Sunday, March 11, 2012

I am a Half Marathoner!

I accomplished an unexpected goal this weekend, as I completed my first half marathon.  Though it may be surprising to hear, I never had a goal to run a marathon.  I prefer the shorter races, as my lifelong training in soccer is much more conducive to sprints.  It was the LLS's Team in Training program that convinced me to do it. I originally was planning to complete a triathlon through the program, but figured that wasn't a big enough goal as I have already completed triathlons.  I decided instead to go big and train for the marathon.

As we begin to approach the big day, my coaches suggested that those of us who have never run a marathon should enter a half marathon race to help us develop a race strategy and learn what the full marathon might be like.  It turns out that a lot of thought goes into running for multiple hours.  I have to figure out what and when to eat or drink, the day before and during the race and after the race.  Most likely I will be running for 5-6 hours in Madrid, so I have to think about when to let my body take a break and walk.

The half marathon definitely helped with all of that.  I think I started out running a little bit too fast, so I will have to be more careful in Madrid.  But, even though I walked more than I wanted to in the 2nd half of the marathon, I FINISHED!  I was only about 10 minutes behind my goal time which gives me hope that I will be able to complete the Madrid race within the time limit after learning more about racing for a long time.

It was much harder than I imagined it would be, but it was also my longest run to date.  Up until this point, my longest run had been 10.5 miles.  I bested that by a good amount with 13.1 miles logged today.  My run tracker tells me that I burned over 1500 calories during the run.  Can you believe that?  It might explain why I am always ravenous these days.  :)

Thanks to everyone who encouraged me along the way today!  It was such a great treat to have Facebook posts giving me strength before the race and helping to celebrate my accomplishment when all was said and done.

Six weeks until race day!
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