I did it!
I wish I could tell you how great the spectators were, how much fun I had, how wonderful it felt to finish my first half marathon. But, Ive gotta be honest: it wasn’t as euphoric or as easy as I’d expected it to be. All of my long runs during training were surprisingly easy, so I had hoped my race would be relatively easy and enjoyable, as well.
It so was not.
I worked hard to train and created a routine for long runs – peanut butter GU, water, and Joy the Baker podcasts. I thought I knew what to expect. I thought I could handle it.
It was much, much different than my training runs. I didn’t account for was how crowded the race would be – 31 THOUSAND people were racing, which meant I also expended a lot of energy running around walkers – a lot of people walked, which is great, but usually walkers are behind runners. I’m not sure if people were in a different corral than they should have been, or just decided to walk since it was so hot, but that was tiring – weaving in and out of throngs of walkers for most of the race.
And it was about 30 degrees warmer than my training runs, with direct sunlight for most of the course. There were also more inclines than I had planned for. Running uphill with the sun beating down on me was awful, to be honest. The combination of humidity, heat, and sun meant I was incredibly nauseous and couldn’t eat my energy gel, which meant I felt worse and incredibly sluggish.
I gritted my teeth and kept running up the hills, around the walkers, sweat pouring down my face. I was determined not to walk. While most of the other runners stopped to walk at the water stations, I ran through the middle, drinking from the water bottle in my hand. I never walked on training runs, so I knew I could complete the race without walking. I knew when I walked once, I would lose momentum. I think you can see where this is going – I walked a few times. I could make excuses (heat! nausea! going to die or vomit!), but ultimately, I’m just bummed that I didn’t run without stopping.
Instead of crossing the finish line feeling a rush of triumph and elation, I felt a bit guilty and a smidgen disappointed. My pace was full minute slower than any of my long runs. I feel like I should just be happy I finished, but instead I’m disappointed with myself for not being able to do what I know I’m capable of doing. I’m frustrated that it was so hot and bummed that I didn’t love the race as much as I expected to.
This is real talk. I wish I could be more positive or feel-good about my experience, but I’m still feeling pretty surprised by how hard it was.
I’m still hoping do it again. I might do it in a smaller race, in a flatter course, in a cooler climate. I need to prove to myself that I can do it. That I can do it well. That I can rock the socks off a 13.1 mile run.
. . . . . . . .
Just a heads up, it’ll be a little quiet around here for a while.
I am taking a social media break for the month of May. I’m deactivating my Facebook and Twitter accounts and not blogging.
Why? Space is good. Quiet is good. Being present is good.
Plus, I have a ton of deadlines in May and I’m in over my head in a lot of ways, work-wise. I’m hoping to spend this month catching up on work.
And hanging out with this sweet face:
As always, feel free to email. See you in June!