Sunday May 1, 2011 I ran my very first half marathon. I have been really excited about this. My goal for the year was to complete a 10K but instead I did a half marathon. I have already been looking for another half to complete this fall.
I trained for three months for the half and still do not feel like I was fully prepared. Not only was the course hilly, but it rained a majority of the race. My goal was to run a mile, walk a minute, run a mile, walk a minute, etc. until the end of the race. It did not turn out that way. Here’s how it really went.
Mile 1 10:20
Mile 2 10:02
I didn’t want to start off too quickly, so this was a good pace for me. As I was running with the massive crowd, I was just enjoying the scenery. At one point I ran behind this BIG guy who had tidy-whites on the outside of his pants and they read ‘I hope you’re not following too close behind me, I just let a big one’. I just laughed and wished I had my camera on me! I saw a friend of mine on the side of the road videotaping. It was a pleasant surprise. He jogged with me just for a second and told me he was there to tape for his work. After I went on my way I told myself I would find the first mile marker and take my minute walk. I’m running and running and there is no mile marker to be found. I look down at my trusty (and wet) Garmin and discover that I’m already over two miles in. I hoped the rest of the race would go just as nice.
Mile 3 10:48
Mile 4 10:09
Miles three and four I ran and took in all of the people, signs, and bands on the sides of the road. I heard someone by one of the bands make a comment about how none of the runners could hear them anyway because they all had their iPods in. I realized she was right and was extremely glad I run unplugged. It was such a treat to listen to everyone playing and cheering and using their noise makers to cheer us on! I only took a brief walk during these miles.
Mile 5 11:54
Mile 6 10:38
Mile five was tough for me. As I mentioned earlier, this race was hilly! This was the first hill that I had trouble getting all the way up without stopping. I struggled a little but told myself that I was almost to the halfway point. Mile six I started feeling good again and told myself I could make it to the end! Yes, I really do give myself pep talks when I run.
Mile 7 12:49
Mile 8 12:04
Mile 9 11:24
Mile 10 12:21
Mile seven was by far the toughest mile of them all. Rain + steep hill = slow runner. Miles eight through ten did not get any better. I wanted to quit so many times during this period but I knew in the back of my mind I could finish this, even if it took a lot longer than I wanted. I kept seeing these t-shirts and it helped me tremendously!
Mile 11 9:28
Thank you Jesus for downhills! I used mile 11 as an opportunity to make up for lost time from the last four miles. Well, as much as I could at least. I was passing people left and right and wondered why they were not taking advantage of the downhill also. I got a fresh wind in me and really thought I could finish strong! The guy back on mile 10 said that was the last uphill. Well, he was a liar.
Mile 12 11:00
Mile 13 11:12
Back to the hills and back to a slower pace. I took a few walking breaks during this time and kept telling myself I was going to BOOK it as soon as I could see the finish line. I did just that. As soon as I saw the ‘Finish Swine’ I took off and pretty much sprinted the last little bit.
I crossed the finish line, put my hands over my face and cried. I don’t know if anyone else does this or not, but I cried at the last race I did too. They were both tears of joy. My previous race because I got a new PR and hadn’t even planned to try for that. This time because it was the farthest I have run before; and no matter how many times I wanted to, I didn’t quit and I finished. I cried because I passed a few people during the race that were on the sidelines with medics because they couldn’t handle the race and had to stop but I was strong enough and healthy enough to finish. I’m totally blessed and I was just flipping excited because I JUST FINISHED A HALF MARATHON!!! I was stoked when I saw that I got a medal just for finishing! I love running!
I walked through the runners area and headed out to meet my husband. He didn’t run but I guarantee he could have done it with no training and would have beaten my time with no problem. He was right at the end of the pack looking all handsome and holding a dozen roses for me. He melts my heart.
I finally put this little puppy on the back of my car. I was going to wait until the rain stopped and I could wash my car but it doesn’t look like that will be happening any time soon. It’s rained all week and there is rain in the forecast for the next seven days. Here is me looking really rough and soaking wet.
My final time was 2:27:09 which equaled to an 11:14 pace. Post race I took a nap and was SORE… but a good kind of pain. I can’t wait to do my next half! This time I think I will look for a course that is a little less hilly.