Saturday, October 4, 2008

First Half Marathon is a Success

Short verson: I ran my first half marathon this morning. It was fantastic! I left nothing on the road, and I finished 2 minutes ahead of my "dream time" at 2:13:01!

Long version: I was so nervous to run this. My longest LSD was 10 miles at about 11:45 pace. My peak MPW was 24ish miles. I had never run a half marathon, and I had NO IDEA what to expect. I didn't want to go out too fast, but I didn't want to leave anything on the road either. I gave myself a few different goal times. I thought I should be able to finish in under 2:30:00 for sure. I'd really like to beat 2:20:00, and my "dream time" would be 2:15:00.

My boyfriend drove me to the starting line at 6am, an hour before the start of the race. I got my chip, potty-ed, and lined up towards the back with about 10 minutes before the start of the race.

Starting out, I knew I had to hold myself back from running too fast. I followed the pack across the start line and stayed at what I thought was a pretty slow pace. Mile 1: 10:00. WOW! I should slow it down a bit. Mile 2: 10:28. Better. Now I need to hold it.

The course was GORGEOUS, up and over bridges over the St. Johns River at sunrise. Through a historic riverside neighborhood, and back right along the riverwalk to the finish in a grassy park.

I walked through the water stations. At Mile 6 I had 1/2 a pack of sports beans with a small cup of Gatorade. Same at Mile 8. Still going at 10:10 to 10:30 per mile. At this point I'm passing people. That feels great! I made the conscious decision to step it up a little at a time. I wanted to walk (run?) the fine line between hitting the wall and laying it all out. Mile 10 I had 1/2 of a GU and another mouthful of Gatorade. I'm feeling good! I pick it up a little more.

The last mile was the LONGEST mile of my life. It didn't help that it was just a long straightaway to the park where we finished. My legs are feeling heavy, but I keep the pace. I turned the last corner and got onto the grass. I saw the clock at the finish line and knew I could beat 2:15:00 if I kicked it up a little. I gave it everything I had, and I crossed the finish line as the clock said 2:14:23 (chip time: 2:13:01)

Great great great!

Thanks for all the support I got from everyone before the race. It means a lot to have a group of runners to share with!


wmd said...

awesome job!

I can not wait to run my first half... of course I am still waiting to run my first 5k and 10k... but one step at a time.

congrats again!

SwanSongGirl said...

I also blog here and I ran the half just a few minutes ahead of you. Congrats! I am also doing the Disney, but I am doing the Goofy Challenge. If you ever get a wild hair, click on my name and we can share thoughts. Didn't you think the Powerade was SERIOUSLY watered down yesterday?

SwanSongGirl said...

I have done the Disney before, so if you want some pointers--I am your girl! I may even blog about it, lol.