I completed my first half marathon today and I am so flipping excited. As of this last week, I genuinely did not think I was going to be able to do it. Every run I have had in the last month has been AWFUL; I have hit one mile or two miles and had to stop because I felt like death. And then I read this quote from No Meat Athlete on running the Boston Marathon:
“I can’t wait. My training recently has been abysmal, but that won’t hamper my enjoyment of the marathon. I will enjoy every minute of it, and the more minutes there are of it, the better. And if a college kid offers me a beer during it, you’d better believe I’ll drink it.”
Read the whole post – it changed my entire thinking. Once I let go of any pre-conceived notion I had about doing the race, I relaxed. I wasn’t nervous last night or this morning. And I went out there, and I ran and I felt AWESOME.
The race started at 7 am, so I got up at 5 am to get ready and eat breakfast. I had toast with peanut butter and banana and two cups of English breakfast tea. I forgot how much caffeine helps with running!
My parents are absolute rockstars and came down from Sacramento to cheer for me – they got up at 3 am and drove down this morning!! And they were bright eyed and bushy-tailed when they showed up at 5:45 am.
Alex, my parents and I piled into the car and we drove over to the Marina district where I met up with my amazing running buddy, Chelsea. We have now run THREE races together and I couldn’t ask for a better partner. She’s an awesome motivator and this last month when I was feeling like crap, my only good runs were with her!
Chelsea and I jogged a mile to the start, at which point I commented “I never thought I would be the kind of person that would jog a mile to a half marathon” but I guess I am! It was super chilly in shorts and a running shirt (which I picked up yesterday when I picked up my race bib, thank goodness it worked out!) but once we started running, the weather was absolutely perfect. Sunny but not hot and a cool breeze right when we needed it.
As a sidenote, the other BRILLIANT purchase was a visor. Having it to keep the sun out of my eyes was the best thing ever.
There were quite a few hills during the race, more than advertised and longer than I thought they would be. But thankfully training in SF means that we’ve run our fair share of hills. The course was beautiful – running through the Presidio and across the Golden Gate into Sausalito and back. I didn’t stop to take pictures because I wanted to stay on track, but I would love to run it again and snap some photos (as long as the weather is nice – I spectated for a friend at this same race last year and it was pouring rain).
We stopped a few times for water, and I actually chose Gatorade over water and think the sugar boost also helped! Running on the bridge was tough because the pedestrian sidewalks are pretty narrow, so passing people is a pain in the butt. I also think it’s a blessing in disguise because it prevented me from speeding up too much.
I was feeling so good that I was cheering for the spectators when we passed them; a few times, I think I was louder! When I spectate, I am LOUD – it totally helps bring the energy up! Alex and my parents were stationed near the end where there was a final hill and I ran up it waving my arms and yelling – which I then paid for by kind of not being able to breathe for the next minute or so, but I pushed through!
That’s me running and cheering!
Woo hoo! Look at us go!
Chelsea and I both crossed the finish at 2 hours, 1 minute and 53 seconds! I seriously didn’t think I was going to be able to run that fast, given how terrible my runs have been recently. I attribute it to my attitude, Chelsea’s support and Alex and my parents being there to cheer me on!
Best running buddy ever!
My mom has the pictures of Alex and I, so I’ll have to post those later!
One thing I loved about this race was their focus on sustainability. There was no grab bag at the end of the race – they emailed us our coupons. Our shirts were made from recycled materials. They gave us reusable water bottles to fill up. I appreciated the focus on reducing the waste from the event.
We got our water bottles, filled up, and did some stretching. Then, we bid Chelsea goodbye and walked hecka far to the car. The walk was good though because my legs now aren’t sore at all (we’ll see how they are in the morning).
Ahh, the joys of downward dog after a race.
A short drive later, we were eating crepes and homefries and potatoes while catching up. I didn’t snap photos because I was too busy eating.
After doing one errand and a bit more walking, I gave myself permission to do nothing for the rest of the day which was lovely. There were definitely things I could have gotten done, but you know what? I really enjoyed spending time on the couch with Alex and the cats. I agree with Lindsay Ann when she says, some people may do halves in their sleep, but I for one think it’s a HUGE deal!
Last week, I didn’t think I was going to run another race ever again. I had declared that I was “over racing” and training sucked. But today, after finishing so strong and feeling so great, I’m pretty damn sure another race is in the near future.