I don't think I ever really wrote about the first half marathon I did in early2011. I know for a fact that I never wrote about the second half I did in December 2011. So, here I am writing about the half marathon I'm doing TOMORROW. (Please note, I am insane.)
My first half marathon I trained alone and with little time to prepare. I decided, with less than a month to go, to register and make that half my you-know-what. I was so nervous lining up with Natalie the morning of the race. I'd done as much as I felt like I could have done in that short amount of time and I ran my hear out. I ran all but perhaps 1/4 of a mile and it was tough. There were some big hills I hadn't trained for and I didn't realize there would be no food on the course and I ran out around mile 9. I was starving, tired and just beat down. When I crossed the finish line I cried and cried because HOLY SHIT I had just ran 13.1 miles and FINISHED. I was so proud of myself and Natalie. For nearly a year I kept my finisher's medal hanging in my office and talked to anyone about my race that asked. Finishing time was 2:47 and some change.
Running that half was a big life accomplishment, one I never, ever thought I'd accomplish. I used to say I'd never run unless someone was chasing me with a sharp object. HAHA. How things have changed.
My second half marathon was in many ways different. I wasn't nearly as nervous because I'd done it before, the route was completely flat and I'd trained hard and for nearly 6 months with Jennie. We flew to Las Vegas for this half and although I was nervous about the higher elevation (2,000 feet more) it was really no big deal. I felt really, really good through the entire half, I know I could have kept running after we finished and been ok. I had a small occasion where my toes were feeling so painful but it only lasted a mile or two. I walked more this half marathon than the last and I was really OK with it, in fact I think it helped mentally and physically and I only finished 2 minutes later than my last time. I won't go into much detail about the disaster that was after the race was over but I can say with confidence that I won't run another Rock N Roll race again unless I'm assured there won't be issues like people passing out from the being stuck in the corral to leave the race. I enjoyed this half very much and I think if all races were like that I'd run them all the time.
As for this half tomorrow OMG, well, I've trained, uh not at all. I walked on the treadmill a few times and I did interval training twice last week and that's it. This course is mostly downhill which should make me feel OK about it but I've heard that downhill can be harder than uphill and I'm a wee nervous about my knees. I don't have knee problems but occasionally my knees bother me when going downhill, especially after I climbed Ben Nevis*. But in all honesty I just want to finish strong and within the 4 hour time frame. I've got nothing to prove to anyone but myself so if it takes me 3:30 then I'm OK with that. I'm just so darn proud that my little stubby legs and my former smoker's lungs can take me 13.1 miles that I've got so much to celebrate.
Here's to running (and walking) strong tomorrow and finishing strong!
*Ben Nevis. Climbing this mountain was THE HARDEST PHYSICAL THING I'VE EVER DONE IN MY LIFE. I'll blog about it soon, promise. I'll tell you all about how I wanted to cry at the end, how I fell twice and how I almost let that mountain beat me. In the meantime, here's a few pictures.