After 12 weeks of training….
Many Saturdays spent pounding pavement…
I completed my first half marathon.
I am beyond ecstatic and so proud of what my body can accomplish. I had never ran anything more than a 10k before, and to think that I almost doubled that blows my mind. I think I’m still on that runner’s high. Colfax half marathon, you are the first of many to come.
Sunday morning started at 3:45 a.m. Yes. That early. Yes, it sucked. I didn’t get great sleep the night before due to nervous/excited butterflies. Regardless, my alarm went off in the wee hours of the morning and I awoke to make my cup of coffee and get ready for the race.
Oh, and foam roll. That’s normal, right?
I left my house around 4:15 to meet up with my friends who were also running the race. We made it to the parking lot in Denver around 5:15 to make ensure we had a spot. We actually made it to the start line to watch the marathon runners take off. It was awesome.
Before the start of the marathon, the announcer told a story about a man who had battled years of cancer and was running the race. They also had a moment of silence for Boston. Those two combined made this girl get goosebumps. The running community is SO amazing.
Before I knew it we were lining up in our corrals waiting to take off. I was excited/nervous/about to explode. I couldn’t wait to get going!
The first few miles took us around City Park and inside the Denver Zoo. I felt on top of the world the first 5 miles.
There were water/Gatorade stations every 2 miles, and I had a fuel belt with two extra water bottles in it just in case. I always felt hydrated but welcomed those water stations with open arms!
Around mile 6.5, right about the halfway point, my foot started acting up again. It started with just a dull pain and got progressively worse as I kept on chugging. It didn’t help that the roads were sloped most of the course which I think irritated it. I was so angry that it was happening that I tried to push through it and continue with my normal pace.
I ended up having a sllllooooow next couple of miles. I tried to enjoy the sights and other runners, to keep my mind off of my foot.
I ran into my friend Kirstin again at mile 8 and that helped to keep my spirits up!
The race course was beautiful and I enjoyed running through the neighborhoods of Denver and through Station 1 Firehouse in Aurora! It was almost always shady and we had BEAUTIFUL weather that day!
During my training, the last two miles of my long runs were my favorite. I always seemed to get a second wind and loved the feeling that I was about to accomplish a big distance goal. The longest I ran during training was 11 miles.
The last two miles of this race were NOT like any of my long runs. The last two miles really tested my mental strength. Just two more miles, I kept telling myself. Just two more miles.
I saw my friend Shelby cheering from the sidelines at mile 12, and that gave me the boost that I needed to finish. Also, about the last quarter mile a lady came up to me and said ‘come on let’s sprint! We’re almost there!’ I sprinted my booty to that finish line and was overjoyed with my accomplishment.
My unofficial race time is 2:14:51 according to Endomondo.
The running community is amazing. Overall, this race was amazing. And most importantly, my body is amazing.
A year ago I would have never thought that I would be crossing the finish line of my first half marathon that day. But, I did it, and I am so grateful to have the ability to run in general. It’s something that I often take for granted.
This is my biggest accomplishment this year and what I am most proud of. I have worked 12 weeks for this and am so happy I completed it. I can honestly say that I can’t wait for my next half. I’m thinking of doing the Rock n’ Roll half in October. Until then… a new goal awaits 😉 Any guesses?!?!
What is your favorite distance to race?
What’s your biggest accomplishment so far this year?
Do you prefer to do races or just run for fun?
*** edited to add: My OFFICIAL race time was 2:24:01. Not sure why my GPS was off SO much. I guess I should get a Garmin!***