Half Marathon: Complete!

After months of preparation I can finally say I completed my first half marathon! The big “race” was yesterday and it went really well. My goal was to finish the race and that’s exactly what I did.

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I ran the half marathon with my friend Ryan. He and I ran the first mile together, then he pushed ahead, as his pace was much faster than mine.

The weather was pretty much perfect for running. It was in the mid-50s and overcast for a while, which made it really comfortable for the athletes.

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The run was out in the country, really in the middle of nowhere. It was on side streets and partially on a highway, then the finish was through the woods around a lake. There was a lot of variety, to say the least. It was a very small event with only around 50 people competing, so that meant it was pretty lonely out on the course. Thankfully I had my own personal cheering section, as Alex, Mary and my mom were there hootin’ and hollerin’ and cheering for all of the runners.

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My training really, really paid off, as did Ryan’s expert physical therapy help. The most challenging part of my training, though, was starting to increase my distance. I spent the better part of the spring and early summer running a few 2-3 mile runs each week, then once I started building on that and pushing to a 4, 5 or 6 mile run each week I faced the biggest challenges {every week I did one training run and increased it by a mile from the previous week}. It was during these initial long runs that I realized how tight my IT band and hip flexors were, so thankfully Ryan gave me some stretches that worked wonders on my legs.

After my legs loosened up I got through my 7 mile training run and then the rest of the training really became pretty smooth, with the hardest part simply being the time it took to run each week. During my half marathon, I ran the whole event, except for a quick stretch stop around mile 8. My recovery was quick and uneventful, and I’m feeling great today!

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We finished!

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My time was 2 hours and 16 minutes, which makes my pace right around 10-10.5 minutes. This was certainly faster than my training time. I came in at 25th place, and 4th in my age, and Ryan finished in 17th place, and 2nd for his age.

I’m really glad I pushed myself to complete a half marathon. It was great to have something to work towards and accomplish!