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My first half at 53 . . . Helen Holiday Half Marathon

Friday, December 20, 2019

I'm so excited! I did my first half marathon this past Saturday. It was cold. It was beautiful! It was long! It was wonderful! It was horrible! It was an experience and I cannot wait to do it again.

So here I was two weeks away from my first half marathon when my friend that talked me into signing up texted to tell me she couldn't make it. A mild panic set in.

Then the Monday before the race the email from the race director came stating the cut off was 4 1/2 miles into the race -- cut off time of 75 minutes. No problem I usually would be thinking. But I had a brief moment of panic (which turned into a sleepless night of my worrying about that cut off) becuase I'm slow and I suck on hills. So I laid awake and tossed and turned thinking "will I make it?", "I should have trained more", "I should have trained harder", "I should have trained longer", "I should have trained faster", "I should have trained on more hills", All the "should haves" flowed through my brain when I knew it was too late to do anything about it.

And finally here we were. Race day! Thankfully the rain had moved out. it rained ALL of the previous day. I was up bright and early at 0400. Dogs were talked and coffee drank. I wasn't too nervous. I ate my usual pre-race food, peanut butter & jelly sandwich. I filled my hydration vest with a water and added my gu & roasted chickpeas along with a portable battery charger and off I went.

I met a FB friend before the race. We live in adjoining towns and have talked on FB but never met face to face so that was nice and it got my mind off the race.

Then we lined up. I saw these ladies, don't know who they are but I loved their shirts.

And off we went. I didn't stop to take any pictures until after I reached the cut off point. I am happy to say that I made it there in plenty of time. I even stopped for a potty break (becasue it wasn't a portapotty!) before heading onward.

Up the hill by the waterfalls we went.

Feeling good and enjoying my run. Then I hit the line of single trail and was stuck in with a line of people. That may be my least favorite part of the run. Over rocks and fallen trees, across two streams, up and up and then down the hills. The first part of the race was 80% uphill which was brutal. The last half 80% downhill which would be great except I was so tired I only ran about half of that. UGH! Definitley need more training.

By now I was hungry again so I grabbed my little snack size ziplock of roasted cajun chickpeas and munched as I continued on. Maybe cajun wasn't the best choice becuase it opened up the sinuses and then I had to stop to dig through my pockets for kleenex. Oh well . . . live and learn.

I was so tired by the time I took this picture that I remember thinking "Why do I even do this . . . I'm never doing this again".

And then there I was . . . crossing the finish line and being handed my finishers medal and glass of beer. Woohoo!

Yipee! I did it! I was sooooooooo excited! But I couldn't wait to get to the car and head out to Starbucks. I wanted something warm!

My shoes weren't too bad considering the previous day of rain.

Done and heading home where I was going to shower and go to bed with no plans to move the rest of the day.

But do you know what? I showered, took a short power nap, and then got up and started looking at the races I want to do in 2020. I mean, if you run a half marathon then there are only two things to do, right . . . run it again next year and beat your time (almost 3 1/2 hours so I can definitely do better!) and run some longer races.

Run on . . .

PS I didn't train more than a 7 mile run before I ran this but I did run regularly and surprisingly wasn't very sore after this.

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