As I mentioned in the first post in this series, I was working toward running my first half-marathon during Labor Day weekend, which – if you’ve been paying attention – was this past weekend. I am happy to say that I did complete my training, although not as diligently as I would have liked, and was able to finish the race in a respectable time of 2:16:51 thanks to my running buddy who talked me into this whole mess in the first place (love you, Miranda!). I’ll share a photo of us from the finish; it’s definitely nothing to brag about and I’m sorry about the blurriness and the watermarks but I’m not going to pay $25 for one photo of sweaty ol’ me. Ridiculous.
So how did I get to the finish line? My first post outlined my training schedule – one that I had complete intentions of following. I was good for the first half of my training since the runs weren’t too time-intensive, but the second half of training required much more dedication since the runs needed 1-2 hours of my time to complete each week. I admit that I did slack off on my shorter runs during the week, and – as a result – had some knee issues on my longer runs that I believe were just due to lack of conditioning. The last 1.5 weeks of my training, I did make myself get out there more and do 6-7 miles rather than the 4-5 miles (short runs) or 11-12 miles (long runs) to keep myself moving without pushing my knee too much. I am happy to report that my knee didn’t bother me the entire half-marathon and I’ve felt great ever since. I truly believe that you have to listen to your body, and as many runners have told me during my training, it’s really just trial-and-error to see what works for you because everybody is different. I started having to eat something immediately before my runs and drink water during my runs, neither of which I would have EVER done in my running experiences prior to this training. Surprisingly my body adapted to these changes since it needed that fuel to keep going. I’m impressed with how well my (almost) 31-year-old (my birthday is literally 3 hours away!) held up during the process.
What now? As soon as I completed the half-marathon, I had several people already ask me if I’m going to run a marathon next. Kudos to those of you who dream of running one, are training for one, or have already run one, but I don’t think that’s in the cards for me. Whether or not I could physically do it, I just don’t have any interest in running 26.2 miles. Ever. I’m happy to say that I completed 13.1 and it was a great experience, but one that I’m not sure I want to dedicate time to doing again anytime soon. Thanks to all of my family and friends who helped support me during my training – who babysat my son, who texted me to set up running dates, who offered advice along the way, and those who came down to Virginia Beach to cheer me on in person. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience in every aspect, and I have all of you to thank for that.