I've ran my first ever Half-Marathon...Now What?!?!
As many of you know, I started this blog as a way to keep myself accountable while training for my first 5k 2 years ago! I've fallen off the running wagon a couple times and have neglected this blog. I think the main reason this has happened is because I pick out a goal, work towards it, then once attaining my goal I don't know where to go from there.
I'm stuck in the same situation once again. I set a goal to run a half, I trained for it, and now finally accomplished running a half!! What now? I know that as of now, I have no desire to run a full marathon. I don't think I have enough time in the day to properly train for a full. Not to mention I just don't think my body is made for a full right now. I would like to lose 50 lbs before even thinking about running a full.
I've decided I need to sign up for another half. Even though I am super proud of myself for finishing I think there are still some things I'd like to work on. During the Summer one of the running groups I am a part of does track runs. I think that doing these weekly runs will help with my speed. With the track runs, and a long distance run on the weekends, I think I can work on my speed as well as endurance. I don't want to set a goal time for the next half but, I'd like to improve my time. I'm giving myself about 3 months to do this!! I think it's attainable and I think it will help keep me on track.
I've also signed up for two races that mean a lot to me this Summer. The WDF 5k was my first ever 5k since my high school cross country days. The Liberty 5k was also pretty significant because it was my first race that I actually made me believe I could continue improving. I ran with a friend during that race that has pushed me to do things I never thought I could since that race. I can't wait to run it with her again!
At the WDF in 2010
My question to all of you is, Do you set mini goals? Do you set long term goals? Do you run for fun or weight loss?
Wahoo!! I made it! I finally crossed the finish line to my first half marathon! If you couldn't tell, I am still on a runner's high!
This past weekend has been filled to the brim with excitement, nervousness, support, friendship, tears and laughs. It all started Saturday night with a 5k run at the Frederick Running Festival. I had made a last minute decision to participate in the run. I went into the mind frame that I was only going to run it at a slow relaxed pace so that I don't accidentally do harm to myself the night before my half. It was a pretty humid night so it made it even easier on me to run it relaxed and slow. Finishing the 5k along with the half would gain me a special medal dubbed "The Nut Job" medal. It was a fun run with great friends from my local running group.
(The ladies who participated in the 5k I'm 5th from the left!)
After the run I went home got all my gear ready for the half, showered, set my alarm, and headed to bed. When my alarm went of the next morning my stomach was in knots. I was so completely nervous and secretly wanted to not go. Was my training sufficient enough, did I hydrate enough, do I have everything I need for this race? Pre-race jitters at it's highest.
I left my house to pick up a friend of mine who was also running the Half. (Her 1st too!) I was actually somewhat settling down with her there to take my mind of the race. As my friends and running buddies starting arriving it started getting more and more real. This was really happening! After lots of hugs, good luck wishes, and group pictures we were ready to take our place in the sea of runner's at the starting line.
(My group of amazing friends. A lot of them also running their first! I am again 5th from the left in the top row!)
The national anthem was sang and I headed off on my 13.1 mile run. At about mile 2 my worse fears had come true, my shorts (Which I tried running in only the day before) started to ride up. With the misting of rain and humidity, I guess it caused some slipperiness to cause them to keep slipping up. Seemed like I was spending most of my time stopping to pull them down as well as, crying to myself this chaffing crap hurts. Even though I body-glided the hell out of my legs it did not help. Although I was in pain I needed to keep going. About mile 5 I seemed to hit a bit of a small wall but, was helped out with a water stop and, some Strawberry banana Gu! (Which by the way was so gross!) Through out all my training I had never run in humidity like the day of the half. I felt very sluggish. That Gu carried me a couple more miles. Seeing all of Frederick cheering us along was so motivating. People I had never met before, cheering at me to keep going not give up. I was getting emotional and kept telling myself I have to do this!! Don't give up, push through! At mile 9 I knew I had to start pushing harder and finish this thing. Took another Gu, (This time a yummy Chocolate Mint) and water stop and pushed my pace faster.
Along the course I met a girl who had just completed a half marathon less than a week before, and this one would be only her 2nd. She was very helpful with keeping me motivated until mile 11. At that time my mind was starting to take over. It was telling me I couldn't do it, I needed to stop and walk or lay down. Right as I was about to walk up this horrible hill about a mile away from the finish here comes a friend who had already finished to come help me finish. She helped me run up that hill. Motivating me to keep moving. As we enter the final stretch another friend comes and joins us. She says to me, "Push hard! Do it for all that can't" At that moment I thought about everything that got me to that point all the training I put in to this, all the friends and family that were supporting me and cheering me on, about my sister in law and others who are battling so much more. I finished an emotional mess but STRONG!!
(Here I am in the middle, crying, blowing kisses to my friends, and laughing)
I may not have been fast, I may have walked a couple times but, damn it..I finished!!! I conquered something I set out to conquer and I am very proud of myself.
I have come a very long way since starting this blog back in 2010 when I was training to run my first 5k. I have fallen off the running wagon a couple times but, I have finally made it!!
The taper running has begun, water is being guzzled, nutrition is in check. Oh, and the nerves are at it's highest. All signs my very first half marathon is approaching.
I haven't been able to update my blog as much as I have wanted too through this experience but you know being the super cool mommy that I am and, shoving in running time has pretty much taking up all the time I have left. I already don't sleep enough as it is.
I ran 12 miles as my last training run the other day. It was painful but, I made it. Last weekend I decided to start my taper running with an easy 7 miles on Sunday.
My anxiety level about this race is super high. I am sure that is normal. I remember the nerves for my very first 5k and I laugh at that now. As nervous as I am, I am just as excited!! I can't wait to cross that finish line to finally accomplish a huge goal of mine. This will be the culmination of all of my training over the past few months.
I am jotting down my goals for this race! -Finish -Finish in 3hrs
- Finish with out having to walk
Some of you may laugh at that time but that's my goal and I will be super proud of myself if I can accomplish it!
And if a half marathon isn't already enough, I've decided if there are spots left for the 5k on Saturday I will be doing that one as well. I had been batting around the idea for weeks now and thought well, if there are openings then it's meant to be. The 5k is a night run dubbed at "The Nut job 5k" because of course you have to be nuts to want to run a 5k only 12 hours prior to a half marathon. My thoughts are why not, there is no rule saying I have to go all out for the 5k. I'm going to go in it at a safe pace and use it as a run to get my muscles lose for the half. Did I mention you get another medal for completing both!! Oh yes, the hardware got me!! ;)
I'll check in closer to my actual half time! I'll leave you with some picture's of those awesome medals!!
I am not a physician or a doctor. Any information provided in this blog is not intended to cure or diagnose any injury or illness. Any information taken from this blog is done so at your own risk. By reading this blog there is an implied agreement that you will not hold the author liable in any manner. ~Shannon Hamilton