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Half Marathon Completed

17 Mar

So I ran the Moab Half Marathon yesterday, and I gotta say it was a fun experience. I was a bit nervous going in, but as the morning progressed, I was more excited than nervous.

As this was my first half, I fluctuated between having high expectations, low expectations, and no expectations. My high expectations were kind of what made me nervous to begin with, so I ditched those. That was a load off! On to the lower expectations. I decided on a doable pace and that was the new plan.

Everything went smoothly yesterday morning. I got my bib, found the park where the busses were loading up runners, etc.

My daughter came with me so we planned where we would meet and when. Then began the hour wait in line for the bus. It was fine though because there were lots of funny, relaxed runners around, the weather was perfect (I had been worried about wind, the one condition I never train in, I hate wind, hate it), and I was properly fed (and bathroom’d).

So I finally got on a bus and we’re driving up the canyon (the race was along the Colorado River on Hwy 128) and I’m thinking 2 things. First, there are a lot of rolling hills so far, and second, we have been driving for quite a while.

Finally we get to the start. There are people dozing on rocks, reading books or magazines, enjoying coffee, etc. I head up to the start to find the pacers. It’s really crowded, but that’s ok because it is 10x warmer in the crowd.

After what seemed like forever, the race began. I kept a close eye on the pacer and set out to enjoy my run. The mile markers came and went. At one point I reached mile 5 without even realizing I had passed mile 4, so that was nice.

The rolling hills continued and I must say, the downs really weren’t worth all the ups. Anyway, I kept running along, keeping an ever watchful eye on the pacer, when the 8 mile marker appeared. WTF?! I missed the halfway mark when I was going to do a happy dance in my head celebrating being halfway through!

Here I was in this beautiful canyon along the Colorado River and I had missed 8 miles of it because I was so focused on the pacer. So I thought I could either plug away as I had been for the past 8 miles, or I could ditch my low expectations, and go the no expectations route.

I decided to turn off my playlist, enjoy my snacks and gatorade and chat with anyone who was willing to do so. And you know what? I started to see the fun of running this thing. I was able to enjoy the last 2 or 3 miles of the canyon before we started into town toward the park. There were spectators along the route from mile 11 up to the finish and it was fun getting low fives from the cute little kids.

I finally crossed the finish at 2:05:50. I was happy….nothing was hurting…..I was excited to do another one and pumped to continue toward a full marathon!

So for me (at least for this first half), going with no expectations (but to enjoy the ride) worked pretty well (even if it did take me 8 miles to figure it out).

So it’s almost race day!

14 Mar

Here it is, almost race day. My first half marathon. I was sooooo excited about this until Monday when I realized, “Holy Shit! I am running a half marathon. 13.1 miles. Who the hell does that!”

Half-marathon fun facts: from

Since 2003, the half-marathon has been the fastest growing road race distance in the United States, and for six consecutive years (2006–11), the number of 13.1 mile finishers has grown by 10% or more each year. No other U.S. road distance comes close to this growth rate during the Second Running Boom (circa 1994).

Since 2000, the number of half-marathon finishers in this country has more than tripled (482,000 to 1,610,000), an increase of 234%.

59% of half-marathon finishers were females (approximately 950,000, a record).

In 2011, there were a record number of 30 U.S. half-marathons with 10,000 or more finishers. This has nearly doubled since 2009 when there were 17 with 10,000-plus finishers; in 2000, there was only one.

There were a total of 43 half-marathons that make up the Top 100 U.S. timed road race list for 2011 with 16 of them from the nationwide Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series.

Like the past 5 years, there were more than 30 inaugural half-marathons in the U.S. last year, and 2011 produced the largest debut annual half-marathon ever, Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah, with 14,163 finishers (previous record, 13,835, P.F. Chang’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona)

Ok, so a lot of people do this. I have never been one of those people, though, and now I wonder just what the hell possessed me to think that this (and perhaps a marathon at some point), was an awesome idea.

It’s not that I can’t run 13.1 miles. I can. It won’t be pretty, and the pace won’t be particularly impressive, and I will most likely smell like death and regret when I am finished. I guess what I am freaked out about is, I am a creature of habit, and nothing about getting up at 4:15 am on a Saturday morning (well, any morning if I’m going to be honest), and driving an hour and a half away in order to hang around a start for an hour + waiting for the race to start, fits into my daily habit.

I have only run under perfect (for me) circumstances. You know, wake up, have a huge glass of water, a cup of coffee, and a bowl of oatmeal. I mess around on my ipad and then decide if the weather is nice enough to venture out in. If it is, great, out I go. If it’s not, I hang out inside until it warms up a bit.

But this is not so on race day. You run regardless of the weather, regardless of a nervous stomach (or God forbid, a nervous bowel), and regardless of your mindset.

So I am worried. I have run 5 and 10k’s and yes I was a tiny bit nervous, but I knew going in to the 5k, I’d be finished in 26 minutes or so (I can handle anything for 26 minutes). I knew going in to the 10k I’d be finished in 50 minutes or so (and again, I can handle anything for 50 minutes).

But a half marathon is quite a commitment (for me anyway). I am in the 2 hour pace group. I can’t wait to see if I can handle anything for 2 hours. I hope after Saturday I will be able to say, “I know I can handle anything for 2 hours!”

Well, that was quite a rant. Maybe there is something to this blogging thing after all. I feel much better now that I have that off my chest.


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