Posted on

My first half marathon experience

IMG_1011

I did it! I ran my first half marathon! The Detroit International! The weather was perfect. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and barely any wind. The perfect combination for a runner.
Let me give you a little background prior to running the race of the year. Over the summer my training was pretty intense at times. At other times it wasn’t where I wished it could be. In the beginning it started rough when I started to increase my mileage. My left leg would hurt after every run and into the next where it would hurt to walk. After researching different things of what it could be I finally went to the chiropractor. I found out my hip was out align and my leg was compensating for the length difference. I could also tell on the bottom of my shoe, the tread wear was different between the two. After I went to a few chiropractic visits everything went much smoother. I still need to go every once in awhile to get things realigned. (Running sure does take a toll on your body) I had another set back about 4 weeks before the big day and needed to take a week off from running. It was very difficult to relax and take it easy. But I listened to my body and let it heal. I couldn’t risk making it worse and pushing mself back farther. Throughout my training I ran quite a few 5 and 10ks. I’ve also done some cross training to work on my core and not neglect other areas. It’s said that if you focus on one area too much you are more likely to cause injury. I’ve used the Nikeplus app on my phone which has been great to guide me. I started to follow a great Facebook group called run haven that post great articles everyday.
The last week leading up to the big day had to be the most nerve racking. I had this awful fear that I would catch a cold preventing me from running the race at my full potential. Anytime someone would ask me about the race or wish me good luck I would instantly get this wave of anxiety. I would get that pit in my stomach feeling and my heart would skip a beat. Throughout that last week I really focused on what I was eating. I didn’t introduce anything new to my diet and I tried to load up on calories. The day before the big race my nerves were at an all time high. The anticipation for this race was bottling up inside.

IMG_3339

I surprisingly got a good nights rest and woke up at 4am energized and ready to go. I couldn’t wait to line up in that starting line. Once the race started I focused on taking in all the scenery and tried to enjoy the race rather than think about time. (Never mind trying not to trip over the mile of clothes thrown over the course) The first milestone was the ambassador bridge. Watching the sunrise was something to behold. Everyone around me was stopping to take pictures and I couldn’t blame them. Once to Canada I was feeling very strong. When I got to the tunnel I felt a surge of energy which I knew I probably would regret later. (But it was a sauna in there, the sooner out of there the better) Out of the tunnel I saw co-workers holding a sign and cheering me on. I was really feeling good, and this was over half way done. Throughout the course I was so motivated by all the creative signs and random strangers cheering us on. Around mile 9.5 I hit my wall. At the next water stop I grabbed some Gatorade and played kick the cup.

IMG_1007

With 3 miles left I heard someone say “only a 5k left.” (I needed to hear that) I was really starting to struggle but I kept telling myself ‘if I stop I won’t start again.’ ‘I’ll be mad at myself if I stop.’ ‘i didn’t train all summer to stop.’ I turned one last corner and then I saw it. The finish line. I was almost there. I can do this. After what seemed like an eternity I crossed the finish line with my arms in the air. Thank you to the volunteers who placed the medal around my neck and wrapped me in foil. I completed my goals of running the whole thing and in the time I was expecting. It was unforgettable experience.

IMG_1017

Will I do it again? Without a doubt!

Onto the next goal, whatever that may be…