This past Sunday, I ran my very first half marathon. Christian has been running this one for a few years now and I was always on the other side of the tracks playing photographer, trying to capture his big finish. In fact, here’s his first half marathon finish:
This year, I decided to give it a shot. I trained like mad, creating a habit of running 6 days a week (I really needed to cross-train, but ended up focusing on a steady run routine instead – next time, next time). I wasn’t sure how I would do, seeing as how 13.1 miles is a buttload of miles to conquer by someone who really just doesn’t enjoy the act of running. Christian, the most supportive and patient husband in the world, trained alongside me throughout the course of several weeks, listening to my complaining and huffing and puffing and it really made all the difference in the world to me.
On race day, it felt odd to be among the runners. It was pretty awesome that I felt like I finally belonged there, but it was really crazy to think about how just the year prior, I decided that I’d never be up for completing a half marathon; I just wasn’t that dedicated to running to do it. Well, I’m glad I proved myself wrong. I started the race with Christian and our good friend Amy (who has participated in the San Jose Rock ‘n’ Roll Half every year since its inception). Amy’s husband Mike ran it too but he’s like a rocket, so the guy got to start ahead of us. As we approached the official starting line, I felt a brief moment of emotional overload where tears started to well up in my eyes and I was overcome with happiness in the thought that I was about to do this… thing. This huge thing that I never thought that I would ever be able to do in my life. It was nuts.
I won’t lie. The race was hard. I was feeling really good for the first two miles. The first band that the runners come across less than a mile in every year is the Independence High School Band directed by my old high school band teacher, Ken Ponticelli. That guy rocks and so does his band – it was such great motivation and I was so happy to know that I would be seeing him, I decided to run ahead, pull over, and give him a huge pre-sweat hug. It was great. After that, I was still feeling pretty good, checking out all the neighborhoods and people with their displays of doughnuts and beers out in front of their yards for any runners who dared to indulge mid-race, listening to Amy and Christian chat a bit (I’m not much of a chatter when I run – just don’t have the lungs to do both). As we approached mile 3, it was getting a bit harder for me. I was warmer than usual, thirstier than usual, and developed a cramp on my side. From that point on until the end, it was cramps off and on, water and Cytomax walk breaks whenever I could get them, and heat. During the last half mile of the race, my feet felt like they were on fire. I mean, ON FIRE! It was the strangest sensation and I couldn’t wait for it to be over. I usually try to push at the end of my runs and finish strong with a light sprint, but there was just no pushing for me on this one; it was a keep-moving-forward-and-don’t-pass-out deal for me. Well, I finished. My awesome Christian ran alongside me the entire race. Our chip time was exactly the same, down to the second (2:24:53). I grabbed my medal, a water, a banana, a muffin, a bagel, a marathon bar, and I was off to go stretch out the pain. It look me about 15 minutes to recover down to a manageable level of tired, but I felt so much better than I thought I was going to. I was also so uber-proud of myself for finishing when I did. It also made my day to be able to see my good friend Kat and her family there afterwards; they’re good peeps & I love them to pieces.
After Christian and I went home and got cleaned up, we went out for mexican food and a walk around the Great Mall. I was feeling really tired, but great! Later that evening at home, I started feeling really nauseous and took a nap, hoping the feeling would go away. It didn’t work and I felt sick the rest of the night. No puking; just unsettled yuckness. I Mortal Kombatted my evening away and went back to bed.
The next morning, I was sore beyond sore all over. My back, my shoulders, my calves, my quads. You name it, it hurt. The nausea was gone though, so I couldn’t really complain. Aside from the soreness, I was back to feeling good again. Now I’m able to continue feeling proud of myself for my huge accomplishment and plan for the next half marathon. Woohoo!
Thanks for reading and sharing in my big moment. Means a lot