During the training for this race, I covered new ground, literally and figuratively. I ran more miles than I ever had before. I learned how to fuel on the run, even though I never really mastered gels. Truth be told, I would munch on a few bites of a Balance bar every few miles...the thought of that makes me gag now! I trained solo, in freezing conditions, often questioning my own sanity. I took advice from friends and coworkers who were experienced runners and I approached race day relatively informed but also completely naive about a half marathon.
|Before the start of our first 13.1 - blissfully clueless!|
What I do remember was hanging over the fence past the finish line, totally exhausted and eventually saying I needed help for the golf ball-sized blister on my foot. We walked over to the medical tent where I collapsed on a bench and grabbed an ice bag to throw on my neck. When I couldn't completely explain why I needed medical help, Mom quickly sprang into action and helped get me some immediate assistance. I was thrown into a wheelchair and taken into the tent. My vitals were scary: BP of 79/56; temp of 103.9; and pulse of 139. An hour later, I emerged to rejoin my Mom and Aunt where my Mom handed me my medal. Side note - she had to tell the volunteers in medical that I had finished so I got a medal. If she hadn't done this, I might not have gotten that medal!
|Post-medical tent with my Aunt (who won her AG!) and Mom|
Note my cool 2XL Wine and Dine shirt - got this since they took off my
running top to cool me off in the tent.
|My first half marathon bib|
In the years since my first race, I have embraced running. It's become part of me, just like swimming was part of me in high school and college. And I haven't looked back. What else has running done for me? Let' see...
- Running has improved my relationship with my Mom. Now we have this incredible shared hobby and it truly has brought us closer together.
- Running has given me a healthy outlook on my body.
- Running has gifted me with many, many wonderful friends, whom I never otherwise would have met!
- Running has provided me with neat opportunities to race all over the world.
- Running is a wonderful stress reliever for me.
- Running won't always be there. There may be times when injury, life, or something else keeps you away.
- Running has improved my self-confidence. Since it's a highly individual sport, you are in complete control of the outcomes (with some very minor exceptions) so I've learned that I'm capable of a lot...and enduring a lot of pain in the process.
- Running has been a wonderful outlet for goal setting outside of my job.
- If I wasn't running, I wouldn't have been able to experience the running community which is a warm, welcoming place that I deeply embrace.
While my first half marathon was very much a flawed day, it was the beginning of a very positive transformation of my life. And I'm forever grateful that I had a hair-brained idea to run a half marathon before my 30th Birthday and begged my Mom and Aunt to join me in that crazy journey! Thinking back on your first big race, what have you learned or how do you remember that day?
- More details on the my medical experience in 2011 in The Health Issue
- I believe in me
- The fun, albeit unexpected return to running in 2012