FITNESS | MY 2ND HALF MARATHON

It's official guys, I ran my second half marathon! I had the happiest and pretty freaking cold morning running the Route 66 Half Marathon. I achieved my goals of beating my first half marathon time by five minutes, clocking 2:25:39. Whoo!

THE EXPERIENCE
Compared with my first half marathon, it was such a breeze. I had none of the nerves, just pure excitement and all smiles. And this year I wasn't running solo! My dad trained with me each week to prepare for his first half marathon, losing 40lbs in the process. Once I finished the race I was able to (quite literally) hop back on the course, find my dad and run across the finish line with him. It's a memory I'll never forget and always cherish.

Freezing our tushes off before the race.
THE TRAINING
Since I have one half marathon under my belt already, I wasn't too stressed or anxious going into this training. In fact, if you've been keeping up with my progress and my fitness goals, you already know that I struggled with cutting down my weight lifting days in order to run! I started about 5 or 6 weeks out from the race, running twice a week. I logged 63.05 miles training for this half!

The runs were beautiful and the fall weather was perfect. I commuted to the same spot I trained at two years ago to run, a 3-mile course around a lake. I introduced it to my dad and we ran there exclusively until race day.

For my first half marathon, I showed up on race with severely injured left knee. I didn't know what was wrong but I had injured it from running a week or so earlier and was using ibuprofen to get me through the 13.1 miles. This half preparation, I was super careful about listening to my body and preventing any new injuries. I made sure to properly warm up, tape up my knee if necessary, and to ice regularly throughout the week. But most of all, I credit weight lifting to the new and improved stability & strength I had in my hips and legs.

Obligatory bib photo!
My race gear all ready to go! We were anticipating a very cold starting line, so I was colorfully prepared to layer up!

outfit from left to right: victoria's secret sports bra, nike warm running tights, nike free 4.0 flyknit running shoes in platinum, underamour gloves, underamour half-zip pullover in baby blue, nike pro warm long sleeve in gray, and SPIbelt running belt.
When I run, I prefer to listen to audiobooks instead of music. For this run I was listening to Aziz Ansari's "Modern Romance" book.

THE RACE
With my first half, I had no idea what to expect and I was running it by myself. But this time, I went into the race feeling prepared and eager. The course was similar to my first half, I knew how to pace my body and I wasn't running it alone--I had my running training partner, my dad! 

The starting line was buzzing with anticipation, laughter and busy bodies trying to keep warm. Loud music pounded in our ears as the DJ counted us down. I had been waiting weeks and weeks for the moment when the colorful confetti would rain down on us, signifying the start of the half marathon. I remember smiling at my dad and excitedly yelling, "It's time to go!"

Adrenaline, community and determination takes over from there. Urging you mile after mile to keep running, keep moving forward. 

I had only two goals for this race: finish faster than my first half marathon and to cross the finish line with my dad. On mile 13, I rounded what seemed like a million street corners before I saw the finish line. When I did see it, I sprinted as hard as I could. I finished the half in 2 hours and 25 minutes, five full minutes faster than my first! 

As I slipped through the other finishers collecting their medals, I searched for a way to turn around and find my dad. It was chaos! People everywhere, either running or cheering. "You can't stay here," said a volunteer. He was directing the finishers to a private area for finisher photos, food and water. I told him I had to get back on the course, I had to find my dad. He understood and pointed a way through the cheering crowd, telling me to go quickly. I nodded and took off. I was slipping through people and climbing over gates like a mad woman. And then finally I was back course!

When I saw my dad turn the corner and run toward me, he was grinning and had both fists in the air. And we ran, crossing the finish line together. Our legs dead tired but our hearts full and spirits high.

I finished! My second half marathon is in the books!
From cheering & signing holding at mile 7 to fighting traffic to watch both of us cross the finish line, these two are heck of supportive spouses!
POST-RACE
I was happy. I was sore. I was daydreaming about sinking into a hot tub and spending the next three days there, medal and all. I mean, c'mon, check out that fancy medal! But instead I iced my knees, ate a light lunch, watched Netflix and napped.

Last time around, I couldn't move for days and my legs seriously hurt. But I'm pleased to announce that I left my training and the half marathon race injury free! My knees did ache a bit afterwards but I think that was due to me running on a slant, like towards the gutters versus on a flat even surface like I was used to running on.

FUTURE GOALS
While running isn't at the top of my list for staying healthy and fit, it is something I truly love and enjoy doing. So I don't expect to stop anytime soon but I definitely don't have any desire to run a full marathon anytime soon. But what I do want to do is run a half marathon at least once a year until these legs tell me I can't.


1 comment:

  1. You are such an inspiration! Thanks for all the encouragement, knowledge and love in helping me with my first half! It's been an awesome year and you were the key to making it truly special!! Love always, Dad

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