Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My first Half Marathon

I did it, I completed the Rock 'n Roll half marathon. I'm not gonna say I ran it, because I didn't, that is a whole different accomplishment. I'm just happy to finish. Why? Because that was the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life!!

I only trained for just under 5 months, and, for that short amount of time, I think I did pretty well. I was comfortable going about 6 miles and had gone 8.5 once. My goal in the half marathon was to run to 10, then see how I feel. I made it half way.

I should have taken the immodium they offered me.

I was hungry, I was thirsty, everything hurt. And just when I didn't think I could go any further, I passed the 20K marker and knew I was less than a mile away. I knew I had to make it, and I knew I had to run across the finish line. Here's a video of me crossing the finish line.

Action Sports International

I tell ya what though, running with a group like I did was the way to go. I got coached (which if I didn't have Sadie I would have taken advantage of the group runs every weekend) and weekly encouragements in my email. There was also one of our coaches near the end who came out and walked with me to make sure I was okay and that I didn't need anything. I didn't have to pay for registration. I got to meet at the children's hospital and ride the shuttle to the race, which is a big deal because there were like 60 thousand or something runners! I got to wear a special shirt showing that I was part of a team (even though I only saw one other person from my team on the course). And at the end I got food, water and gatorade, I got a place to sit and relax, and I got a mini massage!

I cried when I finished, mostly out of pain (you can probably see the anguish on my face if you watch the video closely), but by dinner time I was only walking a little more slowly than normal, and the next day I was hardly sore. At first I thought I'd be crazy to try something like this again, but now I want to train to run the entire thing (since I have a year instead of just 5 measly months to train). I think I can do it. I learned a lot from this experience. Next year (or next time) I will:

1. Run with a buddy. I saw a lot of people who were ready to give up, but their spouse/friend/dad/etc encouraged them to keep going. I think that would really help me.

2. Bring a granola bar. I saw a lot of people munching on something as they ran. That's probably what I needed to keep me going.

3. Make sure I've RUN the whole distance at least one time before. I had no idea how long 13.1 miles actually is!!

4. Take immodium. It sounds silly, and a little bit gross, but I think my tummy would have felt better if I had.

5. Wear more dryfit or nylon. I had cotton underwear and pants on, and I was SWEATY!!

All in all it was a good experience and I'm glad I did it. Thank you everyone for supporting me with your donation. I hope more people donate next year, there were a lot of my friends who didn't give and that made me a little sad. I'm trying to get Sadie to be the poster child for the event next year. And I'm also trying to get Brian to run with me!

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