Friday, April 20, 2012

My First Half-Marathon

I met one of my goals. I ran survived a half-marathon last Saturday called Rock the Parkway.

I have been training for this run for a while now. I definitely didn't run as much as I should some weeks. Couple weeks I got sick, I didn't run then either.

About two weeks before the race, I started to really step it up. I had to get new shoes too because I was getting bad shin splints! Two weeks before the race is too late to train for a half-marathon. I could run about 5 – 6 miles, but I’m not even half way there yet! The Sunday before the race, I ran up to 8 miles, not as long as I’d like, but the batteries on my phone were dying. I use my phone as my mp3 and gps system. I probably could have ran longer and just did without the mp3, but I always like to have a charged phone with me when I go out running for emergencies.

I got some tips from my friend Jason who is a marathon runner and triathloner (is that even a word? I’m using it now!). I stayed close to my pacer. My goal was to run 2:30, but I would be happy with 2:40 too.
The morning of the race, I parked a bit aways from the start line. If you know me, I will talk to just about anybody. I talked to a girl that was walking behind me, and this wasn’t her first half-marathon, like me. She gave me a recommendation to stop at every aid station, and alternate water and Gatorade and to stay close to the pacer.

If I was going to be running for over two hours, I had better take a quick potty break! I stood in line at the port-a-potties, and there was a lady that was about in her 70’s. She was so cute! We chatted for a little bit, she said that this was the easy half-marathon, start with uphill half way through, and downhill the rest of the way. That’s good, right? Work hard half way, and when you’re tired… let gravity help you.
I got with the running crowd and found the pace that I want to be in. I stood pretty close to my 2:30 pacer. The horn went off, and we started walking to the start line. As we were running, I was feeling pretty good. It wasn’t too bad, just stuck it out with the pacer. I thought I could totally do this, nothing to it, right?
A bit after mile 8, I was getting pretty tired. I was in front of the pace group, but I couldn’t anymore. I was getting tired. I’m not sure if I pushed myself too hard in the beginning, but it didn’t feel like I did. I got to the back of the group. I ran with a co-worker (who was also doing this race) the rest of the way to the finish line.
Many times I thought of what the 70 year old lady said about the rest was downhill. I had no idea what she was talking about! The race was a loop, but the whole time felt like uphill or no hill. It definitely felt like the downhill started at mile 13!

I definitely survived! It was not easy, but it was worth it. There were times when I wanted to just walk, but my co-worker was like, “come on Nicole!” This was her first half-marathon too. She really kept me motivated. My left pinky toe started to hurt around mile 11. It still hurts as of today, which I'm going to see a chiropractor later today for it.

The boys didn’t come because I know they can’t sit still for 2:30 hours. They also had music class, so S took them to that. By the time I was done with my run, they had just finished class.
All I wanted to do when I got home was take a nap! When the boys went down for their afternoon nap, I went and took an Epsom salt bath, and then a nice little nap! The Epsom salt bath really helped! My muscle pains were not as bad as they were when I came home.

You're probably asking, Are you going to do another half-marathon?

There were times during the race where I was thinking to myself, “Why did I even sign up for this?” “This is torture!”
Then after the race, the only thing on my mind was how tired I was.
And now, I have decided to sign up for another half-marathon in May. So yes, I am going to be doing another half-marathon.
I put this whole running race thing like child birthing. You ask yourself during the process and the pain on why you do this to yourself and how you’ll never do it again! … Then what happens?! You have another and another and another. Lol

Here is a picture of me running. It looks like I have a smile on my face, doesn’t it?

I am probably thinking "Downhill! Where have you been this whole time?!" 

Oh yes, I forgot to mention my results!  2:31:28 - I didn't make it at 2:30, but i think 2:31 is close enough for me. I'm happy with it.

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