I was never a runner, but I wanted to be.
I attempted to join my elementary school’s cross-country team until a bird pooped on my head during practice (seriously) and put an end to that real quick. I played soccer all through high school, but that was different, it just involved running.
Well, I think I am a runner now.
I just completed my first half marathon on Sunday with a time of 2 hours, 8 minutes, and 44 seconds. Training was difficult and time-consuming, but it was also enjoyable and rewarding. During my race, I focused on maintaining a pace that I could run at for a couple hours and knew that the race would be over before I knew it. Two hours REALLY isn’t that long if you think about it.
The night before my big run I dreamt that I missed the race. I dreaded having to tell all my friends, family, and coworkers that have supported and encouraged me that I didn’t even make it to the starting line!
When I woke up in the morning and arrived at the event location, I was so relieved that I was going to START the race that I was less nervous about whether I would FINISH.
It had been raining all weekend and race day was no different. I chose to wear my tight, black, Lululemon capri pants with my thin, baby blue long sleeve top, a head band that covered my ears, and of course, my purple and orange running shoes. I went back and forth on a jacket but in the end decided to wear my old, black, waterproof shell. This proved to be suitable attire. I was comfortable during my run – warm, but not too warm, and pretty dry.
I ate about 3/4 of a bagel with peanut butter fro breakfast and a few sport gummies. I stashed the remaining gummies and a gel pack in my pocket for later.
Jesse, who was also running the half, and I left the house around 7:15am, made the quick trip over to the starting line, and before I knew it, the countdown had begun!
The first 10 km went well for me. Live music performances were set up along the route and reminded me to relax, have fun, and enjoy the experience.
My parents met up with us at the 10 km mark to cheer us on and take some photos. As we weaved around park paths and trails, I could feel my legs starting to fatigue. By about 15 km in, I knew that I couldn’t slow down – I just had to power through.
There was a small but fairly steep hill near the end of the race that I had ran up during training. A couple live music performances had been strategically placed along the side of the hill to give everyone an extra boost. I knew the finish line wasn’t much further and that after the hill it was flat or downhill the rest of the way.
I was in the home stretch.
A volunteer yelled out that there was only one kilometre left. I picked up my pace a little because I was SO ready to be done running. I saw my mom standing on the sidelines with two of my good friends and waved as I passed them. As I crossed the finish line, a volunteer handed my a huge medal and I heard my name announced.
Jesse crossed the finish line a few minutes later and my friends and family congratulated us. We grabbed some complimentary post-race food and a well-deserved hot cup of coffee then went home to warm up and dry off.
I was very impressed by the whole event and had a wonderful experience. I couldn’t believe how many people were out in the rain for hours to hand us water, Gatorade, and gels, to direct traffic, and to cheer us on. The race organizers, volunteers, and performers did a spectacular job.