|Crossing the finish line at Historic Half Marathon, Fredericksburg, VA 2012|
On Sunday May 20, 2012 I ran my first half marathon. And I ran it with 6000 other people.
It was sunny and the temperature was perfect. The first eight miles went by easy-peasy and then the fatigue (aka "the beast") set in. Afterwards, my health-nut gym friends would ask me, "How did you push through it?" I just did. I cannot explain it. I was unhealthy for so long and I was finally doing things right and I just knew I could do it. I guess I just "embraced the beast". If you've read Born To Run by Christopher McDougall (if you haven't, go get it today), you remember Ann Trason and Scott Jurek talk about "the beast" and how you have to welcome it and embrace it, to overcome it. Its completely true. I just said "hi fatigue, kiss my ass". I did. I was going to finish this race.
This course had many many many hills and most of them we were running UP, not DOWN. It was challenging to say the least, but I tackled each hill small, large and extra large and accomplished it. I finished all 13.1 miles and beat my goal and that is more than I could have asked for.
I would only do two things differently. First, I would train more. I don't think I personally, could not have over trained for this race. Secondly, I would have paid better attention to nutrition, mainly fueling up correctly pre- and post- race. I was severely dehydrated when I crossed the finish line (although you can't tell by my picture*). My lower calves were cramped up as well as my fascia, which had my toes curling under as early as mile 11. But I busted right through it, and would totally do it again.
Most importantly, I crossed a half marathon off my bucket list/new years resolutions. My full marathon is next and will be in March 2013. I am on my way, folks!
* By God I was going to get a good picture out of this race from MarathonFoto so I HAD to put my game-face on every time I saw one of their photogs!