I can’t believe it. I can’t believe I actually did it. I ran my first half marathon…13.1 miles on Sunday.
When I look back to the beginning of my training, almost 3 months ago, I was only running 3 miles at a time maybe 2-3 times a week. I didn’t have very much discipline and June 3 seemed so far off. About halfway through I remember thinking I have to start going much further or else I wasn’t going to make it all 13 miles.
I remember thinking after my longest training run thus far, 9 miles, that I could do it. I saw the benefits of my hard work pay off. I felt stronger, I ate better, I drank more water, I slept better, and I felt more energized. I remember feeling disappointed if I hadn’t run that day.
As you know I was on vacation for 9 days in which I did not run a single day. I hiked up lots of stairs and walked around many cities, but I hadn’t kept my heart rate up for prolonged periods of time. The first time I tried to run after my trip I felt my chest tighten up, my legs were sore, and I felt drained after only a few miles. In response I did exactly what they tell you not to do the week before your race. I ran almost every day up to 5 miles. I knew if I hadn’t that I would never make the leap to a half marathon. I took the day off before Sunday to give myself a break.
The night before I worked until 8:30 and came home and ate a pizza. I hydrated well and went to bed early. I woke up Sunday morning feeling very unfit. Maybe the pizza wasn’t a great idea. Nonetheless I wasn’t going to let this stop me. I got to the See Jane Run half marathon almost 2 hours before the start time. I watched as the course filled up with 1400 runners, mainly women, of all shapes and sizes.
As I lined up, I was incredibly excited. My mom was there cheering me on and everyone at the run was super supportive. The reason I chose the See Jane Run Marathon was because I loved the idea behind it. Joining thousands of other women runners to support breast cancer research. My mom is a breast cancer survivor of the last 15 years and I am so grateful she is still in my life, I wanted to run for her.
The first few miles of the run felt pretty good. Everyone was still pretty crowded and there were a ton of people cheering. At about 3 miles, the racers started thinning out a little bit; people falling behind and people passing me. I felt very comfortable with my pace and kept it steady. My legs started to feel a little right at around 5 miles. Right before the race I was still deciding if I wanted to run with music. At around mile 5 I was VERY happy I had music to keep me going. Right before the race I also didn’t know if I wanted to run with my race jacket. It was very cold when it started. At mile 2 I was glad I chose not to run with the jacket. By the end of the race it was almost 70 degrees.
The hardest miles were mile 7-11. There weren’t a lot of cheerleaders and I had never run further than 9 miles so my body was really being tested. But I kept my pace steady, turned up my music, and got my motivation from other people. Some people started to walk at this point. Walking was something I would not let myself do. I gobbled down a few of my chewies to give me energy and just focused on the beautiful scenery.
Finally it was the last mile. I was super excited that I had gotten this far and I could start to see other finishers so I started running a little faster. I’m fairly sure I was smiling at this point as well because I was so excited. I finished at 2:25:23. I did a 11:06 mile. My goal was to do with half marathon in under 2.5 hours and I succeeded!
After the race we received a champagne glass with champagne and chocolate. I took one sip of the champagne and threw it out. My body did not want anything but water. My legs were definitely tight and sore after the race. I did a little stretching and went to go have my lunch of champions: In n Out. The rest of the day I was exhausted. I went to be at around 8:30pm.
The next few days I was sore as well, but Tuesday I went for a run anyway. It felt pretty good and by Thursday I was fully recovered.
I can’t wait for my next half marathon. I’m really looking forward to getting faster now. Running has become addicting.