I completed my first half marathon!! 

I finished at my slowest pace (usually my avg. is between 9:40 – 10:00). BUT, my goal was to finish and that is what I did, so I’m happy with the results.
Race Day Weather
 
Temp range: 74°F – 78°F
Humidity: 74% – 88%
Conditions: Overcast/Mostly Cloudy/ Occasional sun
Wind: 4.6mph – 7mph
Race day outfit/gear
I woke up at 4:30AM, drank some water and took my allergy meds. Tried falling back asleep, but never happened. Got dressed and made breakfast. Meal included instant oatmeal with craisins, honey, and a spoon full of peanut butter. Ate while I went through my check list one more time.
Pre Race
Left the apartment at 6AM and the bf dropped me off at the Alamodome around 6:35AM. Walked towards the start line and made a trip to the porta potties. There was a line, but waited only about 5 minutes. Ran into a classmate and my professor, continued to stretch and warm up, and then headed to my corral. Before I knew it we were heading towards the start line. I set up my Ipod, and made sure I was ready to go. My group was up…countdown started and I made my way across the start –> started my watch and the program on my Ipod (or so I thought!). Ipod didn’t end up saving the run, typical technology FAIL, but at least the music worked =)
So I pretty much stayed in my own world during the race (not sure if that was a mistake), but from what I did pay attention to…the crowd was great! Definitely grateful for the spectators’ fun signs and loud cheers, the volunteers passing out water/gatorade/gels/salt etc., and definitely appreciated the neighborhood spectators helping hose down the runners.
What I learned or didn’t learn?
  • Avoid running on the outside lane majority of the run. I’m pretty sure that extra mileage added up. (Or at least I’d like to think so)
  • Include more hill training into my training program.
  • Learn how to dodge runners. (I’m pretty sure this is what exhausted me the first 3 miles)
  • Possibly start in an earlier corral or slow down my start pace.
  • Hydrate more the day before. (I thought I hydrated well this weekend, but the humidity thought otherwise!)
I’m not going to lie, the race was rough. Like I said, I was weaving through runners the first couple of miles, so by mile 3 I was exhausted. NOT GOOD! I started to feel “strange” and definitely heating up. My heart rate was at 195bmp…Woah!…I was barely at mile 3 may I remind you! I made a stop for some gatorade, and that seemed to do the trick. At around mile 5 and 6 we were introduced to some hills. Ugh. Hip started acting up but not too bad. Around mile 8, I may or may not have seen a half naked guy cheering us on. Oh and I’m pretty sure for part of the race I was running next to a guy dressed as a turkey?? Lol details are fuzzy. I definitely stopped at way more water stops than I intended, but no pee breaks or cramping resulted. I hit mile 12 miraculously and thought “I can definitely jog the last 2 miles”. That lasted all but a couple of minutes and additional walking ensued. I was at least able to make one last ditch effort across the finish line. I hung my head low as a wave of fatigue overtook my body, and I vaguely remember a random stranger/volunteer strongly suggesting I keep my head up. (Thank you volunteer for possibly helping me avoid passing out!) I walked to grab my medal, and reached for two bottles of water. Of course a photographer thought this was a perfect time for me to pose for a photo. Can’t wait to see that one! I called the bf to meet up with him; we completely missed each other at the finish line. Somehow the realization of this amazing feat (Well at least for me) had not hit me yet. It was not until I saw my bf holding a big yellow sign saying “Way to go! Jax You did it!” I pretty much was at the verge of tears. I was overwhelmed with joy realizing that my training these past few months and the constant support of my love/family/friends helped me conquer 13.1 miles!

The bf made me a sign! I was so excited =)

Overall, the race was a mental struggle. I felt exhausted throughout. I tried to stay away from negative thoughts, but thinking “I’m not going to make it” came up more than I would of liked. ha. I just couldn’t find my groove. Ya know…that feeling during a long run where it just becomes easy and stopping no longer becomes a lingering thought. I’m not really sure what my downfall was…the humidity…race training cut short….my hip or simply mental weakness! lol I’m still REALLY proud of myself. To some this is no big deal, but before this summer my longest run was maybe 5 miles which I did ONCE maybe a year ago. I enjoyed staying in my comfort zone and running about 3 miles whenever I felt like it. The thought of running a Half was absurd to me! I am definitely proof that training really does work. Keeping up with my mid week runs just made increasing my weekend milage so easy. I don’t know how to explain it. I just kept adding a mile to my long runs, and I wouldn’t even feel the difference.

Post Race
Will I run another???
 

Immediately after the race, I thought “Maybe I’m just not cut out for this” Some people are born runners, and maybe I was testing fate. I was discouraged with how much I struggled. BUT now that my head is cleared up, I am fully aware that nobody said it was going to be easy; I started to remember spectators’ signs…”What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, “When you feel like quitting, think about why you started”, “You were strong enough to get this far. You are strong enough to keep going.”

I’m not sure I can say I’ve caught the “running bug” or I am now “addicted”
…Let’s just say I strongly believe I can do BETTER.

As for now, I will continue to rest and allow my body to recover. I am sore from my shoulders down to my feet. It is definitely embarrassing showing up to work, and my patients walk better than I do. 😛

 

Calories burned

 

Found my friend Victoria volunteering at gear check
Post race family meet up
Cloudy day, but VERY humid :-/
Post race festivities

 

What was your first half marathon/big race like?