Remember when I ran 5 miles? That was fun.
You know what is even more fun than 5 miles? 13.1!
This post has been a long time coming. I was too nervous to talk about training for my half-marathon up until the point when I knew I could do it. Sometimes I like to keep expectations low, both others' expectations and my own. This is because I love to surprise myself with what I can accomplish rather than disappoint myself by falling short. (For example, I always set out on a long run telling myself I'll run, say, 6 miles, and I'll end up running 8.)
The main purpose for our trip to Salt Lake last week was to run a half-marathon with my sisters. My sister-in-law, Sally, ran the full marathon (she is a powerhouse!), and my sister Mary and I ran the half. Mary, by the way, is the peppiest runner you've ever seen—cheering at all the spectators, instead of the other way around. It was so funny! She and I crossed the finish line together.
So, partly for my own personal history and also for anyone who's interested, here are some random thoughts about running:
- I love it! I never in a million, trillion years would have thought I could be a runner.
- Running gave me a sense of accomplishment that I've been craving. Day-to-day life as a wife and mother doesn't always provide tangible rewards or measurements of progress. I experienced a new runner's high with each mile I added, and it would last all week long.
- Speaking of miles, I did all my long runs along the Chrystal Springs Reservoir (the Sawyer Camp Trail). I started with 5, then progressed each week to 8, 9, 11, and 12. The last two Saturdays before the race I ran 8.
- I don't know if I could have done this if I had just thought "I'm going run a half-marathon" when I was totally out of shape. What helped for me, at least, was getting in good cardio shape before I really started running. I spent more than a month at the gym alternating between the treadmill, bike, and elliptical, shooting for 50 minutes (give or take) of cardio plus a few weights at each session. After that, I was shocked at how easily the miles came.
- Goodness do I love my nikeplus! (A chip in my shoe syncs with my ipod and records my times, distances, calories burned, etc. on each run.) Below you can see our half-marathon. The dip toward the end represents the hit our pace took as we ascended the long and gradual hill that is State Street in SLC. You probably have never noticed when you've driven it that you're going up (toward the capital buliding), but you CANNOT MISS IT when you're at mile running mile 12 (in Sally's case, mile 25!).
- The race started at the University of Utah and ended in the Gateway Mall.
- All in all, Mary and I finished in 2 hours, 16 minutes, and 56 seconds, which is 10:27 per mile—not bad for a beginner! My time would not have been as fast without Mary there, so thank you, sis!
So what next? If anyone has any ideas, I'm open to them!