Monday, April 16, 2012

My first half marathon

Oh my goodness I was dreading this race!  I had been sick for the past 2 weeks.  I had missed 2 of my long training runs.  I was barely able to run at all last week.  I felt so unprepared.  I had hated every run I had ever done over 8 miles.  And the furthest I had run/walked was 10 miles.  I was scared and hating myself for signing up for this race.

Saturday I ran a lot of errands (one of which was picking up the t-shirt and bib for the race).  After church I was planning on going to sleep immediately.  But time got away from me and I ended up going to the grocery store to get some pasta around 8:30 pm because I felt like I needed some carbs in my system for the next day.  I had pasta with some spray butter, shredded cheese, sliced red pepper and some baby spinach around 9:30 and got in bed around 11.

I set my alarm for 4:45, but ended up waking up around 4:30 am and ate two eggo waffles with peanut butter and had some G2 to wash it down with. My nerves ALWAYS get to me and I have to use the bathroom before the race, plus I run best on an empty stomach, so I wanted to have plenty of time for my food to digest.  I took a shower and was ready to go at 6 am so we could be in line for the 7 am start. 

My friend Steph was running the race too and our friend Kristin came with us to cheer us on.  We stopped at a grocery store near the race to use the bathroom one last time.  There was a line.  We were told we could not park there for the race and had to move our car across the street to a bank parking lot.  We made it down to the race start line and I was hating life.  I did not want to do this at all.  We didn't have to wait too long and then we were off.

(I took no pictures, but saw this picture on a blog post I read.  I'm in the blue closest to the camera.  This was right at the beginning and I can not believe it looks like I am actually smiling.)

I will spare you all the details because most of the time I was just trying not to think too much.  Running is just as much (if not more) of a mental challenge for me as it is physical.  I kept a steady pace that felt comfortable for me.  My friend Steph was going to run the first half with me until I turned into the devil around mile 7 or 8 (as evidenced from our previous runs), but she was going a little too fast for me and I did not want to push myself when I had 11-12 more miles to go, so I just let her go around mile 2. 

The course was flat for the most part until we got to the first hill around mile 4.  I hate stopping to walk because it messes with my head, but I walked up that hill.  And then I told myself it was ok to walk up hills.  Well there were about 2-3 hills after that so I did way more walking than I probably should have.  Around mile 7 I finally decided to walk through a water station.  I was carrying a small water bottle but I had been coughing and hacking up stuff (which I'm sure was disgusting for the people around me) so I felt like I needed a little break.

Then I did a walking/jogging combination for the next 3 miles.  At about mile 10 I was walking a lot.  I would tell myself just jog to that no parking sign 100 ft. away or to the next intersection.  And sometimes I would make it and sometimes not.

I was really struggling the last 2 miles and could barely bring myself to jog at all.  But when I started seeing people with medals walking back to their cars as I got closer to the finish line I started jogging because I knew I was close.  As soon as I saw the time on the finish line clock was 2:44, I kicked it in to high gear just to try to get in under 2 hours and 45 min.  And I did!  My official time was 2:44:59. That put my pace at about 12:35 minute miles, which wasn't horrible for me.

At the end of the race I could barely walk and I can still barely walk today.  Yesterday I said that this race was the stupidest decision I have ever made and I would never do another one again.  Today I am thinking "what could I do if I wouldn't have gotten sick and gotten all my training in?"  I kind of want to do another one at some point, but not anytime soon.

Despite the torture it was really cool to get a medal and I  do feel somewhat accomplished having made it to the finish line!  When I first made my 30 Before 30 list I just wanted to run one 5K so it is pretty amazing that I have actually completed a half marathon!!


Jameil said...

You only feel somewhat accomplished? You should feel very accomplished! You had several tough weeks leading up to a race distance you've never tackled before and still finished under 2:45! Congratulations! My husband told me after my first 10K I'm too hard on myself. Very true. I'll be nicer to myself and you be nice to you, too! Great job!

Millie said...

You should be so very proud of yourself! That is amazing. Congratulations!!!

Shoshanah said...

Congrats on making it through and finishing!!! I'm so proud of you, because even though I know I probably could run a half if necessary, I'm not sure I could push my self to do to. So I think it's definitely a huge accomplishment for you, especially since you were feeling so sick in the days leading up to it.

The thin seeker said...

Congrats on partaking in the run even though you weren't thrilled about it and congrats for sticking it out and making it to the finish line.

You're an inspiration.

Can't wait until I write a post about my first 5Km race.

The thin seeker said...

Congrats on partaking in the run even though you weren't thrilled about it and congrats for sticking it out and making it to the finish line.

You're an inspiration.

Can't wait until I write a post about my first 5Km race.