I completed my second ever half marathon this past Saturday. My first was 8 years ago in San Francisco. I did it with Team in Training from the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. My time was pretty abysmal…2 hours and 56 minutes which equates to a 13:46 pace. A less than stellar performance. Of course, at that point in my life I had just started running. Now, with 8 years under my belt I decided to tackle another one of these half marathons before turning 40. Here are a few things I’ve discovered:
1. I completed this half marathon in 2 hours and 36 minutes, a 12:00 pace. I am better conditioned than I was 8 years ago; however, my clothes from 8 years ago still don’t fit me. It’s those darn kids! Having them will do it to ya!
2. Running without an iPod is way more enjoyable especially when you’re surrounded by chatty cathy women. I heard conversations ranging from, “do you know if shingles are contagious?” to “I’m very gassy this morning. I hope that doesn’t affect my time.” Yes, folks, that is correct, and this conversation was between two ladies.
3. I will NEVER be able to run a 5 minute pace for a half marathon and I’m completely ASTOUNDED that the winner of the race did that! Heck, I can’t even do a 5 minute pace for a 5k.
4. Starting at the back of the pack is the best thing.
5. It really is exhilarating to have mere strangers cheering you on at various mile markers. This one group of ladies seemed to be following me! Maybe it was the pack of women I was running with, but they called out my name and rang their cowbells.
6. Mile 10 is when I really start getting hungry.
The only downside to this race, was that I didn’t have anyone to greet me at the finish line. Davey didn’t get to cross it with me. He was at his last soccer game, a rescheduled game for one that was cancelled due to bad weather at the start of the season. That saddened me especially as I hobbled back to my car and climbed in to drive home. I’ve always had someone, even if it was only my husband, who greeted me at the finish line. It’s always been nice to finish with a high five and a hug from the person you love.
I did receive a medal for completing this race, something I’ve never received before. Nothing flashy or gawdy, just a medal. I put it around my neck and grabbed my complimentary breakfast of banana and yogurt. When I got home, all three of my boys greeted me. Davey said, “good job, mama, good job.” And as I showered, my husband finished up my true medal. It’s made from a seashell he and Davey found at the beach this summer. The shell is in the shape of a heart and on the shell, he put finger prints of the boys in orange and purple (Clemson colors). It’s way better than the medal given to me at the completion of the race.
So, will I do another one of these? Probably not. I think I’ll stick to my 5k and 10k races. They’re much less brutal on my legs.