On Sunday, I ran my first half marathon, and what a fun experience it was! With no expectations and not exactly sure of how to pace myself (I was running with friends until I lost them, then I was lost without anyone to help pace me...), I finished just under 2 hours at 1:57. Considering I had never run this distance before, I was quite pleased with my finishing time. More than this, though, I was happy with the way I completed the run.
Having never run 21km, I was concerned with how I might handle such a distance. As my friends who were also racing told me, the first few kilometers would feel easy. They did. We were all moving at a slow and steady pace. It really felt like a warm-up. From 4 to 12km, I felt super strong, with a little hunger pain at 8km (I didn't want to try anything new the morning of the race, so I stuck to my usual pre-run banana for breakfast). At 12km I felt so good that I think I ran the next couple of kilometers a bit too hard (running up a slight incline at 12km is also where I lost my friends). By 14km, I had to back off a little until about 16km, at which point I told myself that I only had 5km to go (piece of cake, right?). With only 5km to go, my legs were starting to feel tired, but I knew I had already run so far, that 5km was nothing. At this point, everything about the race was mental. I ran on, at 18km telling myself that I was nearly there, and at 20km, sprinting for the last 1km to the finish line. I probably wasn't sprinting very fast, but I gave it my all and was really content with my efforts. So much so, in fact, I don't think I'd run it again....Really, though! It took two days of lots of stretching and soaking in Epsom salts for my legs to fully recover. I don't know that my body could handle another race like this one, or even if it could, I don't know if I'd want to put that kind of stress on my body again! That said, I'm really glad that my friend T encouraged me to run the race. Now I can say that I've run a half marathon and be proud about it.
Thanks to all of my running buddies for being so supportive throughout the training process--I couldn't have done it without you!
Do you have any race experiences? I'd love to hear about them!
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