Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I am only HALF crazy :)

This past Sunday I ran my very first half-marathon. I signed up for one back in January. I ran in the Diva Half Marathon Series called Run Like A Diva. The one I ran was in North Myrtle Beach. I would not consider myself a runner. I actually used to hate running because I would get winded easily and it was just not fun. I like to challenge myself because overcoming a challenge is so rewarding. Last year I ran my first 5K and this past March, I ran a 10K. Back in January, my boyfriend's mom was talking to me about signing up for the half marathon with her, Corey's sister, and his cousin. I took a few days to think about it because at that point the most I had ever done was 4 miles. How in the world was I going to whip out 13.1? After some thought I decided to sign up and then immediately googled training programs. For the most part I stuck to it. I would run on the days that it said run and I certainly rested on the rest days :) but there were days for cross training too. At the time I did not have access to a gym so sometimes I would do a cardio workout I found online or walk the neighborhood with my dog. It helped too that Corey would run with me on the weekends. It is good (and sometimes frustrating) to have someone running with you and pushing you. There would be times on our run that I would want to stop and walk briskly. Nope, that did not work for him. He kept pushing me (within reason) to keep going because in the end I would be mad at myself for stopping to walk when I knew I could run a little further. Well half marathon day had finally arrived and I was really nervous. By then the most I had run without stopping was 6 miles but during the training I did go a total of 11 miles (combo of running and walking). The race started at 7am. The day before had been overcast and chilly. The weatherman was calling for rain all weekend. Luckily, the rain held off and it was beautiful on race day. I already had in my head that it was okay to walk some of the half marathon but I did not want walk the majority of it. When you line up, you line up based on how fast you can run a mile. We lined up between the 11-12 minute mile. It was a slow steady pace to start out. I will say that anytime I run, the first mile and a half to two miles is always the toughest because my body is trying to find its groove. Sunday was different. Once we started all of the nerves went away and I was very relaxed. All four of us started out running together and then slowly separated based on our pace. I surprised myself and ran then entire 13.1 miles!!! The only time I would stop was at the water/Gatorade stations to get a drink. I don't know about you but I certainly cannot run while drinking because I spill the majority of it. After each water station I would continue at my pace. From mile 10.5 to 11.5 was the toughest part for me. 13.1 miles is a lot of pounding your knees and ankles get. I did have to stop and use the bathroom at mile 11.5. They had porta-potty's set up throughout the course but the lines were awful. Luckily when I went, there were no lines. If I run another half marathon again, I want to run this one. Right before mile 13 they have a boa and tiara station. Volunteers are there passing them out to you as you run by and then once you cross the finish line, a fireman gives you a rose and your medal. I finished the race in 2 hours and 35 minutes! The part I loved most about the race was throughout the entire course there are people standing along the sides cheering you on constantly!! We would run through some of the residential areas and the homeowners would stand in their yards cheering for us. I did tear up throughout the course because of the overwhelming encouragement and I most definitely started to tear up as I saw and crossed the finish line. I was so proud of myself for not only completing a half marathon but for actually running the entire race. I really did surprise myself. Here is a picture of my medal. I am so proud of it!!

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