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First half marathon experience

Monday, May 07, 2012

I usually don't blog but I wanted to write down some of my thoughts about the half marathon so that I don't forget.

The race was this past Saturday. The weather was great. It started off in the low 50's with a projected high of 62. It was also emoticon In other words, great running weather for me. The race didn't start until 10 AM and I think I would have preferred an earlier start of 8 AM. I was up since 5:30. Not because I had to drive far or anything but I couldn't sleep anymore. I was ready to go and see if I could do this.

I run races with a friend who is faster paced than I am so we start together but always with the understanding that she will run her race and I will run mine. We just meet up again at the finish.

So we start. There are just under 600 people. I am hoping for 2:30. Not sure if it will happen. My longest trainging run was 12 and it took 2:19. But then I was doing 3 mile loops around the neighborhood: stopping home after each one to get a drink, wipe my face and stretch my quads.

In the 2nd mile, I find myslef running with another lady and we introduce ourselves. We ran miles 2 to 10.5 together. I am feeling great. Water/gatorade stations are nicely placed. Running with someone and making small talk helps pass the miles. I usually do my long runs with no music for 3/4 of it. I save the music for end for a special boost when I am lagging so it was nice to talk with someone.

It was an out and back course, so we got to cheer for the frontrunners after they reached the turn around. We ourselves reached the turn around at 1:08. I was thrilled to be headed back.

Things went smoothly until 10.5 when I started to cramp in one of my feet. Walking made it worse so I kept on running and eventually it wore off. Then I started to have troucble with my lower back and behind. All my muscles were so tight and painful. I had to stop and stretch several times. Somewhere in the 11th mile, I decided that I had to walk/run. I was disappointed to be sure. People I passed before were now passing me.

As I got closer to the finish. the race volunteers were great. I was joking and calling out "are we there yet?" and everyone was very encouraging. I almost caught up to the lady I was running with but when another spasm in my back started, I had to walk again for a bit so I never did get to see her again. I wanted to thank her. She had an awesome race because she said her best time was 2:36. She had to finish in less than that because she finished before me and my time was.....drumroll,please....


When I saw 2:22 and counting on the clock, I just pulled out something deep within me and gave it my all. I have never been so happy to finish in all of my life. It was tough at times but worth it.

I was a little cranky and out of it after the race. People were asking me when my next one was and all I could do is snort and roll my eyes.

But now that I have had some time to process it all, I probably will do another. It might not be this year though but I would do it again.

One thing I did learn is that I wasn't happy with having my longest training run stop at 12. For me, I think I should have started a few weeks earlier and overshot the distance by a mile or two as to be better prepared for those last tough miles.

Anyway, I am proud of myself. emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Great job!!
    2178 days ago
    Great job!!
    2178 days ago
    2178 days ago
    WOW!!!!! I'm totally impressed!!! I want to run a Half like that!!! I have ran 2 before but my goal time this one is 2:30 which for me means I need to take of 24+ minutes. I want it bad and it is not unitl November, so maybe I really can!!!! Loved your story!! It was GREAT and I am so proud of you!!!!! emoticon
    2178 days ago
    Nice job!!! I did my first HM a year ago and don't think I'll ever forget it. It was so much fun and such a challenge.
    2179 days ago
    Congrats - that's a great time. But I'm curious which HM it was. A 10am start is very unusual.

    12 miles is plenty for a training run for a HM. Even 10 miles is fine. But the important thing is that at the end of it, you should feel like you can run those additional miles; you should feel good! If you don't feel that way, then running the extra mile(s) isn't going to help. It's just going to make you feel like crap! Instead of building you up, it's going to wear you down.
    2179 days ago
    Way to go! I'm signed up for my first so I love hearing about other people's experiences with it.
    2179 days ago
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