This weekend I ran my first half marathon.
I loved it!
Although I registered months ago, this semester has been intense, and I really didn't train for the race much at all. I think the farthest I had run before the race was 5 miles. Maybe? If that. A half marathon is 13.1 miles.
So I just kind of assumed that the race was way too much for me. And then they sent out final preparation instructions and there was a whole paragraph about how they welcome walkers (which they defined as people who need 16 minutes or more per mile). People walking the whole marathon could register for early start, but everyone else would start at the normal times.
And, huh. I hadn't thought about walking. I knew that I do just fine in 5Ks, though, and they're 3 miles. So I decided I would run until I got tired and then walk until I felt like I could run some more, and the whole race would be just a little more than doing 4 5Ks in a row. Which sounded like a lot again. But I walk a ton every day, so I decided I'd go for it.
I was nervous the morning of. Also, I had only gotten 3 or 4 hrs of sleep the night before, because since I was planning on not racing I had gotten tickets to a comedian and magician, which didn't even start until 10p. So I was way tired. It was totally fine, though! I ran the first 4 miles without really walking much at all. After that, I started to get tired. By mile 8 or 9 I was walking more than I was running. But there was no point where I felt like I was dying, and I never felt like I might not finish. I felt like I was closer to then end than I was, and I think I ran the last mile and a half without stopping, because people on the sides kept telling me I was almost there.
People were suuuuper encouraging. They always are at races. I love the atmosphere. Total strangers cheer everyone on. When I was downtown, someone walking back from the finish told us that we just had four blocks down hill, and that was it! (Sooorrrrt of.) So I ran. And towards the bottom of the hill, I realized that the finish was probably farther, and started walking, but another guy leaving encouraged me and I started running again. And then, when I finally got to the finish line, we had to run all the way down the Gateway, and I was suuuuper tired, but the sides were lined with people cheering, so I kept going. It felt awesome to finish.
A couple of my favorite parts were:
1. At about mile 2, a girl with a prosthetic foot passed me. She was totally in shape, so obviously of course she passed me, but I felt way motivated because if she could be a hard core runner, I totally could too. It was kind of like when you're standing in line for a scary roller coaster and not feeling too sure about things and a 7 year old in front of you is all excited to go on it again because they've already been on the ride 4 times.
2. At mile...6? ish? a couple guys had brought a griddle out in front of their house, onto the side of the road. "BACON!" "BACON!" they called out to all of us passing by. So I went over to them and they gave me a strip of fresh bacon. Fantastic! The whole thing was totally random, and all of us running thought it was great.
3. Finishing! I finished in 2 hours and 48 minutes, which isn't really fast, but it's like a 12:30ish pace, which is totally reasonable, I think. Also note: I was not last! Or even close to last.
Today the pictures came up on MarathonFoto, which is way spendy to order from. Still, I think ordering pictures is sensible because, what, am I going to ask other runners to take my picture while I'm running? Not so much. I'm posting the two that I'll probably order. (Wahoo! My first 1/2 marathon!) The other pictures of me are not very flattering. I blinked in a few of them/ could barely get my feet off the ground, etc. The top picture is one I took while we were lined up to start. It was a sea of people!
So now I want to do more of these! My marathon training group is doing Hobble Creek (sp?) over the summer, and I think I'll also do the Provo River Trail 1/2 Marathon this summer, and then hopefully I'll get into St. George for a full marathon this fall. I'll find out in about 3 weeks.