My first half-mary

Today… I did it. I completed the half marathon!

Me and Emily departed the apartment around 6am to get

to New Hampshire in time to check in, drink water and stretch out.

We were running the Smuttynose Half-Marathon.

The views were so spectacular.

We got our bibs put on.

We laced our shoes up.

The excitement was starting to build. I could barely handle it.

My fish were packed.

FISH!

Then- it was go time. The bibs had chips so our start

time didn’t go until we crossed the start line.

We crossed over and my stomach was in knots. We were

running at a 7:30 pace and I knew there was no way I could

keep that up. Emily is a fast and strong runner. She’ll roll her eyes

but it’s true. I wanted to keep up with her as long as I could.

I was passing people and dodging bodies left and right.

Running a race is hard because it’s so congested.

We hit mile 3 and I hit a wall. I had a cramp on my right side.

It wasn’t going away. No matter how many fish I shoved in my mouth,

it wouldn’t budge. I had to slow down. It was a dilemma because I wanted

to stay with Emily. But I also had to realize something. I needed to run my race

and Emily needed to run hers. I had to slow my pace down, get water and chew

some sugar. We parted ways but I knew I’d find her at the end. It was too

early in the race for me to play tough guy.

I kicked the cramp around mile 5 after some water and gatorade.

I kept at it. I felt good. I got in a groove. And chugged gatorade

as often as possible.

The rain was pounding on us but I knew I was close.

And then around mile 11 I had the worst pains. I had a sharp

pain running through my shoulder. It was so excruciating that I

wanted to stop. It was a battle in my brain. One side was shouting to stop.

The other said push on. So- I pushed on.

The last two miles we hard. They were the worst miles during the

race. All I wanted to do was finish.  So- I pushed on. And guess what?

I finished! 1 hour 52 mins and 57 seconds later.

My goal was under two hours and I did pretty damn well. I wanted to

do better but I’m proud of me and the pace I averaged. 8:40 ish.

And the reward was beer. My kind of race.

Emily finished with an amazing 1 hr and 46 minutes. She really kid it.

I was so proud of her. And myself. We killed it.

We killed a couple of beers too. We dance to the live band.

Then we wanted to hit the road and get home.

On our way out I saw two innocent lives that were taken today.

RIP Swedish Fish. You were so important to me on this race day.

May you swim into the great beyond.

We headed home and talked a little bit more about a marathon.

Will it be possible? Will we take the plunge? Can we do it?

It’s hard to say. I feel good right now but the idea of doing that race…

twice… in a row. It’s kind of frightening. But the excitement of it all brings

me back to the idea that I can do it. I can do anything.

There was a quote I saw on the run that summed up the day.

“I know my hero and she is me.”

I did it. The miracle wasn’t finishing. It was starting.

I’m happy I did it. I’m even happier I shared the moment with a fabulous

friend who was supportive during the whole thing. Many thanks to this lady

for getting me on my feet and killing this thing with a smile on my face.

Now I’m enjoying a little pizza from whole foods and coconut water

before I have to go back to work tomorrow.

Thanks to all my friends and family for the support during the training.

I’ve already got a few more races on the schedule and a marathon in the

back of my head.

Have you run a long road race? How did you feel?
What was your experience? Do you want to do longer distances?

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7 thoughts on “My first half-mary

  1. Congratulations! I’ve only every run 5K and I walked half of it. I just turned 60 and only started running 6 months ago. I know that I could probably run most of the that 5K now without stopping. That’s my next goal.

  2. congrats on your first half! that exact same race was my first half marathon back in 2009. it’s a great race. i’ve ran a few more halfs since then, but after becoming a father my training went out the window so i haven’t done anything recently.

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