My first half marathon was an interesting experience for me. I had pretty much no training. I started running 2 months prior and when I started that could not run a mile. I didn't have any fancy running watch, I used the Nike+ application on my iPod to track my runs. After my first 5k in the beginning of March I started running more. First my goal was 5 miles. Then I added a little more. And a little more. I started running with a friend of mine, Arianna. She had ran in the past, but hadn't in a while. I would "keep track" of our miles with my handy dandy ap. Little did I know I never calibrated this gadget quite right.
So we added to our milage as we ran. And we ran pretty often, and at night. We got up to 9.65 miles one night, and I had this brilliant idea that I could run a half. I knew about the Iron Girl half and I decided - why not?! If I could run 9.65 miles, I could run 13.1!! I also new this was the last half until October (that I was aware of anyway), and I was impatient. I didn't want to wait until then. So, I registered. And then I talked Arianna into registering as well.
Then I found out a few things.
1. I never actually had run that far. Ha. At least not until the week before when I actually ran 13.1 - Garmin timed. That was hard. But I did it. So at least I knew I could run a half.
2. There were going to be bridges involved in this half-marathon. I never ran a bridge. Or hill. Or any sort of incline. Maybe I should have looked into this race before getting all race-happy?
3. The weather did not look good for that weekend. It was supposed to rain.
So April 22nd came around. I was excited. And nervous. I knew I could do it, but I was scared of the unknown. My stomach started to hurt a little bit. I started running.
At the time I was good at keeping pace. I'm actually still not the best at it, although I've gotten better. I tried to keep it slow and steady, but there were times that I went too fast and had to slow down and walk. That was ok. I started running again. 13.1 miles was far. Those bridges were tough! I got really hungry during the run. After mile 10 came around I really wanted to quit, but I was so close. It started to rain. I couldn't see. I wondered to myself, why exactly did I sign up for this? Why did I think this was a good idea. I kept looking for the finish and I couldn't see one.
And then I made it. I finished. It took 2 hours and 46 min, and it was really hard towards the end, but then I realized why I did it. I was an amazing sense of accomplishment. I just ran a freakin' half marathon! 2 months ago I could barely run a mile, and now I did something that I never in my life even dreamed I could do. It was really something to be proud of. And I was proud of Arianna as well. She was done in 2:30!
So, I may have jumped into things a little fast. But it was worth it. It made me realize I could do great things if I set my mind to a goal. And now I have my mind set to killing many more halves in the near future, and hopefully a full next fall. We'll see how that goes!
Members of RunTampa After the Finish. I think I look crazy haha.
Arianna & I with our Iron Girl poses and our 1/2 bling!