Well, today was my first half-marathon! I had been pretty nervous about it but it ended up being AWESOME! My dad and I ran it pretty slowly since it was our first one, so instead of feeling exhausted at the finish, I felt great.
We woke up very early (5 am) and left for downtown to find a parking spot. Then we waited impatiently for the next hour and a half for the race to start. There were so many people at the race (approximately 18,000) that we didn’t cross the starting line until twenty minutes after the race had started. The weather was just perfect – cool, in the upper 60s/low 70s. Once we started running, I felt very energetic and would have started off too fast had it not been for my dad reminding me that we had 13 miles to go. I’m glad he did that because I am notorious for taking off too fast and then struggling at the end of a run. And just like he promised, we passed a lot of people up. I was pretty surprised at how many people were walking early on in the race. At around mile 3, we ran by this one walker. I overheard her saying she was doing the marathon and was already tired. If you’re already tired by mile 3, that is not a good thing.
There were a lot of spectators cheering us on, which was really cool and put a smile on my face. My favorite pair of spectators were two guys blaring “Eye of the Tiger” on their front lawn and pumping their fists as we ran past them. It was funny because a lot of the spectators were saying stuff like, “ELEVEN MILES DOWN, TWO TO GO” and “YOU ONLY HAVE 1.2 MILES LEFT.” That didn’t bother me, but I could hear people around me saying, “That’s not helping.” I guess when you are exhausted, anything resembling a certain distance is just going to seem daunting.
The course was very hilly. We took all the hills slowly. Then the last mammoth hill came up around mile 11. I had heard people talking about this hill and I wanted to sprint up it just so I could say I did it. I did and that hill was a bit imposing – but I did it.
It felt great to cross the finish line at the end. I’m really glad I ran it with my dad.
Also – we got some freaking nice goodies for signing up for this race. A laptop/messenger bag, a t-shirt (the sort you use to run in), and a Spibelt. If you have never used one, take it from me – they are awesome! I hardly felt it, and it’s nowhere near as dorky looking as a fanny pack. I will definitely be taking mine with me for all future runs.
I am so ready to do another one. This time, I really want to focus on running it at a more competitive pace – my goal will be under 2 hours. I think I will sign up for a 10K next month. I get kind of bored with 5K’s and I don’t like speed races, but I freaking love these long distance runs.
Now tomorrow I will be waddling around the office, because I’m a wee bit sore.