I signed up for this race as a practice for the real one in May. I wanted to practice my pre-race routine and water stops and stuff like that. I never intended on racing it. Just wanted to put in a respectable effort.
I was so nervous all day yesterday that my stomach hurt. I managed to sleep OK, but I started to get a migraine around 8pm. I took some Imitrex and went to bed. The medicine helped and I slept pretty well.
Got to the race about an hour early. Had to take a bus from the finish to the start. The bus dropped us off about 30 minutes before the race start time. It was chilly (40degF) and I had to leave my jacket and sweat pants on the bus so they could transport them back to the finish. So, I spent the time jogging/walking around the parking lot.
There were around 600+ runners signed up for this wave of the race. I put myself in the back of the pack. When the horn sounded, I started out at my usual long run pace. I wanted to take the advice that I've often read and start slow. I don't run with a Garmin or heart rate monitor, so everything is by effort. I didn't even have a watch. I felt very under gadget-ed. Most people around me had water belts, Garmins, etc... One girl next to me had a giant camel back. I figured if I needed water I'd just push her down and steal some of hers
As the crowd kinda dispersed, I found myself leading the slow people. There was probably about 50 or so people behind me. I ran in this position for about 3 miles. I was feeling really good and strong, so I picked it up a notch. I tried to stay relaxed and just enjoy the ride. I started to pass some people and that gave me some confidence.
The first water stop was at mile 4.5. I grabbed a cup and slowed to drink it. I choked on the first gulp, so I ended up walking to finish the cup. Here's a question for those of you still reading: Why does everyone toss their cup on the ground around the trash can? I understand if they carried it for some distance and there wasn't a can available, but there were tons of cups surrounding the can. My only thought was that at least the volunteers had something to do.
From the first water station to about mile 10, I felt good. The run was enjoyable. When I saw the mile 10 marker, I decided to try and give it a little more. I honestly don't know if I actually ran any faster. It felt faster, but I was starting to get tired. At mile 12, I wondered if I could do the last mile without slowing and walking. Someone between mile 12 and 13 yelled, "You're doing great. You're almost there." and I wanted to yell back, "I don't see any f'ing finish line." Also, who's grand idea was it to put the only hill on the course at mile 12??
Anyway, I finished my first HM in 2:23:??? It wasn't chip timed and I only paid attention to the hour and minute on the clock as I ran by.
I made some decisions because of this experience. After I do my race in May, I would like to change my running effort and focus on the 5K. I really want to improve my pace. Maybe be able to run a 9 or 8 minute mile pace?? Can someone like me really run faster? I think so. If I can make some progress on that, then I'll step up the distance for racing.
Here's the only picture my DH took of me at the race. It's seconds after the finish as we're being herded down the cattle walk.
That is a great HM debut! I think you are going to benefit from the experience in your next one.
As far as the cups, I think it's because people are trying to get it as close to the trash can without needing to stop. I know I try to get it IN the trash can, but I always miss. lol
YAYpril - B-Plus
Congratulations on a great first HM! I agree with Oski. I try to aim for the trash can but almost always miss and I feel like a goon. But what can ya do.
That's an adorable finish picture.
Great job, Robin!
It seems pretty smart (I have never done it!) to have a "practice" race to get a feel for the routine, and you learn a lot more about your capabilities to prepare for the goal race.
I have no doubt you can get faster if focusing on 5k's it what you choose to do. For any relatively new runner, it is easy to build up either speed or distance, if you are dedicated to the training. (Building up both at the same time is hard & probably not recommended....)
100K or Bust
You look more like you're walking up to the start than just after the finish. Keep up your distance and the long runs as you drop down to the 5K. They are still very important because that's where you build your endurance and the 5K, despite they way some people talk about "sprinting them", is still an endurance event.
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Congrats! And nice INKnBURN!
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Nice first one.
Great debut! And I recognize that long sleeve!
Now are you less nervous for the goal race? Hope so!
Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner, INKnBURN Ambassador
"The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."
It's always fucking hot in Miami!
...Keep up your distance and the long runs as you drop down to the 5K. They are still very important because that's where you build your endurance and the 5K, despite they way some people talk about "sprinting them", is still an endurance event.
That is really good advice.
You have come a very long way. Could you have ever dreamed you would run a freakin' half marathon, and done so with a nice time. And now it's over and already in your rear view mirror, just liked we talked about.
If you know you can do better, then do better.
Keep up your distance and the long runs as you drop down to the 5K. They are still very important because that's where you build your endurance and the 5K, despite they way some people talk about "sprinting them", is still an endurance event.
I cannot tell you how much easier my half today was, due to the fact that I am training more for a full, & the distance is only a "short" long run for me.
Nice job! My first half is in 3 weeks, I am super nervous. I kind of wish I had a practice race. Instead I will up stories in my head about what this will be like.
Congrats on your first HM! Great job.
Congrats on your Half Marathon you did great!!
Ron's PRs 5K 24:14 (12/07/2013); Half Marathon 1:53:33 (5/26/2013)
Run Long and Perspire
Good job! I was hoping that your race went well today. Good luck in your goal race!
Congrats! That is an awesome debut.