At the beginning of the year, I set a goal for myself to run a half marathon in under two hours. After the marathon last October, running sort of took a backseat in my life. I was running here and there, ran a few races, but overall, I was doing short, fast runs, weight lifting and doing yoga. In June, I registered for the US Half Marathon in SF – the same race as my first half marathon. I really wanted to fulfill that goal so I picked a race far enough out that I could get my running base back and go for it. Props to the people that run multiple halfs per year; I think I might be a once a year kind of gal.
Anyway, I spent July building a base, and then August, September, and October training. Alex and I did our long runs together (he also ran today) and even though we didn’t ross the finish line together, I wouldn’t have been able to train without him. Throughout training, I was pretty confident I’d be able to meet my goal, but then in the last month I got sick and had some increasingly intense hip pain. This last week, I was a little dubious; I ran only once, didn’t eat the cleanest I could have, and in general just felt really tired.
I don’t know if it was the extra hour of sleep or the amazing weather or what, but today, I crossed the finish at 1:57:24! When Iraced this course in 2011, I crossed at 2:01:53, so I’m thrilled that I was able to shave so much off of my time. It definitely wasn’t easy; the course is very hilly throughout – it starts on a long uphill and ends with a steep one right around the 13 mile mark.
My smile was huge as I crossed the finish line – even though my watch was almost exactly on time, I still figured I might have hit it too late or something and that I’d be a few minutes off. It wasn’t easy, and Ipushed myself harder than I ever have in a race.
When I wanted to slow down, I sped up. When I wanted to give up, I cheered on the spectators to get my energy back up. I picked “rabbits” in front of me and tried to catch them. I looked around the beautiful city I live in where I can run along the water and over the Golden Gate Bridge. I didn’t have music. I ate one gel around mile 9 and washed it down with some CYTOMAX, the electrolyte replacement drink they were giving out on the course. (I type it in all caps because in my head, it’s a very intense announcer saying “CYTOMAX” loudly.) I’m only sharing these details so that I remember for next race and in case any other runners out there are curious.
Thank you to all the spectators that Idon’t know, the organizers of the US Half, Alex for being a bomb-ass training buddy and running partner today, and all my friends and family that sent me good vibes our way.