On Sunday, November 11th, I finished my first half-marathon – the Malibu half-marathon.
It was some of the most painful fun I’ve ever had. And I say painful because I wasn’t adequately prepared for it. Still, I did it. And I finished!
I started running (again) in August of this year. It’s always something I’ve enjoyed. But a back injury has prevented me from running or playing sports (basketball in particular) consistently.
I’ve started stretching a lot more, I’ve done physical therapy and I’ve even started doing yoga. Each of those activities has allowed me to enjoy my time out on the trail so that I can run and remain injury free since August.
Sure, I still hurt myself from time to time, but so far, I’m happy to say that it hasn’t been anything major. I just need to stick to a better, more organized training schedule and remember to get my rest days in.
I finished the Malibu half-marathon in 2:38. I’m not very happy with my time, but I’m very happy that I finished. It being my first half-marathon and all, I’ll take it as a victory and well, it’s taught me a few things to keep in mind for the next one…
- I need to pace myself better. I started out way too fast. I finished my first mile in about 7:23 and my second mile in ~8:32. That’s way to fast! I started sucking wind by the end of mile 3 and mile 4. I coasted miles 4-8, but I definitely started feeling burned out towards those later miles. Had I paced myself more consistently, I would have conserved my energy better and chopped some time off of my average pace and finished faster. Lesson learned.
- If I really want to run consistently and enter more races, I need to train my body to handle the longer distances. I didn’t log any long runs in preparation for the Malibu half-marathon. Honestly, it was kind of a last minute decision to enter. I wanted to challenge myself and see if I could do it. But if I intend to enter more races and set a personal record and finish faster, then I need to train seriously and log in some longer runs so that my body gets used to it. Up to this point, my longest distance run was 7.5 miles. By mile number 9, my body was cramping, my foot was killing me, and I struggled on those last two miles. If I get those longer runs in, I’ll be better prepared and finish strong on the next one.
Overall, I also learned that running makes me feel good. Mentally, and physically. There’s a sense of accomplishment that you get after finishing a good run. I’m sure any runner feels this way.
There’s a point where your body keeps telling you to stop, or slow down and walk. Telling you “you can’t do it,” and “you should stop.” But out there, I win every time. I don’t listen to that voice inside my head that’s telling me to stop. Instead, I just keep going.
I feel like running is giving me confidence not just out there, when I’m running, but in other areas of my life too.
I’m more discipline. I’m more focused. More motivated. And, I’ve lost 37 pounds since I started running. I feel healthy, I’m eating well and I have more natural energy to carry me through the day(s).
I may have finished my first half-marathon slow, but I’m pumped at the accomplishment and I’m totally looking forward for many more races to come!