I admit I was nervous going into our first half marathon. I didn’t really know what to expect. The only races we have run thus far were 5Ks and now I’m looking at the starting line of a 13.1 mile race with thousands of people crowding around me.
It was fun.
The first 6 miles were easy. They were relatively flat and it was amazing seeing all those people running through the streets of Birmingham USA. I was encouraged that my app was continually measuring my pace around 8:00. My goal was 8:2o so I figured I was banking some time for what was ahead. Then the hills began. In fact it was more like on long 2 mile hill. Not really, but that is what it felt like. The people around me went from talking and laughing to breathing hard and being quite. It was tough. I was beginning to pace closer to 8:30, but I told myself where there are uphills, there are downhills. Finally the downhills started and I was able to pick up some time. The downhills seemed to last a couple of miles also and I was feeling much better. I was also getting back into the high 7 minute pace.
The final leg of the race was the toughest. It was three straight flat miles. There was a small incline for a while and then just flat. I knew I only had a couple of miles left and knew that the time I finished with would be the time I would have to live with, so I picked up my pace. By the time I turned my last turn and had a half mile to go, I was shot. I somehow kept my time up though. With the finish line 500 yards away, I gave it my all. I ended up finishing in 1:44. I beat my goal of 8:20 with a final pace of 7:58. I could have cried. A month ago as TJ and I were beginning our workouts (hill, tempo and steady state runs) I really thought 8:30 pace was a dream. Here I finished at a time that if I could have done that for the 26.2 miles, I would have qualified for Boston! Thanks TJ. It meant more to me that you will ever know.
TJ, by the way finished at 1:28. How great is that for a first half marathon. I was so impressed. RS, whom I was worried about since he had been hurt so much, ran in Vibram 5 finger shoes and not only finished, but ran it under 2 hours!!!
It was an amazing day. Now some much needed time off. TJ is already getting our training together for the Spring Scramble 5K. It was the first race we ran in when we started running last spring and so it will be great to run it again.
Just so you know, I LOVE RUNNING!