Tuesday, July 3, 2012

How I Survived My First Half Marathon

I know this is a little late, but hey, life gets in the way. You know?

I ran my very first half marathon on May 20th. The experience was terrifying, emotional, draining, hard, and fantastic all at once.
I did not run it alone. You see, I have crazy fantastic friends that run/walk too. One crazy fantastic friend grabbed an entry just a week or two before the race!
I'm on the far right and the lady next to me is my running-buddy-4-life Libby. Without her to push and support me, I never would have continued on this path to running a half marathon (or 2!).
 The required pre-race shoe shot

Libby is a ten (eleven?) year cancer survivor and always includes others hit with cancer in her races. The list is, sadly, pretty large, but it's such a beautiful tribute. Unfortunately, she had to include a good friend of mine who passed away just 10 days before the half. I would be lying if I didn't admit that seeing her name was a wrench in my side.
The race itself went (mostly) beautifully. It rained almost the entire time, like a Portland race should. Within the first 3 miles, I saw these things:
 Beautiful downtown Portland.
Carpet on the Hawthorne Bridge (my favorite bridge!)
Honey Badger!

There was a steady incline from mile 3-6 and then the course promised to go downhill. YEAH RIGHT. There were block long steep climbs. Because the route took us through SE Portland (a first for any Portland race) the streets were older and unkempt, slanting and riddled with potholes. The slanted road didn't bother me too much, but it irritated Libby's IT band to the point where it still hurts her. There was a surprising amount of people out cheering us on, given the weather!
I didn't have a goal set other than to finish around 3:00 hours. Yes, I am a slow runner. But I am still out there doing it. 13.1 miles is no joke! I finished at 2:52 (Garmin time, chip time didn't include 2 stoplights I had to wait for) which I was more than happy with.

Space blankets rock!!
We followed the race with pedicures (the best thing EVER after a hard run) and a towed car.  I did not know I would be running my second half just a month later.

To be continued....

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