I did it! I ran my first half marathon today! I am so proud of myself since the training the last weeks wasn’t exactly what I would call a good preparation for today and I ran faster than I expected. Last weeks run was a total disaster that I cut it short and went to Leinster’s first home game to lift my mood again (they absolutely smashed the Scarlets). The longest distance until today was 11 miles a couple of weeks ago and from them I knew that it would be tough in the end, and believe me it was.
The last days I had monitored the weather forecast because the last I wanted were “high” temperatures and sunshine. The last days it was very foggy all day so I hoped this would stay like. The weather forecast of course promised sunshine, no clouds and up to 17 degrees for the day. Not exactly what I was looking for for today. Luckily the forecast is only a forecast because the clouds didn’t leave the sun through for half of the run and even then only rarely.
With the clouds on my side I started the race. The first miles were rather narrow so it was kind of circling around the runners that were slower than me. Not exactly how I wanted to start this run. After tackling the first little hill the roads got wider and it was much better to run. I also fell into a more or less steady pace and wondered why my training run are sometimes more of a struggle. Probably the whole atmosphere in a race just absorbs and pushes you. If only some runners would use earphones. I think I passed at least three or four runners holding their phones in their hands listening loud to music.
After about half of the race I started to think about parts of my body that didn’t really like what I was doing but at the same time I became faster and had to remind myself to not to run to fast because I still had a couple of miles to go and didn’t know if there were still some ups and downs awaiting me. Running faster is nice for the overall time but not if you have to slow down eventually.
After about 10 miles we left the Phoenix Park for a bit over 1.5 miles. That stretch felt at least twice as long as it actually was and it came to my mind that if I would walk after 11 miles it wouldn’t be too bad because this would be my longest run so far but I pushed myself through this knowing that there’d be only 3km left. Back in the park – now really struggling – the road went up. Although most of the time I was able to keep my pace for some parts I got slower. On the last metres the last I wanted to do was walking so getting slower and then faster again on the last stretch was definitely the right decision. Especially, when I saw the finish line and the clock showing that I was apparently faster than I thought. I had checked my Garmin from time to time but never really calculated that I was not as slow as expected…
I finished the half marathon in 02:02:48. Since I didn’t feel well prepared at all I’m really happy with this time. Next year then my goal will be to run a sub 2h half marathon. This gives me also one full year of training to tackle those 3 minutes. Let’s see how well that works with my triathlon goal for next year…
When I got home the first thing to do was to grab my phone to tell my mum about the 1/2 marathon (I don’t really like to leave it at the bag drop or run with it so I had to wait a bit – my Galaxy S4 with cover has the size of a phone booth). A friend of mine had sent me a message to wish me good luck which I only saw about 2 hours after she had sent it since it took me ages to go home from Phoenix Park. Funnily enough she had sent it around the time I actually finished the run. But nevertheless, I just wanted to call my mum first before answering the message…
After eating a huge pizza while watching Hemlock Grove I’m feeling much better again. Nevertheless, a quiet evening with tea and TV seems a good idea after my first half marathon. I think also really need to recover well since in only two weeks I’ll be facing another 10 to 12 miles in the Tough Mudder (did I mention that I’m already scared of the the last obstacle containing electric wires?).
Have a nice weekend. =)