I Finished My First Half Marathon
Monday, February 08, 2010
On Sunday, I ran in my friend's (LILHLFPINT) place in the Surf City half marathon. I hadn't trained for this event, and I have never done a half marathon before, only a 10K. I found out that I was taking her place last Thursday, just 3 days before the event. I was excited to do it, none the less. I thought I'd walk it. I have done several 8-9 mile walks and hikes before, and those weren't too bad. How hard could it be to walk 13.1 miles.
I rode in the morning with my friend EVETROY, who was doing the 5k, and her out of town guests and sparkfriends, BECCACOATS and BSTAKINGACTION (a.k.a. Becki and Becky). We walked a fair distance from the parking lot to the race. Eve and Becki went to do their 5K. I waited with Becky and some other out of town and local sparkers (JENNIFER124, MARATHONMOM26.2, and SORGIN). Everyone was very nice, and it was nice meeting all the new faces. I was a little nervous because it was my first half marathon, which I didn't train for. It was nice being with more experienced marathoners.
Once we got to the start line, we all went at our own pace. I started running. I know, I planned to walk it, but it's a race. I am competitive, especially with myself. I did intervals of running and walking about the first 6 miles, the distance of a 10k, and then I started walking more because I've never ran farther than 6.5 miles. At mile 3, I was at a pace of 11:51 per mile.
At about mile seven, my socks started to feel really unpleasant. They were wet and gross. When I do this again, I am bringing a change of socks. At about mile eight, while I was walking by the wetlands, I started to feel overwhelmed and teary eyed because I was thinking of how hard everything use to feel just two years ago. I could barely walk around the block without feeling winded, and here I was walking near mile 8 not feeling so bad. At mile 8.2 my pace was 13:07 per mile. Around mile 10, my glutes hurt, but other than a sore bum, I felt pretty good. I walk as fast as some people jog apparently because there were a few women running right next me while I was walking it. When I got towards that last mile, I put in a little more running again, but I was tired.
I crossed the finish line 3 hours 3 minutes and 17 seconds after I started. I got my cool surfboard medal. I was handed a bag of food, and a bottle of Cliff energy drink and a water, then I was off to find my friends at the beer garden. The beer garden had a long line, and as I was standing there my legs cramped and I started feeling sick. By time I found everyone at the table, I guess I looked as bad as I felt because I was told I needed to eat the stuff in my bag. I was glad to be with people that were experienced. So I sat on the floor and sipped the Cliff drink and ate the unidentifiable food. It made me think of Soylent Green (an old Charlton Heston movie where they find out, very dramatically, that the food everyone has been eating was made from "people, it's people"). So, I thought I was feeling better and I got up, but I was still nauseated and I got this weird feeling that I was going to pass out or vomit or both, and my stomach was cramping. My friend Eve says, "I thought you were going to walk it?" I know I probably should have, but it's a race (that I didn't train for). She walked me to the bathroom, and then I will omit the details, but I felt better (although I did not vomit). This whole unpleasantness was less than 30 minutes in duration, and my legs stopped cramping at about the same time. Those uncomfortable 30 minutes were worth the experience.
We stayed for a while at the beer garden, but I wasn't doing any beer drinking. Then we had our picture taken on the surfboard. Then we walked the long walk back to the car. I took it easy the rest of the day.
Today, surprisingly, I don't feel bad at all. My legs are a little sore, but I have full movement and it's very mild soreness. So, my plan, ...maybe I should train for the next half marathon I participate in, especially if I am going to run. I also think I need to stretch as soon as I stop, and perhaps eat something sooner. Even with that horrible feeling afterwards, I am still feeling very proud that I finished it..., especially since two years ago I weighted 340 pounds and could barely walk around the block.