Home > Uncategorized > Halvsies, or How I Barely Survived the My First Half Marathon

Halvsies, or How I Barely Survived the My First Half Marathon

Well, time for a White Rock recap I guess. This will be a good de-stresser before my final in a couple of hours đŸ™‚

Yesterday morning, I joined with 20,000 fellow runners to run the White Rock Marathon (well, I just ran the half, but we all started at the same place). Racing conditions were almost perfect; no wind, foggy with low hanging clouds, and about 45 degrees outside. Even though I’m just about as hot natured a person as there is, I think I’d have warmed it up about 10 degrees at the start if I could.

The race started out well. I didn’t let myself get caught up in everyone’s excitement at the beginning and try to run faster than I needed to, which is an improvement for me (on a side note, I think I have to stop calling them races because I’m not really competing with anyone except myself – so “runs” they are).

The first couple of miles went good. I had noticed yesterday morning, when I woke up, that something from my pre-game meal the night before wasn’t sitting well, but I figured I’d run through it like I had on other long runs. As I reached the first aid station and the orange porta potties, my body told me I needed to stop. I stopped and took advantage of the facilities and then kept going, not thinking much of it.

As I hit mile four or so, I realized that it was going to be a tough run. At that point, whatever I ate had my stomach in knots. I stopped at the second aid station and once again tried to clear my body of whatever it was, but to no avail (how’s that for euphemism :). I sure as hell wasn’t going to give up, so I decided to just keep going and deal with it later.

Now up to yesterday my longest run ever was somewhere around 9 or 10 miles, and that’s only been in the past couple of months. I don’t think I appreciated the challenge of adding 3 or 4 more miles on top of that. I sure do now! That middle stretch (miles 5 to 10) was particularly rough. At one point, we ran through our neighborhood with a U-turn at the end. It was kind of cool seeing all those people running, and it was still cold enough that you could see the steam rising from the runners. At one point I wondered if it was really still as overcast as it seemed or if our steam was creating a haze that hung over the course.

The last three miles of the race were absolutely the hardest. As I turned on to the Katy Trail, I had a horrible pain in my left foot. As I have mentioned, I run in vibram five fingers and have now for about three months. While I have never gone over 10 miles in them, I have run long runs in them and never had any pain associated with running in them. After going another 15 paces or so, I had to stop. As I felt my foot and tried to stretch, I noticed that the pain was directly underneath the seam of the neoprene cover on my KSOs. The only thing I could figure was that I, in my pre-race excitement, had tightened the shoe too much (I put my nike sensor underneath the velcro strap) and it slowly bruised the top of my foot. After stretching for a few moments, I even more slowly lurched toward the finish line with a noticeable limp.

I did finish. That was the goal. I had hopes of completing it in under 2 hours, but the main goal was just to finish. There were moments, especially in the last three miles, where I thought I wasn’t going to make it, but there were so many encouraging runners who would say something at just the right moment to help keep me going.

So that was the first step. Finishing an half marathon. While there were moments that I thought there was no way I could do an ironman after yesterday’s performance, I know this is just a step. It was a bad run for me, but I made it through. That’s what it takes, I think. You finish, you get up and run again, and you reach your goal. I have another half marathon planned for next month (although I don’t know yet if it will be the 3M in Austin or the Texas Half here in Dallas). I’ll do better. I’ll finish in under 2 hours.

Ironman, here I come!

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