Among a group of zombies, ghosts, and black cats (like me!) I ran my first half-marathon. I thought that the distractions of a Halloween race would lessen the pain of running 13.1 miles and I believe that strategy worked. It was such a fun atmosphere with the elaborate costumes, Halloween music, and funny signs along the route. It was still painful but I enjoyed every minute of it (well, maybe not the endless hills…).
I think that the days, hours, minutes leading up to the race were more unbearable than the actual race. During that last week I was so anxious that I could hardly eat. I had built this race– My First Half-Marathon!– up in my mind so much that became almost insurmountable. Up until I got on the starting line and heard someone yell “go!” I really questioned if I could do it. Once I started running, I knew I could do it.
I was pushed ahead by the crowd of runners around me. I was surrounded by people just like me who were nervous, excited and ready to get this thing over with!
As I ran along, with every mile that passed by, I was closer to hitting the goal that I had worked toward for months. It was such a feeling of accomplishment.
Once I crossed the finish line, I realized I had done it. I had run my first half-marathon and I’ll remember this feeling forever. I can set difficult goals and I can achieve them.
The race itself was not easy. It rained the entire time and I was shivering with cold. There were many more hills than I had expected there would be. The pacers were running faster than their designated pace and I thought I was running much slower than I was. Lastly, a woman yelled to us near the end that we were “almost there!” I sped up only to find that we were about 2 miles away. Please don’t tell us we’re almost there unless we’re half a mile or less away!
Even though there was difficulty, those situations made the race a definite learning experience. And I realize that you can never truly know what will happen during a race.
My goal for this race was just to finish under 3 hours. I ended up passing the finish line in 2 hours and 35 minutes and I felt so good about my time. 25 minutes under my goal!
I learned so many things from this race that I plan to write a post just based on that. I hope it helps others to reach their half-marathon goal.