Bottom line: Man, it was TOUGH. But I can’t believe how happy I am that I did this race.
on why I ran another half:
I really thought about scrapping the plan to run a half marathon this year. When I had planned to register, I was feeling especially anxious and had realized that a lot of my anxiety was due to over-exerting myself and taking on WAY too much. So taking on a half marathon didn’t exactly sound that appealing.
And I’m not the kind of runner who thinks “Oh yeah, running 13 miles sounds like FUN. Can’t wait!” I’m more the kind who likes to push myself and set tough challenges. The kind who thinks “When it’s over, I’ll be really happy I did that.”
But the main thing that got me to still sign up and commit this year was remembering just how HAPPY training, long runs, and accomplishing my race last year made me. It was a six week long runner’s high and I loved it.
In the middle of my anxiety, I figured I could really use that feeling.
And so I signed up and went through it anyway, even though the road was much rockier than hoped or expected.
I was really disappointed last week when I realized that my training has been so screwy and minimal that I only got that runner’s high I was craving once or twice. And now here I was going to run a half marathon I wasn’t ready for, so I really didn’t expect that to be much of a high.
But it SO was. It was actually extremely cathartic and emotional for me. I’m sharing more about that in a separate post in the next couple days because it’s so drastically different than my typical recap info. But wow. I got my runner’s high alright. All six weeks’ worth of training endorphins came rushing out in this race.
It went terribly! You probably gathered that on my one and only update. When I wrote that post, I was on Day 2 of feeling sick, had woken up feeling MAJORLY better from the flu and figured I would be able to get back out and start running in the next couple days. I figured I’d have that weekend for what should have been my 9 mile run, would cut myself some slack on that one but pick it up a bit more during the next week. Great plan.
EXCEPT what started as the flu turned into what felt like a horrible cold with the worst congestion ever and extreme exhaustion. I didn’t even start feeling better until the following Sunday (so…. the day AFTER I was supposed to do that 9 mile run.) And I was absolutely not well enough to go running. Preston and I went paddle boarding for an hour that day and I was actually sore and exhausted… from standing for an hour. Not surprising given I’d spent honestly almost all of the past week sitting or lying in bed.
I was sick for a total of ELEVEN days. And even after that my sinuses still took awhile to adjust (actually they’re still not back to normal – but I’m used to that because I have chronic sinusitis so my sinuses BLOW at recovering from illness.)
The longest training run I did was that single five miler… Oofta! And that’s after a year of probably the least running I’ve ever done ever.
Sounds like a good recipe for a half marathon, eh? 😉
on the race:
Hey, I still did it!
Had my training actually happened, my goal would have been “just don’t walk.” I would have totally failed that goal 😉
Last year, my goals were “just don’t walk” and “average a 12 minute mile.” I crushed both of those, averaged a 10:30 mile, which for me is incredible for a half marathon, and was SO proud.
So this time I had to walk. Early and often. I was really disappointed. BUT I am an awesome power walker.
I started walking around mile 3. I think I actually took my first walking break before that, but it was super short. I took a TON of walking breaks after that. Liberally. My longest jogging stretch after that was around 1.5-2 miles long when I felt a second wind.
Yet somehow I was still averaging around a 10:40 mile until mile 10. Which I consider a crazy awesome victory.
After mile 10, I started hurting baaaaadly. (Knees and one of my hips!) I walked most of the last 3 miles, but I still took short jogging bits when I felt the urge to, or a great chorus came on my headphones, or I was eager to hit the next mile marker. With my little intervals, I still finished the damn race at an 11:20 pace. By NO means a skilled runner’s pace 😉
But for little old me, whose “shockingly great” pace was 10:30…. my gosh, I am SO surprised and proud at that result!
I would have been proud just to cross the finish line on this one, no matter what. Considering how much I walked, how badly I hurt those last few miles, how sick I was recently, how little I trained…. I totally killed it. 😀
The best part? I LOVED it.