I ran my very first half-marathon on February 5, 2012 in the Tallahassee Half-Marathon!!! It was amazing. If you had told me ten years ago that I would actually have a great time running 13.1 miles I would have laughed in your face. But I really had a good time. And I learned a few things that no amount of training would have prepared me for…
Like first of all, people really do run for fun! There were tons and tons of groups of people running together, laughing, joking, playing music, and generally having a good time. You could tell everyone was nervous but it was an excited, hyped kind of nervous. One of the seasoned runners even told me that nerves before a run were good, it meant you would run well.
Second of all, when others say don’t do anything new on race day, that means don’t do ANYTHING new on race day…! Wear your favorite running shoes, put on the same socks you’ve been training in, don’t even wear the sponsored t-shirt you’ll get. No, wear the same ragedy t-shirt you’ve been running in for the last six months. And whatever you do, do not eat anything new on race day. I made the mistake of eating some “Gu” a couple of times throughout the race…not a good idea.
Gu is basically a high carb, concentrated pack of “gooey” food that you suck out of a small bag. It helps boost your carb level and therefore gives you energy. I’ve never had any but I’ve heard of it. So when I was offered some at the mile 6 water station, I ate it. And then again at mile 9. Needless to say, it upset my stomach…badly. My body went into release mode around mile 11 trying to get rid of it. (And not out the front door, out the back…Not through the attic, through the basement…Not up, up and away but down, down Charlie Brown…LOL). Running 2 more miles while holding “that” in was a bit of a challenge to say the least but I managed it. Believe me when I tell you I’ll never forget that experience! And I learned a very important lesson on my first race…Don’t do ANYTHING new on race day! 🙂
Overall it was a great race and I’m so glad I got my first one out of the way. I bet many things seem scary and intimidating the first time you do them. Like giving birth for the first time. Or going to the first day of classes in college. (Or guys, how many of you will always remember the first time you made a girl mad and she kicked you in your “misters?” I bet whatever you did, you learned never to do that again or at the very least, you backed up the next time you did it…! LOL) So whatever you’re dreading doing for the very first time, go for it. It won’t be as bad as you’ve built it up in your head to be and that experience will probably teach you a few invaluable lessons.
So the training continues…I can’t stop until I run a full marathon. I will either have to find one with no time limits or get my marathon pace down so that I can finish one in less then 6 hours. Either way, stay tuned…the journey continues!
(I think I actually would have preferred an “attic” exit attempt…)