Jun 5, 2011

My First Half Marathon

All my training since January was tested Saturday, April 30th. That was the day of the American Parkway Half Marathon, hosted by my running group, SacFit. The week leading up to the event had proved to be a cold and windy one, and that was exactly the same weather I experienced when I arrived at the starting line at 6:30 AM. That was my given parking and arrival time – the organizers assigned parking areas and arrival times to reduce congestion on the small neighborhood roads. The race wouldn’t start until 7:45 AM. I quickly found some of my running partners and we huddled and jumped around trying to keep warm until the sun was high enough to help us out.

The race kicked off with a group of bagpipe players marching to the start line, followed by the National Anthem. Next thing we knew, we were off. My 14-minute mile pace group stayed close together a major portion of the race, with our coach keeping us on pace, and my Garmin watch (an early birthday present from my dad!) alerting us to when we should be running and when we should walk so that we didn’t loose steam at the end of the race.

My Running Group Before The Race

Around mile 9 we lost our coach as she wanted to stay on pace while most of us were ready to run a little faster. I kept the group on track for our run/walk intervals, until mile 12. That’s when I took off and ran the last 1.1 miles in just over 10 minutes, not walking once. I was definitely struck with a second wind at this point in the race.

Around Mile 9 or 10

It felt amazing to finish the race, feeling strong right through to the end of the 13.1 miles. It took me 3 hours and 11 minutes, but that didn’t matter. I’d achieved my goal.

In My Final Mile, Going Strong

As soon as I got home I logged on and signed up for the Summer/Fall session of SacFit. We start up again in June 11. I ended up taking the month of May off from running as during the race my left knee started to bother me. I ran the Kaiser Pemanente's Women's Fitness Festival 5K today and my knee did act up some, but luckily I see a sports medicine doc tomorrow to have it checked out.

And while I’m not ready to take on 26.2 miles (a full marathon), I’ll definitely be doing a few more ½ marathons and trying to improve my time. My next running goal is to move up a pace group or two within SacFit.

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