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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.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Wow, you rocked it! You really rocked it! It sounds like you pushed the limits of what you body can do, but you know, what know what the limits are and you did it. Woohoo!!!
    4026 days ago
    YOU ROCKED! It was so great to meet you and then to see you during the race going up that hill was a real motivator for me. This is such a great blog and sheds some light on what it's like to do a distance race. I still get teary during races too, just thinking about where I was and where I am now. (And then I get teary because it starts to hurt so dang much! Ha!) Big changes and all for the better. You are remarkable, Jeannie. I am glad you are willing to do another half marathon. With all your walking and your incredible weightloss, you have proven you have the moxie to do just about anything you want.

    PS I think I had a similar experience during the 30 min. following the race. Blech. But it's like childbirth, you begin to forget the yucky stuff and appreciate the bigger picture.
    4034 days ago
    Yeah! Way to go! 1/2 marathon is a daunting hurdle and you did it! emoticon

    Training is definitely a good idea but you actually work out a lot more than you think you do! Great job!
    4035 days ago
    Fabulous blog, so glad to hear the yucky feelings are gone and you are back to yourself again! Just so you know, those awful tummy/cramps/nausea feelings are common to racers... which you ARE!!! So how about that!! Next time you plan on running sub-12 mms you might consider eating some gu or gel blocks along the way... just a thought...

    I hope I can keep up with you when you run your next one! WooHOO!
    4039 days ago

    Oh Jeannie, I'm sorry you didn't feel good after, but I'm very impressed with your newest accomplishment here! Congrats!! And when you are prepared for your next one, you'll know how magnificent you're really doing because you can compare it to this time.

    4041 days ago
    Wow! Such an inspiration. I'm So happy for you!
    I'm walking my very first 1/2 marathon on June 26th, 2010. the Rock N Roll Seattle marathon & half. Becki (BECCACOATS) posted your link for me. I am glad she did. Wow. =)
    4041 days ago
    OH my gosh! Way to go!
    That is some accomplishment to finish a HM without training!
    4041 days ago
    Jeannie ~ This experience I am sure is a first for many new runners... Be Proud girl, be Very Very Proud... I was very impressed with your time and I know the others were also..

    It was great to get to meet you and spend time with you. I do believe there was a reason you met Eve and all of the Wonderful Sparkers from your area. You are an inspiration to me that's forsure.

    Take in all of the little clues you got from the others and I KNOW you will do great on your next run.. I know I learned a lot listening to them.

    4041 days ago
    WOW you did all that without training for it? And factoring in all you have accomplished with your weight loss to date as well, man oh man, you should be immensely proud of yourself!
    4041 days ago
    that is an unbelievable time for your first 1/2....my time was almost exact last Sept and I HAD TRAINED!!! you rock!!! it was wonderful to meet you !!! you have every reason to be so proud and i am glad to hear that your brief, yucky feeling will not deter you from TRAINING for your next half!! congrats!!! Jen
    4041 days ago
  • no profile photo CD1370153
    wow good for you!That is amazing!You are my hero!
    4041 days ago
    Well done! You should be very proud of yourself. When we look back at where we once were and compare it to where we are now...how could we ever think of giving up and going back there ever again?!!! Not me! emoticon
    4041 days ago
    Jeannie! That's so amazing :) Way to go, lady! I'm so proud of you and all that you have accomplished!

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    4041 days ago
    YOU ROCK!!!!!

    When I train kids, I tell them (only half jokingly) they are not trying hard enough unless they get sick.
    4042 days ago
    So happy to share the day with you! You are an inspiring person and all of my sparkfriends were thrilled to meet you. they all kept saying how amazing you are - which I all ready knew. emoticon
    4042 days ago
  • LADYDI2049
    I just can't say it enough, I am so proud of you. You make me think of the people on the Biggest Loser. Such dedication and perservance. I admire you and what you have accomplished. Keep on shining my friend.

    emoticon emoticon
    4042 days ago
    Congratulations to you. You certainly are brave to run in a race you haven't trained for.

    4042 days ago
  • MICHAELA2780
    Wow! I've been running for a while and am planning on running a half in November. But even I'm not brave enough to do what you did...that's AWESOME!
    4042 days ago
    Wow! You just accomplished something I have only dreamed of, but don't you worry one day I will be the one stuck in the bathroom and I will love every minute of it!


    4042 days ago
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