Posted by: isshino | May 6, 2008

My first half marathon: The Race

Last Sunday was my first half marathon. It was an incredible experience, a huge challenge and I feel great after doing it. It’s one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had so far.

Like I did with my first 10k race, I’m going to make 2 posts about the race, one with the The Results and this one with the Race Report.

I had set my alarm clock at 4:30 am, but at 4:20 I was already up brushing my teeth. I barely got any sleep, I was really anxious about the race. But it was Ok, I had been resting the whole week to make sure I had enough energy for this day. the race was going to start at 6:30, and I wanted to be there early. I wanted to have time to stretch, warm up and enjoy the moments before the race along with all the other runners.

The race was starting on a big local soccer stadium, so all the expectators were up on the bleachers cheering for the runners. It was an incredible experience being down there on the field. At 6:20 there was an announcement saying that the race was going to start in 10 minutes. I was just finishing stretching, did a warm up lap on the stadium and found myself a place near the middle of the runners. You could see that everyone was really exited and waiting for the race to start, those minutes seemed to last forever!!

The race started at 6:30, as always, it took a few minutes before I could start moving. I always feel weird at this point, THE RACE STARTED!!! BUT I CAN’T RUN YET!!! When the people around me started running I turned on my iPod and started listening to a Muse Playlist I made in the morning for this moment. The race started with a lap around the stadium, which was amazing because we had all the expectators on the bleachers cheering for us!!!

This time I had decided I wasn’t going to go all out at the start, I was going to start slow. My plan was to stay in my heart rate zone for the first half of the race, and to speed up after the first 10k. I knew a lot of people was going to pass me but I would catch up later.

The first 6k were the hardest part of the race!! I felt as if I was going really slow and that EVERYONE was passing me!!! I even looked back a couple of times to check if I was the last one on the race. At least there was a gorgeous tall blonde chick going at my pace during the first 4k,but then even she left me behind! To make it worse, I was having pains on my left leg and my left shoe was feeling uncomfortable since the race started. I had to stop a couple of times to check my shoe, but I didn’t find anything wrong.

At the 6k mark I started to listen to a Get Your Geek On podcast episode. I usually listen to them during my long runs, and when I started to listen to it I felt as if something changed. The anxiety went away, it started to feel more like another training session, just with a lot of people around me. By this time people had stopped passing me and I was around a group of people that were at my same pace, things were getting better!! FINALLY!!!

When I was near the 9k mark it started raining, have I mentioned that I LOVE running under the rain??, well, I LOVE running under the rain!!! With my leg pains gone I decided I was doing Ok now, and that I could start running faster, not all out yet, but I could go faster… So I started to speed up!

The new speed, the rain, Get Your Geek On playing on my iPod… This was a different race!! I was feeling great now!! I started passing people, a lot of people! (including the gorgeous blond from before, time to show off right?) I had been ignoring my time until then. At the 10k mark I saw it for the first time and realized I was still doing better than planned, so I sped up even more.

I kept passing people, drinking water at each station without slowing down. I kept it like this until the 18k mark. I had planned to start going all out at this point, and so I did. By this point I was really glad that I started slow. I could see on people’s faces how tired they were, the ones that passed me when the race started were now walking, looking at me as I leave them behind full of energy.

When I saw the 20k mark and saw the stadium in the distance and people on the street were cheering ‘keep it up you’re almost there!’ it hit me. Suddenly my legs started to hurt real bad, I felt like I couldn’t go on anymore… I was almost there, I could just walk and still finish in a good time… I felt like I wanted to throw up…

But I saw 2 runners like 10m in front of me, they looked to be in the same age group as me… I couldn’t let them finish before me!!! So I sped up again and pass them. There was another group further ahead that also looked around my age, so I kept running and pass them too.

After passing them was the last turn of the race, I was entering the stadium, I could hear people cheering on the bleachers, and I saw the finish line!! There was no one in front of me!!! I knew I wasn’t going to win the race, someone already had done that a long time ago… but in that moment seeing the finish line with no one in front of me I felt as if I was going to win, in my mind I was going to be first person crossing that finish line!!!

But then one guy from the group I had just passed tried to sprint and get there before me!!! HELL NO!!! I WON’T LET YOU!! That second I sprinted, with all I had left inside of me!! I cached him, I couldn’t believe I still had enough strength to go that fast at that point, but I was not going to loose to him!! I passed him and crossed the finish line first!! I had won the race, MY race!! And it was an epic ending for me!! I don’t think I had ever felt so good in my life until that moment…

Thanks for reading. If you want to know all the numbers from the race you can check The Results here.


Responses

  1. Great job!!! Sounds like your half marathon went really well! This is a great motivator for finishing mine…if August could only come sooner!

  2. Congratulations–it sounds like you ran strong and smart! Way to go 🙂

  3. Alien, that is so awesome. I cannot believe you beat your goal by that much, wow! And thank you for showing me how that heart rate monitor can really help you figure out if you are running what you should be or not.

    Your comments about the gorgeous blond chick cracked me up! Even though I have no idea what you look like, I could totally picture it!

    Congratulations!


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