I learned a lot about myself on this journey. This is the first "quest" I've been on that I have stuck with based on sheer determination. I have been running - since June of last year - 3, 4, 5 days+ a week. I haven't done anything that consistently for at least 11 years. (which is how old my son is about to turn!)
Two days before my race - my " running partner" - who has not trained with me in 6 months but had committed to run the half bailed on me. I can't say that I was surprised but I was forced to really look inside myself.
The biggest accomplishment of my life I was going to do alone. I think that's my biggest takeaway from this. Don't get me wrong - I am proud that I ran those 13.1 miles (at least most of them) but I am really PROUD that I made a decision to go - by myself - and run for me.
The race for the More Magazine + Fitness All Women's Half Marathon that took place in Central Park on April 15th. The race started at 8am and since I live about 90 minutes outside of the city I needed to go in the night before.
After playing tag with my husband (literally dropping our kids off at his office since he had to work that day) I took the train into Grand Central. I proudly got my metro card and took the subway downtown to the expo. Because at that point I was having (and still may be) a love / hate relationship with running I wasn't really into it. I didn't want to buy more running gear if I was going to lay off running for awhile.
Subway back up to my hotel and I spent the night by myself. REALLY SUCKED to be in the city alone. (and in bed by 9pm!) Felt like a total waste of money and the experience. I missed my husband and if we weren't dogsitting for our neighbors I probably would have pushed him to join me.
Anyways....the weather on race day was really nice. ALMOST too nice. The corrals were very clearly marked and the porto potty lines weren't too crazy. As the race kicked off it started to rain but it wasn't cold so I considered that to be a good thing. The sun coming out in all its glory about half way through made it HOT.
I was surprised by all of the walkers. Right from the beginning there were walkers. I'm a strict rule follower so I found this kind of annoying. Walkers were supposed to start in the back. I'm slow - but I wasn't in the walking corral. :-)
There were just under 8k runners. We were on top of each other. A lot of weaving in and out. This didn't really bother me- I'm so used to running alone that to be in with such a tight group of people was a new experience for me.
After the first mile I felt pretty good. (that first mile I always have to push myself through - as crazy as that sounds) Until mile 7.5 I ran at a steady pace - around 10:40 per mile.
Central Park is a lot of rolling hills with one mother of a hill on the Upper East. The first time I stopped to walk was at mile 7.5 and I only walked for less than a minute- just to "regroup".
At mile 10 I hit a wall. My legs were lead. The sides of my hips hurt, it was hot and I was TIRED. I had to push myself to run. I think I stopped 3 times in the last 3 miles!!
My end time was 2:23:51. Just under an 11 minute mile pace which was my goal. Truth be told - I wanted to be sure I came in under 2:30 and I really wanted 2:15. 2:15 didn't happen - but I was pretty happy with myself.
Overall it was a great experience and it taught me that for my next one (because I'm sure there will be a next one) I can do it. Nothing to fear.
I am healthy, I have trained for this - I am strong. A good mantra - I think I'll keep it.