:12:56 which is an average of a 14:44 minute mile which is quite a bit faster than I was doing the distance during training. So overall had a good day, but a tad annoyed that my goodie bag is gone and I didn't even see what was inside it. I also learned that I need to be earlier to these events in the future. They can be confusing at first. Oh, and glad I had my gloves with me! I kept putting those gloves on all morning, as it was a bit chilly.

Now I am curious on how my eating/calories will turn out for the day. I generally can eat about 1830, but will I need to eat a bit more this evening in order not to feel hungry. Did take a bath and take a pain killer and my legs overall are feeling better. :)
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    So glad you enjoyed your half! You do have a great walking pace. My average run pace is about the same as your walking pace.

    2576 days ago
    Skirnir.... AWESOME!!!
    2578 days ago
    I just read your blog... so happy to read this. I hope by the time I turn 50, that I will be walking at half marathon. Your pace was awesome... that is almost my "running" pace. LOL Thanks for posting this... very encouraging! emoticon
    2579 days ago
    Way to go!! I am very impressed! You truly are an inspiration to all!!
    2579 days ago
    emoticon I was thinking about walking one too!

    You're my inspiration. emoticon

    2579 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/1/2012 4:27:58 PM
  • FT4EVR
    Enjoyed your blog! I am a walker too. Did you use a race walking technique or normal walking but super fast? I could feel the nerves in driving there etc...I get that way too. Were there many walkers doing the half? And when you sign up do you just sign up as though you are a runner? I am not sure how that works. Too bad someone thought they needed to steal your stuff.....You earned it! GREAT Job!
    2580 days ago
    way to go!! Bummer on the goodie bag some people are so rude!!!!
    2580 days ago
    Awesome. You should be proud!
    2580 days ago

    I saw the marathoners go by on the bike path in Wales - felt sorry for them that they had to climb the tower for the turnaround point.

    As for the t-shirt, it wouldn't hurt to ask the organizers if they might have any extras (or if one was turned in).

    - Sunny
    2580 days ago
    I know you would've loved the t-shirt but guess what? They fade and get holes...the medal is YOURS FOREVER! WAY TO GO!!!
    And honestly, that is an awesome time! Super proud of you!!

    2580 days ago
    Skirnir, first, let me say, I am SO proud of you for getting out there and doing a half! That is terrific! Next, yes, completely normal (at least in my experience) to hit that wall a good chunk of the way through the race, for me it's usually around 9-10 miles. What a bummer about the goodie bag. I'm sorry that happened. But still, you DID it! Congratulations!!
    2580 days ago
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