Skip to main content

My First Half Marathon Experience

When it came to preparing for my first half marathon I did not follow a running or workout plan/program. Each week I would set a goal of the distance I wanted to run for each workout. I had planned to run 13.1 miles prior to actual race day, but due to vacations, having family in town, and getting sick that did not happen. So the first time I ever ran 12 miles and 13.1 was during the actual race. I would not recommend this to anyone.

Why would I want to run 13.1 miles?

Two years ago I was diagnosed with Amplified Musculoskeletal Pain Syndrome (AMPS). I went through 12 intense weeks of Boot Camp (occupational therapy and physical therapy) to relearn how to walk, pick up objects, run, etc. The goal of Boot Camp is to return to full physical function and reduce and ultimately eliminate pain.
When I started college in August of 2017 my roommate and I started going to the gym. This is when I got back into running. In October of 2017 I decided that I wanted to run a half marathon in 2018. 
My reasons making the decision to run a half marathon was to prove to myself and my body that I could accomplish something that myself and doctors would have never thought possible two years ago. Since I was going to run my first half marathon in 2018 I considered it to be a New Years Resolution for 2018/ a goal for 2018.

Last run before the race

The last time I ran before the race was the Thursday before. The half marathon was on a Sunday. Thursday morning I ran 4 miles at an average pace of 9:07. Which is the fastest pace I run for the distance.

Goals for the race

Since this was my first time running a half marathon I set my goals low. At least I think they are low and completely doable. First of all I just wanted to simply finish. The next goal I set for myself was to  finish in 2 hours an 5 minutes. This would mean that I would be running an average mile pace of 9:39. Another goal I set for myself was to not walk.

The night before

The night before I picked up my race packet and started getting everything I would need ready.
Garmin watch (make sure its charged) Garmin Forerunner 25 (Certified Refurbished)
anti chafe BodyGlide
snack (I brought cantaloupe)
bib/race number
phone or device for listening to music
ear phones
Water Resistant Cell Phone Armband: for iPhone X, 8, 7, 6, 6S, SE, 5, 5C, 5S, and Galaxy S5, Google Pixel
ID/health insurance card
outfit (sports bra, shorts, socks Saucony Women's 3 Pack and tank top)

Morning of/race start

I woke up at 5:45 am and had a banana and my morning medications. I checked the weather and the temperature was a lot colder than it had been predicted the day before and the rain was moved up to now start at 7:30, which was the start time for the race. So I ditched the shorts and went with leggings. My mom and I got to the race about 20 minutes before start time. I stretched out and warmed up and then walked to the start line. I prayed with my mom and then went and stood in the 9 minute miles section of the start line. 

The actual race

At the start of the race it was overcast, but the rain held off. The course started by crossing a highway and weaved through a neighborhood. The highway and starting streets were extremely slippery due too the precipitation from earlier in the morning. I am not used to running on roads that do not have good traction so I was running very cautiously. Even while running cautiously I was able to keep my pace. I was able to keep my breathing in the 'fat burning' stage for the first 3 miles. My sister and my friend drove past me at mile 6, which was encouraging even though I was very energized and enthused at that point. Mile 6 was the turn around point for the course. Since there was so many roads closed due to the race I knew that this would be the only time I was able to see them before I crossed the finish line. But boy was I wrong. My sister tracked me on Find My Friends and was able to find a spot in a neighborhood where they could meet me and cheer me on. I was coming down a hill and saw them and instantly threw my hands in the air and started crying. The emotions of knowing that I was accomplishing something that I had been working months for and that I had the support of my friends and family overcame me and the waterworks started flowing. In case you were wondering its all caught on video. This happened around mile 10. Now mile 10 got really interesting. Not only did my waterworks start, but so did the clouds. IT STARTED RAINING!! It rained for the whole 10th mile. When I got to mile 11 I had to walk due to the hills and the exhaustion of raining in the rain. As I came into the stadium to cross the finish line I saw my mom, sister and friend and looked at them and just smiled. At this point I couldn't believe I had done it. According to my Garmin Forerunner 25 (Certified Refurbished), the distance of the course was 13.12 miles. Which seemed accurate to me since I was finishing each miles a little before I reached the mile marker signs. 

What goals did I achieve?

Well for starters I did finish the race. My final time was 2:05:40 with an average mile pace of 9:33. I did have to walk during the last two miles. Now I am not totally disappointed that I had to walk because prior to the race I had never run 12 or 13.1 so I expected to have to walk during the end. I finished first out of the three females in my age group (female ages 15-19). When my name was called for winning first place in my age group my mom and sister started crying again and so did I.

Don't forget to stay up to date on my blog by following my social media accounts!


Popular posts from this blog

Reasonable Dorm Room Cleaning Schedule

Reasonable Dorm Room Cleaning Schedule After my first semester of college I have developed a cleaning routine that I have been able to keep up with. You can read my previous blog post about What I Learned In My First Semester of College . Over the past few months I have experimented and I am confident in the routine that I have created.  Personalize When it comes to personalizing the schedule you could add or take out the different chores. For example I also wash my retainers weekly and monthly my roommate and I decorate the marker board on the outside of our door. We also only clean our mirrors when needed since we have found that they do not seem to become too dirty regularly. Something that I would make sure you sanitize every week would be the surfaces that you are constantly touching. That means light switches, door handles, and your desk. By doing this I managed to avoid getting sick when my roommate and other floor mates go sick. Another task that you could add to y

Bullet Journal Fitness and Workout Spread Ideas

If you want to purchase some of these spreads you can buy the digital bundle from my Etsy shop: Simply Paperless .  I had created six different bullet journal fitness and workout trackers/spreads. These spreads were made in my digital bullet journal using the GoodNotes App.   I highly recommend to use a stylus when using GoodNotes as a digital bullet journal. For this project I used the Adonit Dash 3 Stylus , which I highly recommend. I also recommend the Bargain Depot Stylus 2 Pack  from Amazon. Daily Workout Plan This first spread can be used to plan out what exercises you plan to workout each day of the week. I would recommend this spread for those who are just starting to workout. I did not created the workout that is used as the example for the content of this spread. The workout is from Pintrest Workout Plan .  Workout Tracker This next tracker is in the format of a monthly calendar. In order to track the different workouts accomplished throughout

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus Book Review

Reasons For Reading This Book: Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus was Jackie's choice for the month of October. Jackie is the host of The Readheads Podcast Book Club. This is a monthly podcast book club that I have been apart of since it was established in 2020. I love getting to hear the thoughts of the hosts each month.  Content of the Book: Elizabeth Zott is a chemist but is much more than meets the eye. She is not only beautiful but also extremely smart, confident, strong, and not afraid to beat to her own drum. Elizabeth is one of the only female chemists working at Hastings Research Institute. She is viewed as different by everyone there. It's there that she meet Nobel-Prize nominated chemist Calvin Evans. Calvin who falls in love with Elizabeth is described as a loner, grudge holder, and extremely brilliant. Fast forward a few years and Elizabeth is now a single-mother working as the host of the most watched cooking show, Supper at Six . With Elizabeth's ways of