Women’s Running Half Marathon

Happy FRIDAY! I am officially on spring break, and I could not be happier! Monday, I leave for Disneyland (truly the happiest place on earth), Tuesday, we actually GO to Disneyland, and Wednesday we head home! I am so, so excited! Not only for Disneyland, but also for the time I’ll get to spend relaxing the rest of the week. I’ll be sure to recap the trip for you when I get back.

Women’s Running Half Marathon (my first half)

I thought that I would do a recap of my very first half marathon for you all, since I wasn’t blogging at the time. I’ll begin with training..

I signed up for the Women’s Running Half Marathon around this time last year. I was really excited, but also really nervous. How in the heck was I supposed to run 13.1 miles!? I wasn’t set to start training until August, so I had all summer to build a strong running foundation. Fast forward to July, and I was having such bad shin pain that I could barely walk at times. I believe this was due to me trying to run every day- I have learned that my body just needs a little time off between runs. Anyways, it got so bad that I began to think that I may have stress fractures. I went to my doctor, and nothing showed up on my X-ray, so they sent me to get an MRI. A few days later, I got the call that although there were no fractures (yay!), I had “severe” shin splints.

shin splints

I’m almost positive I had BOTH types

My doctor told me that I needed to take at least 6 weeks off from running. I was pretty upset about this, because it cut into my training plan by about 4 or 5 weeks. This meant that I suddenly went from having 12 weeks to train to only 7 or 8 weeks. I thought about disregarding my doctor’s advice, but my dad encouraged me to take time off so that I could be ready to run. Well, I took my 6 weeks off and started training as soon as I could. The long runs were never too bad, but because I had to speed up my training so much, I felt that I was constantly advancing and never giving myself time to adjust. For example, in my training plan- I used Hal Higdon’s– you typically do the long distances two weeks in a row (two weeks of 4 milers, two weeks of 5 milers, etc.). Well, I had to go from 4 to 5 to 6 every week. This was hard for me, and I think it really tired my body out. That being said, I felt that my training went pretty well, all things considered.

Now onto the race..

photo 1

Some stuff from my goody bag!

I was understandably SO nervous on race day…it was my first half marathon! I don’t remember specific times, but I know that I woke up around 4 and my parents, Ben, and I left the house around 4:55 to make the drive out to Tempe where they dropped me off. For breakfast I had two small pieces of toast with peanut butter (I typically run on an empty stomach, so I wanted to keep the meal small), and by the time I made it to the start, I was starving!

photo 2

Hard to see, but Ben was helping my put my race bib on

Thankfully they had bananas at the start. I probably went to the bathroom about 5 times out of nervousness, but I can’t remember. I do remember being really cold, and just wanting the dang thing to start already. I hate just waiting around being nervous! Well, finally we did start! I felt good for the first few miles. People were passing me, but that was okay. I knew that it would be bad if I started off too fast. Well, when I looked at my Garmin, I saw that I was going about a minute faster than my training pace. I was feeling good, so I stayed with that pace (although I believe it came to haunt me later). Around mile 6, we hit a pretty brutal hill. It’s where I saw a lot of runners stop to walk. I somehow powered through it and slowly jogged my way up that hill! By the time I made it, my legs were exhausted. I guess that’s what I get for not running hills much in training. We also ran along a canal for about 2 miles somewhere along the way, which was pretty tough for me both physically and mentally. Around mile 7, I saw my parents and Ben! It was really nice to see them there supporting me. Also visible at mile 7, however, was the finish line. This is where it really got tough for me. For some reason, it was so discouraging to see the finish line still knowing that I had 6 miles to go. I really began to struggle at this point. My legs were exhausted, it was getting warm, and I was tired. It was hard for me to just put one foot in front of the other.

garmin

Coming into the race, I didn’t really have a set goal. Part of me wanted to run the whole thing, part of me wanted to finish in under 2:30, and part of me just wanted to finish. Well, I only achieved one of those goals. At around 10.2 miles, I started to take walking breaks. I didn’t realize how fatigued my legs truly were until I tried to run after a walking break. It was so hard! I set mini goals for myself, such as walking 0.1 mile for every 0.2 miles that I ran. Around mile 12, the 2:30 pacer passed me. At first I was really disappointed in myself; but I realized that I was trying my best and that for my first half, my only goal probably should be just to finish. And finish I did! I finished with the best sprint I could manage, with a time of 2:33:04. I crossed the finish line to receive my very first medal! I saw my parents and Ben filming me as I came into sight. I was so proud of myself; I couldn’t believe I had just finished a half marathon!

halfmarathon

We hung out for a little while so that I could get some food and water, then we headed home for me to shower. When I was done, we all headed out to the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate. It was a great day!

P.S.- Sorry for the length of this post, there was just so much to fit in! 😉 This is definitely a  summarized version, so feel free to email me if you have any questions!

P.S.S.- I’ve added a new “Races” page under the about me tab! There you will find the times of all my races as well to links of some of the recaps.

Have you run a half marathon?

If so, what was your first one like?

If not, do you want to run one in the future?

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