Since I didn’t have a blog when I ran my first half marathon, this post is a little late to the race. Better late than never!
Some genius (my husband) suggested we run a half. He had run a few before, but me, not so much. Next thing you know, I got an email confirmation. He registered me as Secretariat for my race bib name. Bonus points.
I followed the Hal Higdon Novice Half Marathon training plan, here, for my run days. Like any good student, I printed it out and crossed each day off in a bright pink highlighter. I was training consistently at a 12:00/mile pace and my only goal was to finish the race while looking positively glamorous crossing the finish line, obviously some great goal setting.
It was November and the race was in Nacogdoches, Texas. I went back and forth on wearing shorts or not, and finally settled on a pair of leggings. I had never run a race in leggings because I always get too warm in them (ominous foreshadowing music). We showed up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed – and it was freezing. So glad I wore those warm leggings and a pullover! I started my watch, waited for the countdown, and away I went, running with 2 of my sweet friends who also enjoy a good morning of exercise and friendship. Not even a mile in and I realized I was MELTING. Peel all the layers off, jump in a pool, I can’t live like this, kind of melting. I had to unpin my bib from my pullover, and re-pin it to my tank top. Running while maneuvering safety pins. If that’s not a gold star, I don’t know what is. We were also running with the 10:15 pacer. Almost 2:00/mile faster than I trained. Alex, I’ll take a face palm for $200, please.
The first 11 miles weren’t bad once I figured out a wardrobe solution to the furnace I had created for myself. Mile after mile, my friends stayed right by my side as we jogged along. Considering my training pace, running with the sub 12:00/mile pacers for 11 miles took a toll. I hit a wall. I slowed down and told them I’d see them at the end. Go on, save yourselves! I continued along at a slow trot.
I’m obnoxiously cheerful on race courses. It’s sort of the same as my usual personality but it’s early and I’m a morning person. Think Buddy the Elf. I like to wave and say hi to all the supporters on the turns, the water stops, the cops stopping traffic etc. But by the time I hit this gigantic hill somewhere at mile 11 or 12, I had zero interest in anything except finishing the race. Y’all. I thought my legs were going to fall off. They were hot. They were cold. Were they even still attached? I don’t know. I couldn’t even eat a post run donut or finish my beer. But hey, I finished the race! And obviously, I looked positively glamorous. As glamorous as one can look in a headband, after sweating for 13 miles.
Huge thanks to the friends who ran with me and supported me all along, and the husband who thought I could do it!
I guess I’ll run a few more!
Time: 2:21:21, Avg Pace: 10:47/mile
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