My first half-marathon

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As the title states, this was my first 13.1.  I hadn’t even ran that far in any of my training runs.  I think I had maxxed out at 12 before I began my taper.  If you haven’t read my previous posts, this was the Louisville Marathon/Half-Marathon that was ran on Sunday Oct. 18, 2009.  It started at 8, and it was cold!!!  You can see by my picture below, I was a bit on the chilly side…

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Once it got closer to race time, I did a light warm up and stretch.  The sun had started to come up too, which gave me hope that it would warm things up a little.  Then started the dreaded disrobing…

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I made sure I had all my gadgets ready for the start…

Nike+iPod, CHECK

Nike+iPod, CHECK

Garmin Forerunner 305, CHECK

Garmin Forerunner 305, CHECK

Virgin Healthmiles Pedometer, CHECK

Virgin Healthmiles Pedometer, CHECK

Now I’m ready to go.  So I head to the crowd (since the starting line had all the real runners).  It feels like I’m standing there for a while…

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There are some announcements that I can’t hear.  Then the playing of the national anthem starts.  Everyone eventually quiets, then it’s over and we’re off.  Well not really.  We all start walking to the line where we eventually are able to start a trot.

100_5352For the first mile, I had to run a slower pace to weed through the runners.  I really wasn’t in a hurry either.  I knew I had 13.1 miles to run, and I’d find space eventually.  We headed East on River Road, and eventually followed a walkway through a park.  Came out, and headed into another park heading back West.  I felt stiff, during this part of the race.  My calfs were tightening up, but I figured they’d loosen up eventually.  Park run was done, now back on the road heading back from where we came, and passing the entrance to the Water Tower/Start…

100_5353We passed mile 3, and headed down River Road.  I felt strong the whole time on this stretch.  I kept checking the Garmin and it kept telling me I was in the low 8 min mile range.  This got me excited, as I knew if I kept that up, I’d easily hit my goal of finishing under 2 hours.  Mile 4 is when I took my first water.  I was glad to have it, as I skipped the mile 2 station.  Once I discarded, I was back to a solid pace.

I think I felt so strong, because I felt like this was my course.  I drive that route to work all the time (for about 5 years).  I have also ran a bit of the course with Holly (who was the one who graciously took the photos for this race).

Once we got downtown, we moved to the riverwalk, heading toward the turnaround.  We passed Mile 6, and I got more water.  This is where the track got narrow, and we started getting runners coming the other way, who had already been to the turnaround.  I was wanting to get there too, so I kept pushing on.  I started feeling a little weak in the legs too and wanted to get this thing over.

I finally hit the turnaround, and pushed to drop some people who I thought were running too close to me.  This was probably a bad idea, since they were able to pass me once we got back on River Road heading back.

At mile 9, I was tired.  I was running in the 9’s, and was wanting to walk.  I kept telling myself, that no matter what, I was not walking.  I kept pushing, trying to pick up the pace, but it would only last for a minute or so, and then I’d have to slow down.  I got the the soccer fields, and heard a cow bell.  I looked over, and there was Suzy!  I knew she was going to be there, to cheer on another Bourbon Chase runner, and it was good to see her.

I knew I only had a couple of miles left, and really wanted to get my time as below the 2 hour mark as possible, but my legs weren’t having it.  The last two miles seemed like eternity.  I finally made it to the entrance of the Water Tower, and realized it had an uphill to it.  Great…

100_5358All I had to do was make a turn and head down for the last .1 miles.  It was a downhill, and my speed picked up (not because of energy, just gravity).  I saw the timer above the finish, and felt a huge relief!  Even though my face doesn’t show it here.

100_5360I looked up as I crossed the line, it was 1:56 something.  I stopped my Garmin at the same time, it read 1:55:56.  The race was chipped, so I should have my real time shortly.  Either way, GOAL ACCOMPLISHED!

After the line, I was handed a medal, and a lady took the chip from my leg.  Someone else handed me a water.  I was not feeling great now.  I was a little dizzy and stiffening up quickly.  I walked it out and stretched until I was ready to leave…

100_5361100_5362I noticed I had a rub mark later from the chip on my ankle.  War wound I guess…

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So there’s my first Half.  I plan on doing more of those.  I want to get down in the 1:40’s on my next one.  I’ll keep you abreast of my plans.

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10 Responses to My first half-marathon

  1. WOW!!!!! I’m so proud of you! Holy cow, 13.1 miles is looooong. I’m so happy you met your personal goal too!

  2. Gina says:

    Dude, that’s amazing. You totally rocked the shizz out of that half.

    Daaaang, I’m gonna need to step up my game. (Which is none right now.)

    So come to Cincinnati in May and do the Flying Pig Half. It’ll be fun!

  3. Keisha says:

    You did an amazing job! Loved all of the gadgets you had on!

    Gina, you can run with me anytime!

  4. Pingback: My official time from my first half-marathon « My Fitness Blog

  5. DJ JustJohn says:

    Lizz – Thank you!

    Gina – I’m down for Flying Pigs anytime! I’m not quite to Adam’s level, but maybe someday.

    Keisha – Gadgets are my life. It’s partly the reason I run!

  6. Adam says:

    Excellent run and great report! I know how you feel when you feel like you lose steam and just want to walk. Hope to see you in the spring for the Pig.

  7. DJ JustJohn says:

    Adam – Thanks for the kind words! Hopefully by the Pig, I can be a little closer to your level 🙂 I can dream!

  8. Pingback: I wanna run faster! « My Fitness Blog

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