If you would have told me a year and a half ago I’d run a half marathon I would never believe you. Even six months ago I questioned whether it was actually possible for me to run 13.1 miles at one time.
I completed my first half marathon on Saturday June 14th and loved every second of it
Choosing a race:
I chose this particular race for several reasons.
- Race Date: I wanted to run a half marathon as soon as I could be trained for it
- Cause: Where the fundraising goes is very important to me as a ‘humanitarian’
- Location: It needed to be within driving distance
- Difficulty level: I wanted a nice flat, easy first race (reference the irony later)
I traveled a couple hours away for this race and ended up staying in a hotel the night before. I arrived in time to pick up my bib and t-shirt before checking into the hotel where I met up with my parents. Dad and I returned hurriedly to last-minute register him for the 5k (hey he was there might as well race). Afterwards we drove the course (VITAL). The goal was to start visualizing the race. I was SO glad we did this because the race was freakin HILLY. It was hilly.
Morning of we got up early and got dressed. On the way to the car I grabbed a small cup of coffee from the hotel lobby and ate my pre-race breakfast on the way there.
I was pretty calm going into the race because though I had a loose goal of sub 2 hours, it was my first race so my only real goal was to do my best and finish 🙂
My coach emphasized pacing and going out slower than my race pace so I did just that. Miles 2-4 were uphill.. like out-of-breathe, sweating, barely-felt-like-I-was-running uphill. And I didn’t just feel that way, I must have looked it because a nice new friend checked in with me.
After that it was smooth sailing. I didn’t stop at all and slow jogged through a few of the water stations when I needed water. Mile 6 (bottom of a hill) I took a gel.
Mile 7 I knew I needed to be around 1:03 to get a sub 2 and I was at 1:04! At this point I knew I just had to keep my pace and I’d get a good time
Somewhere around here we passed right by a nice big group of cows 🙂
Miles 11-13 were hillier than I had anticipated and really slowed me down as they were also completely exposed to the beating sun
I finished in 2:00:34!!
I definitely left it all behind on this race and was completely out of breath and thirsty passing the finish line. I kept walking for a longg time after finishing because it felt like if I stopped my legs would just give out.
My dad’s race began and we walked around then came back to watch him finish. Trying to motivate him (he hates this) I ran the last .1 with him because I knew he wanted a PR.
I got a nice leg massage courtesy of the sports medicine crew 🙂
We ate some free food of course before eventually heading out
I loved the race. Many people say they hate races during but love them after; I loved this race during. So far, 13.1 is my favorite race distance. I love that you can really get into your groove.