Lauren’s 1st half-marathon race report

As Robyn has mentioned I finished my first half-marathon this weekend!! It has been a long and exciting journey for me to get to this point. I ran cross country track in high school, and was always relatively athletic. I also started smoking in 7th grade which I continued through June of last year (I am now 32). I had stopped running in college, and would make it to the gym here and there after, but was not in shape, easily winded, and knew things had to change. That is when I decided to quit smoking, and in doing so realized I needed to set some goals for myself to continue not smoking. I started doing some 5k’s and 5 mile races with Robyn this past summer. My logic being if I had a race the coming weekend I wouldn’t smoke that week. Well it worked!! I was able to stay smoke free, and was improving on race times. Then races were less frequent and I was still having cravings, when a friend of mine posted on facebook that she would be doing a half marathon in April. This had been one of my “to do in life” goals, but would I be ready to do one in April? I decided yes.

So I started training, and bearing the cold for my long runs. Then came time for my run. I only just started timing my runs a few weeks before. I did a 13 mile run in 2 hr 30 minutes about 3 or 4 weeks before the actual race and thought this would be about my time. Then the week before my race I did a 5K and did at 8min 40 sec. pace. This was 3min overall off my best 5K time from the summer. This gave me some added confidence and thought maybe I could do this quicker than I thought.

So the week of my race all that I had read about what to do the week before the race I had forgot, and I was scrounging to look up this info again. I found some good articles, and blogs, and ate a relatively higher carb diet for the week of the race. My race was on Sunday and I carb loaded on Friday and Saturday lunch. I read to eat something light the night before and just ate a turkey sandwich.

The morning of I woke up nice and early, took a shower, and ate a whole wheat bagel with almond butter (my new favorite spread). Then off to the race. We arrived there less than a ½ hour before the race. We really only had time to use the porta potty’s quick and then we had to line up. I stretched a little at the starting line but that was it. My friend and her friends lined up at the 9 mile pace mark, and even though I didn’t think I could do it at that pace I lined up with them. I started out going at what I thought was moderate pace, and feeling good. I didn’t start my new Nike fit at the correct time and had no idea of times, except for when other people around us were calling out pace times. My friend and I were holding steady at like 9 minute mile pace, and at this point I was thinking, “oh my I might be able to finish this in under 2 hours no fricken way!! We stayed together feeling good at this pace for the first almost 9 miles. This is when I lost it a little. I never felt sore or like I couldn’t continue, I just knew that I couldn’t continue at that pace anymore. This is also probably when I should’ve re-fueled but I was never able to find anything I was able to digest during my runs without feeling nauseous, so I didn’t re-fuel. At this point I realized I probably wouldn’t be able to finish under 2 hours, and didn’t want to push myself too too hard and be completely miserable after. I thought I could pick it up for the last mile, but of course the last mile came with a nice big hill too, and I just couldn’t push it. So I crossed the finish line with the clock saying 2 hrs and 3 min. I was full of pride in achieving this goal I had set for myself (in almost 2o min less than I had imagined), and joy in the fact it was over.

My calves hurt really bad after and didn’t go away for a good 2 or 3 hours after the race. I had to use the bathroom when I crossed the finish line and then I started having some bad stomach cramps, which lasted on and off through most of the day. After the race my mom took me to lunch and had my final fill of carbs for awhile. I then went home and relaxed for the remainder of the day. I checked my results and my tag time 2hr 2min. Also for my split times at 7 miles I was averaging a 8:35 mile, at 10 miles where I started to slip 8:59, and then my last 5k was at a 10:59 pace. I really need to learn how to re-fuel. My friend I was running with in the beginning came in just under 2 hrs at 1hr 59 min.

Now today, as I sit at work on my lunch break I’m feeling good, am so proud of myself, and wondering what’s next??

SO PROUD OF MY LAUREN!

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Beth
    Apr 20, 2010 @ 13:33:18

    Congrats!!!!!! Running a half marathon is such a huge accomplishment… I really want to do one this year, too! I was a smoker for 8 years and just quit last January… it makes SUCH a difference in your endurance, doesn’t it?

    Reply

    • Lauren
      Apr 20, 2010 @ 14:30:20

      Beth – you should totally do a 1/2. I feel so accomplished after setting a goal for myself and following thorugh with it. I had smoked for almost 20 years when I quit, and my endurance just keeps getting better and better!!

      Reply

  2. Lauren
    Apr 20, 2010 @ 14:29:05

    Yay! Thanks for posting this Robyn. i feel very special to be a guest on your blog. I am so porud of us!! We did it!! 🙂

    Reply

  3. Amy @ Second City Randomness
    Apr 20, 2010 @ 20:09:47

    Congrats! That has to be an awesome feeling!

    Reply

  4. Katherine @ Lipgloss and Spandex
    Apr 20, 2010 @ 21:49:21

    Congrats on your first half-marathon! 2 hours and 2 minutes is an AMAZING time (I just finished my fourth half marathon and it took me 2 hours and 4 minutes).

    Reply

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