Running with Jets
Sunday, November 11, 2012
I'm ecstatic and euphoric after finishing my first half-marathon today!
It was a cold clear morning but the Bay was like glass with the planes rumbling overhead every few minutes. My plan was 10:15 min/miles for the first 4-5, then pick it up to 9:45 for the next 4, then bring it home with 9:15...my goal was 2:15. My training buddy who could not race surprised me by meeting me at the starting line to see me off, so I had lots of good energy to carry into the race. Unfortunately, after running almost a mile, I realized I'd started too fast, 9:06 oh no!!
I tried to relax and back off, but the next 2 miles rolled in at 9:29 and 9:39...I could NOT slow down! At this point I decided to go with it...I would try to keep the pace between 9:30 and 9:50 for as long as possible but I dreaded hitting the wall so I decided to take Gu at 5 miles (about 10 min earlier than I'd trained with). Now I was completely off my plan and usual race rhythm so I worried about when the "wheels would come off"...
Miles 4 thru 8 passed pretty easily and I kept a steady pace in the 9:40's. My buddy surprised me again by appearing at mile 6 to cheer me on. He promised to meet me at mile 9 with gu so I had something to look forward to. I started speeding up at mile 9 in anticipation of that! When I saw him at mile 10 I'd made up my mind I was going to push to the finish...2 miles at 9:00-ish then all-out for the final mile.
It went pretty much that way, 9:01 and 9:04 for miles 11 and 12, then I drained the tank with 8:44. My training group coach and 2 teammates were there with DH to cheer me on the final sprint to the finish. When I stepped over the line the clock said 2:05!
Since this was my first HM, any finish would have been a PR but ten minutes faster than my goal was beyond my wildest dreams!
Everything about my first HM experience was better than I expected, in a huge way. I enjoyed the training, met new friends and found a part of running that I never knew about...the social aspect. I found new strength in myself and discovered that the mental part of running is always the hardest, but that friends make that part easier. And now I've got a permanent grin on my face that may take days to fade...what a rush!
p.s., The picture is of the E-4b "doomsday plane" that flew overhead as I was running. Thank you veterans!