We ran 13.1 miles.
It was windy (20mph winds), cold (a temperature near freezing), and it was windy, did I mention that?
But more importantly, we did it! We completed a half marathon.
Saturday, Tanna and I arrived at Brunswick Naval Airbase to whipping winds (they were shaking my Nissan) and near-freezing temperatures but it was our day and nothing could stop our confidence or make us question our preparation.
We did, however, have to wear our sweatpants. That’s right, we ran 13.1 miles in sweatpants but it was much better than the alternative.
The first few steps were so exciting and we were surrounded by 1,000 other runners. Many were running the 5k that began at the same time and flew by us. At the first mile marker we finally had our own space and got into a nice jogging rhythm. Around mile three we hit the biggest challenge of the running year: a grueling head wind with gusts up to 50 miles per hour. (Maybe you’re not sure what that means but to put it into perspective: I couldn’t hear Tanna, who was running right next to me, and at times I wasn’t entirely sure that I was actually moving forward).
That mile and a half that we ran on the runway against the wind was one of the hardest physical things that I have ever had to do. Still there was no point in the 16 plus minutes it took us to turn off the runway that I thought I wouldn’t be able to continue.
Finishing that stretch was an awesome feeling and I felt like a completely new woman once we got out of the wind and it was pretty much smooth sailing from there. The last mile, however, was a little painful. Even when I saw the finish line from about .4 miles away I was thinking, “wow, so far!”
At the end of the run I honestly almost teared up, I felt the welling begin in the back of my eyes but I think the wind kept them dry and the feeling of “I DID IT!” was replaced with, “oooo, my legs hurt…. Oooo my legs hurt pretty bad.”
But, really, I did it!
Back in January I made it a goal of mine for the year, 2013, to run a half marathon. The training for this beast began at the end of that same month and I did it! The weeks of running 20 and 30 miles are over. And honestly, I am pretty ready to play some more basketball and lift weights.
Amazing feeling to train for this and finish it. Doing something I never thought I could do really changed my perspective on how capable I really am and how capable my body and mind are.
Everyone has been asking: So are you going to do it again? Is this going to lead to a full marathon? The answer to the latter is, “No.” I imagine I would be physically able to run 26 miles in a row but I don’t want to do it. Running twice as much as we ran this past Saturday seems pretty absurd. But never say never. And, am I going to do it again? Hmm. Originally I’d say no but I have been told by several people who run marathons and who ran on Saturday that it was the worst half marathon weather conditions that they’ve ever run in. So that fact and knowing we ran faster than we had planned (averaging a 10:52/mile) on top of my competitiveness almost makes me want to run another one just so I can improve. ALMOST. The answer to that question is TBD.
I really hope this has inspired some of you to JUST DO IT. I can’t tell you enough how absolutely terrified of running I used to be and how I had no confidence in my ability to do it. (Refer to this post, when I decided to start the training). But, after doing the half marathon, it just really proves to me that you can do ANYTHING you put your mind to and sometimes you have to face your fears.
GU energy gel tastes disgusting (at least the Strawberry Banana flavor).
I enjoyed the Gatorade at the water stops but often times felt that I was dumping more on my face than in my mouth. One of my friends and fellow runners later told me a trick: squeeze/bend the plastic cup so you have a smaller area that the water is coming out, like a spout.
We had some conversations with people running near us and they were all inspiring. It was so much easier and more enjoyable to be out there running with hundreds of people (and the volunteers at the water stops were very inspiring as well, cheering us on).