Distance: Half Marathon
Official Time: 3:01:32
Location: Albany, New York
Well here it is, my first half marathon! First of many, definitely. I didn’t let the fact that I’ve gained my weight back and have been lazy with running get in the way of enjoying my first half marathon. In fact, I only missed my goal time by a minute (granted it was a very easy goal that I set).
I actually got a decent sleep. Not a good sleep, but a decent one. We were in a timeshare for the week and surprisingly I went to bed early and at least got like 6 hours of sleep. Everything went smoothly when I woke up. I had some stomach issues probably from the nerves, but all was good by the time the race began.
My wife dropped me off at the starting line 30 minutes early and I was amazed at how nice of a day it was. The race started right at 8:30 and we were off. For the first 3 or 4 miles I deviated from my plan of running a minute / walking a minute. I’d say I probably ran the first 6 minutes, then went to intervals of 2 min run / 1 min walk. That lasted around 4 miles or so then I settled into my plan of 1 minute intervals. I set such an easy interval plan because I wanted to make sure that I finished, and my previous long run was only 8 miles. So I had to take the easy approach this first time out.
Miles 4-9 were pretty much the same. Running and walking in set intervals of around a minute. Mile 9 is when things started falling apart a little bit. I found myself skipping some of my run intervals, but still probably had a decent split for the mile.
I’d say at mile 10 1/2 I kind of packed it in and started walking. I tried running, but my legs just kept locking up. My calf muscles would get so tight that I just couldn’t jog. It was weird. I’ve never experienced that before. Both legs would lock up unbelievably tight. I definitely kept a very fast walking pace though. Probably the fastest I’ve ever walked before. I’d randomly try running every so often but the leg issue would always show up.
Yes I’m disappointed that I walked a lot of this race, but I’m also proud of myself. This was my first one so I have plenty of time to improve and get better each time. Not many people that are overweight try and go out and do a half marathon so I’d say I’m pretty proud. I set a goal and I achieved it. No giving up, no quitting.
Once I hit mile 13 it was the homestretch. People lined the finish and I managed to jog it in, fighting through the leg pain. Just missed my goal of sub 3. Oh well. Next time I’ll be way more prepared and crush that time.
I got my finisher’s medal and headed over to the food tent and got a Panera bagel, Nature Valley Bars, Sun Chips and chocolate milk. The chocolate milk was unbelievably delicious.
Oh, almost forgot, I tried my very first Gu. They handed me one around mile 9 or so and I decided it was worth it to try. The first mouthful was disgusting, but then I kind of liked it after that, haha. I realized it was a much needed energy boost.
Overall I LOVED this distance. What a challenge! Not unbelievably difficult like a marathon, but nowhere near as easy as a 10k. It really is the perfect challenge! I plan on doing at least 2 half marathons in 2012, and hopefully one full one by the end of the year, maybe in November.