I ran 13.1 miles! (Documented as 13.2 on my Nike+ Running app) Over the course of 2 hours, 35 minutes and 34 seconds I ran 13.1 miles. The pace – average at best, the race – complete.
I am still pinching myself at the accomplishment I have achieved. In hind sight, it doesn’t feel that big or that accomplished. And I don’t know if it ever really did. But, I know this; I DID IT, I RAN IT!
The journey begins a while back though. We can go back as many as ten years and as few as six months. But the journey to running a ½ marathon really began when I started making “things to do before my next big birthday lists”. I think running has always been one of those “things to do”. I’ve never really taken to running like a duck take to water, but I have found it is the workout I maintain most consistently in my life. It is the one regular, show up and complete and do fitness routine I have down. Sure I drop off the map for months at a time, but there is no difficulty getting back into a rhythm when I decide it’s time for another jog.
When I was approaching my 25th birthday I created a “25 things to do before 25”, I added running to the list. At that time it was a simple goal to become a runner. Over the years I have tinkered with the idea of running a race and always envisioned myself completing one, but mind over matter won out time and time again. And time and time again, I just couldn’t see myself running for that distance for that long.
I have since prepared my “40 things to do before 40” and running in a ½ or full marathon made the list. The list is long and comprehensive, but I knew the “running in a marathon” would be one of my biggest accomplishments. The reason, after all of these years and all of this fitness, I have decided I don’t like running. I do it. I get it in, I get it done, it matters to me, but I don’t like it. I have also realized that mind over matter, well, that challenges me sometimes. I can honestly and easily say that I am not the best finisher. I am a GREAT starter. FINSHER, not so much.
So, the goal was set a couple years ago and a few months ago a couple co-friends and I decided we were going to go for it. Training began in October and I lept on that horse quickly, with ambition and focus (I told I was a great starter). By Thanksgiving weekend I had stopped running (remember, finisher, not so much).
Over the holidays I picked up where I left off with my in-home fitness and didn’t run a single mile in January. Race week rolled around a little too quickly. The bib was picked up, hockey games attended, the Cardinals playoff overtime win attended (screaming and jumping late into the night) and then it was race day morning.
I was ill prepared at best. I hadn’t followed a routine or nutritional plan at all. I had started on a whim and I was finishing on a whim. And just like that I was in my coral and headed towards the starting line. I knew one thing to be certain; my whole goal in life was to “run my race”. I was front and center when it was my corals time to take off and it felt good to not be stuck in the crowd. Folks immediately flew by me and that was ok because I was running my race. I got into a rhythm and I started going. I had great music flowing and sights to see. I fell into a cadence that felt good and the rest is history. Mile two was my fastest mile at a 10:09 pace. Mile 10 was my slowest at a 13:45 pace. Every mile in between was hard fought and well earned. I managed to run 5 miles within a 10 minute mile threshold, 2 in the 11 minute mile zone, 3 in the 12 minute mile zone and 3 in the 13 minute mile zone. Those hills, they got me.
All in all I am pleased as punch. I FINISHED a ½ marathon and I am so very proud of me! Will I do it again, heck yeah, I have a time to beat now. Will I ever run 26.2, no thank you, that distance and that time running, it’s just not for me. But, 13 more here and there, I can get behind that life.
Next year the Doodle wants to run with me… We better start training soon. J