Last Sunday Matt & I did something neither of us thought we would ever do…we ran a half marathon, 13.1 miles or 21.09 kilometers.
Way back in April I posted THIS POST just after we ran the Ayahashi 10k, I made my goal public that I wanted to run a half marathon by my 30th birthday. Sadly that didn’t quite happen, but I am not going to be too hard on myself since Shouhashi half was only 9 days after I turned the big 30.
To be completely honest with you all, I have imagined writing this post for a long time, I imagined writing about the great feeling that would come from finishing my first half marathon, with the hopes that it would be inspiring for someone else to set a goal; whether it be running or something else, and how the feeling of achieving something that you worked so hard for is amazing. That I would show the girls the medal I earned and give them some life lesson about working hard for something.
Sadly, I didn’t really experience the runners high I so often hear about. I actually finished the race and wanted nothing more than to cry, preferably laying down because my legs were unbelievably sore.
You see I did train pretty hard for this run, often I would have to get up at 4am to get my run in before Matt went to work. I ran in rain and wind. I ran hills and ran further than I ever thought possible. Then we went to Hong Kong for a week where I didn’t run. Once we returned home it took me another 2 weeks to want to run again.
Its amazing that only a 3 week break from physical exercise makes you feel like all your training was wasted when you do finally start back up. Regardless after my 3 week break, my training started again and I slowly built back up to where I was and even got up to where my long runs were 8-10 miles.
When I ran these long runs, I felt amazing, I felt strong, I even felt fast, although my GPS watch told me otherwise, I didn’t care because I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I could run a half marathon.
Thats when I stopped training, I am not exactly sure why. Laziness probably. So between mid September, when I ran 10 miles, to November 2nd the day of Shouhashi I ran a total of 4 times, with distances between 3-5 miles.
However, I had set a goal, we had paid our registration fees and I was determined to do it regardless of my recent lack of training.
The day of the race we left home at around 6am, once we arrived we pinned our bibs on, boarded the bus and took a quick before selfie. Matt & I were both chatting away, definitely due to our nervous excitement. Then we waited and waited until finally at 9am we were on our way.
The first 3 miles were crowded, which we expected since there were over 8,000 runners. Mile 3-4 sucked. If you know anything about Shouhashi you know it as the run with the beast of a hill. That hill was no joke. The hill itself lasted approximately half a mile with an elevation gain of 387 feet. Matt thinks I ran over half the way up, I think it was more like a third of the way. Then we walked, we were quite far back in the pack that it seemed most people were walking.
Usually when I start walking I find it hard to pick up running again, but this time I managed to get straight back into running once we were at the top of the hill.
The next 6 miles were pretty good, our times were ok, not our best but I was still pretty happy with them all things considering. There were plenty of water stops and loads of people playing music and cheering everyone along.
Mile 10, however, I went downhill and fast, mentally not physically.
I knew this would happen, as did Matt. I have this mental thing about running that I can only run if I have run that distance before….really makes no sense because how are you ever meant to improve if you dont ever run further. Since during my training I only managed a 10 mile, I start to tell myself that I physically can not run any further. So we stopped to walk for a short break, enough time to get a drink (which in my case was Aquarius not water, which really did not sit well) and then we started running again. At mile 11 we seemed to be doing more walking than running.
If Matt had said to me “lets just give up now” I would have.
Somehow we made it across the finish line and surprisingly we made it before the 3.5 hour cut off but I was full of disappointment because I felt like I didn’t give it my all; both during training and on race day.
Matt had to remind me of what we just accomplished and of course made me smile with the revelation that Hello Kitty had saved his nipples… Prior to leaving the house Matt quickly remembered to grab a couple of bandaids, I had assumed they were for blisters, oh how wrong was I! Just before we jumped on the shuttle to head to the race Matt quickly opened the bandaids and put one on each nipple, we both found it hysterical when one of the bandaids was Hello Kitty themed.
But thanks to Hello Kitty his nipples remained unharmed and of course it didn’t take me long to set a new goal…another half (hopefully Ayahashi in April) where I give it 110% and hopefully experience the runners high.