Tag Archives: marathon park prep

Running My (First) Half Marathon

21 Mar

This winter sucked! It was cold and the second snowiest on record, so needless to say it did not provide optimal training conditions. Between the snow making the roads narrow and slippery and the kids spending so much time out of school my twelve weeks of training was squeezed into roughly four.

While running a half marathon was something I’ve thought about ever since running the Broad Street ten miler last spring it was something I didn’t really feel ready for. But when this opportunity presented itself I wasn’t about to say no.

I didn’t care if I had to crawl across the finish line, I was going to Ashland Massachusetts and I was going to take on my first half marathon.

OK, that’s kind of a lie, I did care if I had to crawl across that finish line. I set off with a few goals in mind, the first being just to finish. I knew I wasn’t going to break any land speed records but I also knew I had to finish. Um you only get the “bling” if you finish.


The “bling”

After just finishing I wanted to run the entire 13.1 miles. No walking allowed. Seems fair enough right?

Finally, and I felt that this one might be a stretch goal for me, I wanted to do it all in under two hours.

The race.

I have to say that I was a little uncomfortable with the race itself. 13.1 miles on an open course…That means we were running on roads that were open to cars. They also had us running in the same direction of traffic which had me on the verge of twitching. I am very uncomfortable running with traffic and it goes against my biggest running safety tip.

Once I got over the cars I felt really strong. I remembered why I was there. When I felt like I couldn’t take another step I thought of the woman I had met the day before and I took some strength from her battle. I heard her laughter and I giggled at the fun conversation we had just hours earlier. I thought to the team shirt on my back and I decided to live for the moment and keep going.

Somewhere near mile nine I hit the wall and needed those positive thoughts more than ever. Between miles ten and eleven was the longest, steepest hill I have ever encountered. If you know where I run you’ll know that means something. Miles eleven and twelve were painful and I felt like I had nothing left to give. Then I found myself at mile thirteen and I couldn’t help but smile, I could actually seen the end. I was almost there.


At the top of the Green Monster.

The crowds were cheering. People I didn’t know where telling me how great I was doing and cheering me to the finish. Somehow I found the last of my energy as I sprinted that last tenth of a mile and crossed the finish line with a smile.

Holy shit, I did it!

How did I do?

I finished! I ran all 13.1 miles and finished in under two hours. I will always consider that first half a success.

Some people think I’m crazy for caring what my “numbers” are. I’ve been told that I should run for the fun of it, and who cares what my time was or where I stand amongst the other runners.

Look, every run is fun for me. It doesn’t matter if I’m doing a quick three miles around town or running my first half marathon, I enjoy my runs every time I hit the road. I also care about the numbers side of it all too. I don’t see the two things as mutually exclusive.

I finished 193rd (out of 445 finishers) and 49th in my age group. The age group was women ages 20-39 so it’s a considerable age range. There were 148 ladies in that group so 49th isn’t too shabby. My time was 1 hour, 57 minutes and 18 seconds which had me running at just under a 9 minute mile. That’s much slower than I know I’m capable of but considering the lack of training it’s a time I can be proud of. Not to mention it is under that two hour mark if only just.


Team Glo Forever Strong

Now I have to rest up since I’ll be running my second half marathon in a little more than a week. Go big or go home, right?

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