Yesterday I completed my first half marathon!!!
If you had told me at the beginning of the semester that I would have completed a half marathon, I would have laughed and said, “No way!” I’d like to share my running journey with you, and how I came to complete a half marathon.
I signed up for a running class on a whim. When things get busy in the middle of a semester, the first thing I push to the back burner is working out, and I really wanted to stay fit this semester. The second reason I signed up was because I wanted to actually enjoy running. I ran 2-3 miles in the past so I could maintain my weight, but I’ve never enjoyed it. My goal for this class was to enjoy a running. My professor is David Horton, an ultrarunner who has set records on the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, and has run across America. He is a legend!
The first day we ran trails, I literally thought I was going to pass out. After class, I went to the locker room, and tried to keep from sitting down and sobbing. All I wanted to do was quit the class, and never look back. Thankfully I didn’t quit and managed to keep running.
Guess what has happened?!
I have fallen in love with running!
I actually look forward to going out for a run, and have gotten to the point where I enjoy it. Not every run is a skip through the park, and some runs are hard, but overall, I love running.
Before I knew what I’d done, I’d signed myself up for a half marathon. Thankfully I got a discount, and told everyone I knew, so there was no backing out. My only choice was to train! I didn’t follow any specific training plan, and only went on two “real” training runs. The half marathon I signed up for was the Terrapin Mountain Half Marathon, and it was all trails.
So, I ran on the Appalachian Trails as my training. The first training run was 10 miles. I’d never done that distance before, especially on a mountain, but was so incredibly proud of myself after finishing. The next one was 15 miles! Other than those two long runs, I did 5-6 miles as training.
The morning of my half marathon, I awoke at 4:45 am, and quickly drank a cup of coffee and changed into my running gear, before meeting up with 4 other girls. We drove to the racing site. When we arrived, we checked in, got our bib numbers and listened to the instructions for the race.
My incredible parents drove up just to cheer me on. They left the house at 3:00 am in order to be there before the race started! I cannot express how much it meant to me! They are my biggest supporters and cheerleaders!
The race started promptly at 7:00 am and we were off!
For the first mile, everyone was together and after about mile 2, it started to even out. I ran the first 5 miles with my friend Dana, and then we split. The first 5 miles were essentially hiking, and I wasn’t really enjoying them that much, but there was never a point where I thought, “This is too hard” or “I can’t do this”. Around mile 5, we went through “Fat Man’s Misery”
We squeezed through the rocks! It made for quite an adventure! After mile 7, the terrain evened out, and I had a blast running the last 6 miles! I chatted with a bunch of runners from different places and different walks of life, and enjoyed the view. I ended up passing most of the people I was chatting with around mile 9, and ran the rest of the race alone. I didn’t really mind, except I took a pretty bad fall at one point. I hobbled for about a quarter of a mile and then was back to running.
Crossing the finish line was incredible! My parents and a friend who had driven up were cheering me on and attacked me with hugs when I was finished!
Yeah, my running friends are beasts!
You’ve gotta love a race where they give you a coffee mug!! They know the way to my heart!
I can definitely say that I am addicted to running. I’m not that fast, and I may not love every run I do, but I am going to keep running. Next up on my racing radar…a 50k!!!!