I ran my first half marathon in Savannah, Georgia on November 5th, this past Saturday! I have to say, I am very glad that my first half marathon was a Rock N' Roll event. I've spectated other races and been to a lot of the local Charleston events so I know the ups and downs of smaller races. Also, the Rock N' Roll people know their stuff! The race was very well organized and the course was pretty smooth. There was plenty of crowd support and well stocked water/cytomax/gu stations. Being a rookie at these events, I signed up in a later time corral so I was pretty much dodging people the whole time (which was a good thing!). So, my goal back in July was to finish in 2 hours 30 minutes. As my training progressed and I had a feel for my time, I started to aim for 2 hours and 10 minutes. This, my friends, is the smile of someone who finished in 2:08:28!
I wish I knew how to bottle that feeling of completing months of training (and training well), combined with that feeling of overwhelming fulfillment of meeting a sought after goal! I had an excellent pacer, a friend who not only encouraged me to sign up for this race but someone who was with me when I broke my ankle back in December 2010 and knew how bummed I was about not running. A perfect person to share my finish line smile with! It really was an excellent day and I'm all ready looking forward to my next half. I am so lucky to have found something that I love to do that is also healthy for me. I encourage you all to keep an eye out for that one thing that gets you motivated to stay active. I can make an impact in your day to day encounters and outlook on life. I hate to say it, but I do see a marathon in my future! And almost anything else active!
I remember during the race that I thought, if my 28 year old self could go back in time and tell my 8 year old self that I would one day run 13.1 miles without stopping, my 8 year old self would probably sob with despair at the thought. I was an overweight, asthmatic 8 year old. After losing weight in high school and just recently getting my asthma and allergies under control, I feel like a new person!
Even if you're just training to run 1 mile non-stop, I encourage you to do it. That feeling of being able to look back on what you did and feel accomplished is something you will constantly be rewarded with through running. There will be ups and there will be downs, as with all walks of life, but you will never regret putting one foot in front of the other and getting in a run.
What's up next, you might ask? I have some 5ks coming up and a 15k in January but the next big event will more than likely be the New Orleans Rock N' Roll half that will conveniently kick off my spring break!
Get excited! I'm hooked!