Friday, November 13, 2009

Half Marathon

On Friday November 6th I flew to Atlanta to run my first half marathon. I ran the zooma half marathon. A friend of mine Ali was supposed to run with me but sadly is plagued with injury and couldn't join. Even though she couldn't run she still opened her house to let me stay with her and cart me around! We had a great dinner with the president of an AWESOME organization getting2tri.

Late Friday night another friend arrived at Ali's house, Zu. The 3 of us went to the mini-expo on Saturday and walked around Atlantic Station a bit. Then joined other friends for appetizers and drinks after driving the course. I have to tell you while driving I didn't think the hills of Atlanta would be too tough, nothing compared to Worcester!

We were up early on Sunday, Race Day! I like a big breakfast pre-race. So I had scrambled eggs and toast. I was really nervous the morning of the race. The week of the race I had unexpected work travel and my legs weren't feeling too great. But- as I lined up to start I just reminded myself all I had to do was finish. I had a main goal of finishing but I would like to be in the 2:00- 2:15 time range. Well at about mile 4 it became obvious that the 2 hour plan wasn't going to work and I just went for a finish.

Zu finished the race in 1:45ish. As soon as she finished she walked back out the course and met me at about mile 11.5. It was a welcome face with a LOT of encouragement. She helped me through those last few miles that were tough. I have to say I looked down at my watch when Zu said "just around this corner" and realized it was 2:27. The competitive side of me kicked in and I kicked it to the finish I didn't want to be over 2:30. And I didn't I finished in 2:29! We got awesome finisher medals that are necklaces... I haven't stopped wearing it!

I was overcome with a lot of emotion at the finish. A half marathon isn't something I thought I could accomplish when I started training. It was one of those goals that was just outside of the relm of possible. I had always thought with my swimming background that a triathlon wouldn't be much of a stretch but I was never a distance runner. Before I started training 5 miles was a long run. But let me tell you I survived racing 13.1 and it feels great! I'm already thinking about next season or the next race.

I scheduled a 5k for my next work trip to Dallas. I will run on 21 Nov and plan on doing a Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving with my Mom. To be honest- I am really shocked by how much I have accomplished so far this season:
5 5k's
1 10k
Off Road Sprint Triathlon
Half Marathon

Not bad for someone who had never raced any of these before. I have a real sense of accomplishment when I look at how far I have come!