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June 9, 2011 / Liza

My First Half Marathon

Almost 2 weeks ago, I ran my first half marathon. I ran Boston’s Run To Remember with once of my closest friends with whom I had been training for 10 weeks prior.

What an experience! I had heard about races and read race recaps on other blogs, but I don’t think anything could really prepare me for how I would feel. The only other race I had done was about 2 weeks before when I ran a local 5K that my brother spontaneously suggested. But my first half marathon (and I say first because more are in my future! I know it!) was huge– close to 9,000 people!!! Needless to say, it was slightly overwhelming getting to the race and seeing so many people. But, I was really just so excited that it was happening after all of my training.

My friend had already run a half in 1:50 so our goal was to beat that , or at least not go slower — an 8:30 pace. So, we lined up at the 8:30 sign and we were off! The first few miles were so exhilarating being among so many people, weaving through people, the energy is so exciting! As we came up at each mile marker, I calculated from the clock times that we were running at an 8:00 minute pace. This got me super excited, but simultaneously worried. Could I keep that up? We were not even half way through and I wasn’t prepared for that pace. But we went on!

Around mile 8 ish, I was starting to lose steam and the consistent 8:00 minute miles were worrying me more because I felt I couldn’t keep it up for the whole of it. My friend was feeling much better than me and a little after mile 9, she asked if I would be okay with her finishing up the last 3.1 ahead. And so at mile 10, she left and I slowed wayyyy down… I don’t know if I calculated it right, but I may have run mile 11 in over 9 minutes. Getting to run alone let me realize that this was my race and I had the chance to run the rest how I wanted and to motivate myself. After some water at the 11 mile marker, I sped up for the last 2.1 and finished in about 1:45/1:46!!!! Immediately after I crossed the finish, my exhaustion hit me and I felt entirely depleted. I downed two cups of water and felt like I had eaten a huge meal or something. My friend had come in about a minute before me and I found her amongst the masses of runners and boxes of food and surprisingly, I started to tear up a bit! I’ve heard about how emotional races can be but I didn’t really believe it until I ran one that I had been training for for 10 weeks and felt so so proud of because I really pushed hard.

The rest of the day I was exhausted and a little bit sad/cranky (and super hungry!). I did some research and think I may have had some “post-race blues”– so interesting! I’m prone to getting sad after big events are over– big dance shows, family vacations, my bat mitzvah (I cried so much after that!). So honestly, I wasn’t too surprised! BUT, I did learn that I want to do more! I think I have the running/racing bug now forever. 🙂

My question for you:

What are your favorite race lengths? I’ve only done a 5K and a half marathon but I would love to do a 5 miler, 10K, and 10 miler!

Happy running!

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