i did it. i actually did it! i ran my first half marathon this morning. my time was 2:10:37.
i had set some unrealistic goals for myself, to the tune of "finish in under 2:00!", which was a tad impractical given that this was my first distance race. but when i got to the start line this morning, i was just giddy with excitement. i had trained my ass off, and this was my day. no expectation or missed goal was going to rob me of this, my first half marathon. so my goals changed as i crossed over that start line. i decided to enjoy the run, high-five the spectators, rock out to my awesome playlist, keep consistent with my speed, and keep a smile on my face as much as i could.
my strategy was to hold back for the first ten miles so that when i passed the ten-mile flag, i would have a little gas for the last 3.1 miles. i would say, over all, this strategy worked. my miles were alarmingly consistent, coming in right under 10 minute miles for every stinking mile... up until 10.
at 10, i kept telling myself "just a 5k left. and i eat 5k's for breakfast, b*tches!". but it was awful hard to kick up the speed. this was my original plan - try to do 9 minute-miles for the last 5k. but i just didn't have it in me. i sped up a little, but felt myself getting extraordinarily exhausted and lightheaded. plus, with pelting rain, soaking wet shoes from the start of the race, and a high temp of about 38, i decided to just be happy with what i was doing - which was running consistently, still smiling and keeping my form together.
when i crossed that finish line, i was handed a medal, a bottle of water and some gatorade, and promptly collapsed into my mother's arms in tears. i've been through a lot of emotionally challenging things in my 33 years, but never, ever, have i don't anything physically hard that even comes close to this. and i did it. i actually, really did it.
as the badger and i walked back to our car, he asked me "when's your next race?" and i said "i don't have any on the calendar yet. but i don't think i'd ever want to do a distance race like this again..." and literally, before i could even take another breath, i said "but it would be nice to break 2:00..."
so, i've officially caught the bug?