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Brain tumor survivor | triathlon & duathlon finisher | wife | cat mom | friend to many | supreme smart aleck. I'd like coffee and a book please.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Holiday Half DONE

after finishing and feeling accomplished!
OH MY GOODNESS...is it ever!

My latest obsession began earlier this year - the standard 5k and 10k races were getting a little boring and I wanted to try something new. So I decided that I would do a half marathon! Actually, the thought of a half happened a couple of years ago. Go HERE for that experience.

So, when I signed up for the Holiday Half back in July I wasn't entirely sure what the training would look like and needing to make sure that I gave myself enough time at the beginning of my day to actually do the training once things started ramping up. I have to say that the first couple of months were great...loved the easy runs, speedwork and attempting the tempo runs.

However, things started to fall apart after about 3 months AND when daylight saving time ended. The mornings were steadily getting lighter later so that wasn't a surprise, it was when the mornings were cloudy and a little damp that really got me down. But I tend to just plow forward and keep going - until I get really bored. Maybe I was just ready to race then...maybe?

The reality is, when I get bored I want to do something else so what did I do? Well, I started a running streak on Thanksgiving just to give my mind something else to think about and I tried to continue my training runs too. The good thing about that was that it was about 3 weeks before the Holiday Half, but I had to quit after 10 days to try to avoid becoming really sick. The streak was to go to New Year's day. Oh well.

ANYWAY - back to the main event - my first HALF!!

The route was pretty good, except I am not a fan of winding through neighborhood streets and making turns every block or so. This was an out and back course and the beginning was windy and the mile or mile and a half to the turn around had lots of turns. Not happy. Also, it didn't occur to me to see exactly how far the turn around was...it wasn't until almost seven and a half miles! I had felt pretty decent up to the realization that I didn't know where the turn around was and that I really wanted to know where it was!

Tom was crazy enough to meet me near the turn around, but he was caught up with the runners on the route as he was trying to get out of the area - but that's a different story!

Right after mile 11 I started experiencing muscle spasms in my calves and ended up walking quite a bit of the last couple of miles - SO BUMMED! I'm convinced that if I didn't have the spasms I would have definitely finished at around 3 hours - and only miss my goal time by 15 minutes. I did manage to recover just enough to run DOWN to the finish! The best part EVER :)

I'm glad that I decided to do a half, it was a real good learning experience. Now I am convinced that I need to work on more than just running (nutrition, strength training...sleep) to improve for the next half that I do - which will be the Vancouver USA Half Marathon next June. Yeah, I signed up for a second half before doing the first because it was a good deal. Go HERE.

I know that I'll never be fast or that great of a runner, but I have the determination to get out and do the things that appear impossible. I guess this all goes back to being a cancer patient and living everyday with the uncertainty of knowing how things will end up after all the treatments are done - but doing all that can be done and trusting that things will work out. THAT is where my determination come from. It's working so far...

Also I think that the hardware that come at the end of the race is pretty cool -