Running My First Half Marathon

Ran the Greer Earth Day Half Marathon yesterday. Am still recovering, and got hit hard this morning with what I like to refer to as “running coma.” Neither of us could sleep in, so we went to the early service at church and then did a little shopping. Midway through the shopping excursion, I started to drag. Scott jokingly told me to “work through” the tired, but when I set a record by falling asleep within the first 30 seconds of our 10-minute drive home, he told me to go to bed. So I did. I’m about to call it an early night, but after the whole “race preparation” build-up, I don’t think it’d be very nice to let the suspense keep building.

So. Back to the race. The facts first:  I was 116th out of 240+ and ran a 1:59:30. It was a hilly course, and it was a little warm and a lot humid. I’m both disappointed and amused. Disappointed because I thought I could be somewhere closer to 1:45:00, amused because my main goal (besides finishing) was to break two hours. In typical underachiever fashion, I managed to do just that…barely. I am the queen of squeaking by. Scott was 2nd in his age group, maintaining his spot at the top of the GTC series leaderboard. Way to go, husband!!! 🙂

I ran a fantastic half of a half of a marathon. I’m telling you, that quarter marathon, I was feeling FANTASTIC. I didn’t even go out hard. I felt well within myself, but when the end came, it hit hard. Right around mile 7, the course went onto Hwy 14 (sidenote: always, always a bad thing when a race goes onto a highway) and I got a not-so-healthy whiff of a nearby landscaping company. Eau de Pine Needles x 10,000 pushed me over the edge. I went from averaging 8:40 miles and loving life (and half marathons) to throwing up on the side of the road and contemplating a shortcut back to the starting line. U-G-H. The water station at mile 8 probably saved the day. I took some time to drink a full cup of water and dump another over my head, then walked (argh! walked!) for a few minutes. The next three miles passed slowly, as I found the appropriate pace of “trudge” that didn’t make me want to vomit.

I ended up having to take a couple of extra breaks, and the long stretch on Poinsett was far from enjoyable. I got some encouragement from passing runners (thank you, anonymous runners  #1-4!) and eventually made it across the finish line. From what I’ve been seeing on the GTC website, I wasn’t the only one who crashed into a wall. I find that mildly comforting, because maybe it means I’m not as much of wimp as I feel like right now.

And my poor mom asked, “didn’t you ever think of just stopping?” Oh yeah, Mom. I’m sorry to worry you. I just can’t get all the way to mile 8 and not finish. Even if it’s not going the way I planned. Even if it’s not fun. Even if it means jogging. Even if it means walking. Even if I look a little pathetic. And in return, I’m sporting a fantastically tough-looking blood blister, a finisher’s medal, my 10 points for the GTC racing series, and (most importantly) a half marathon PR. Go me.

P.S. Congratulations to everyone who ran either race this weekend! And thanks to all the volunteers who made the race possible!

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5 responses

  1. very good ms megan! you went the distance and that is what counts!

    don’t underestimate temperature as a factor, it was a little on the warm side for running and hence flemming’s first theorem of road running: “do not start a run you can’t be be done with by 9 am”. the moment the sun comes out, i’m done for.

    i agree “go me(gan)”

  2. I was anxiously awaiting this recap all weekend. Congrats on finishing your first half marathon! You may feel like a whimp but honestly, you should be proud. A half marathon is no small feat. I mean, the fact that you still finished in under 2 hours even with the throwing up, I mean really, that’s pretty amazing. I’m of course, incredibly impressed and oh so proud of my oldest friend! 🙂 Way to go!

  3. You know I’m really glad you bring the good and the bad on this blog and are totally honest with everyone. It really is inspiring especially to a new runner like me. I had a terrible run on Saturday so much that I wondered what I was thinking for believing running could be my thing. Nevermind that I was up all night Friday walking 13 miles for Relay for Life but still… You think at this point I wouldn’t hit a wall so early on in my run. But coming on here and reading your blog helps me keep faith that not only do “I get to run” but that I can have bad days and continue on. I’m still going to take a week off to cross train and then start running again next week but I just wanted to let you know your honesty and your tenacity have really helped me. Thanks for being a great example for me even when you don’t realize you are being one. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Countdown to 13.1, Version 2 « MeganRunning

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