Race Recap: My First Half Marathon!

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.

  1. Race Date: I wanted to run a half marathon as soon as I could be trained for it
  2. Cause: Where the fundraising goes is very important to me as a ‘humanitarian’ 
  3. Location: It needed to be within driving distance 
  4. Difficulty level: I wanted a nice flat, easy first race (reference the irony later)

Pre-race:

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.

Race:

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!!

Image

Post-race:

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

Reflection:

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.

 

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