Only a runner could understand the excitement that comes with (voluntarily) setting out to run 13.1 miles. A half marathon. But don’t let the “half” part fool you. While a marathon is grueling (I can only imagine) a half, is no walk in the park. This Sunday, Valentine’s Day, I will be running the Austin Half Marathon. My first half marathon (and the 25th anniversary of this great race). I had a personal goal set to run a half marathon by the time I was 35 and a full marathon by 40. Well I am currently 35 (and 36 will be exactly a month after the half) so I think that counts. Better late then never!
I have always believed that everything happens for a reason. I actually wasn’t even registered for this race. When registration opened, I was still employed and had no way to properly train for a half at this time of year. I would have had to put in a lot of miles during the busiest time of year at my prior job. But as fate so had it, I lost my job 2 months ago and a friend of mine, who had registered, had a change of plans and gave me her bib! So here I am, less then two days out, blogging about my “it was meant to be” race.
My training runs ended this week. I did a ten miler on Monday and another 4 yesterday. To my surprise, my ten miler was my fastest yet (1:35:55) and I didn’t experience any pain or discomfort. I had a great pace too (9:35 average). My training runs did include some hilly areas because the Austin Half is a rather hilly course. It will definitely be a little more challenging for a first timer. But I feel strong and proud and ready. I don’t have a PR set because I have never run this distance before, but I would like to finish sometime between two and two and a half hours. Everyone that I have trained with, thinks I will surprise myself and be closer to the two hour end then I realize. All and all I just want to finish and leave the PR for next time.
I’ve had a lot of great support and coaching with my training. Between my running group and coach, I got on track fast to put in the right amount and right kind of training (intervals and hills work if you commit to doing the work!). And, my ever so dear to me, best running girl friend, hit most of my runs along with me (including the long ones and the hills) even though she wasn’t training for anything. Not to mention the wonderful people at The Tri Doc (great sports chiropractor in my area) who helped keep me injury free. I am very grateful to all of them.
I think this is why I love running so much. It can be as easy or hard as you want it. You can do it alone or with company. And you will surprise yourself most of the time with what you can accomplish. I might now always be the fastest but the only run that is a bad run, is the one you don’t do! I can’t wait to share my experience with everyone sometime next week!