I ran my first half marathon today. And it felt amazing!
I’ve always admired runners because it was never something I enjoyed nor was it one of my many strengths (haha!); after a 10 minute run I would be what my brother called #tomatoface and huffing and puffing. I prefer HIIT or strength workouts. But I was married to a runner and, well, he challenged to me run a race. So, just over a year ago, I completed my first 10k race, the Vancouver Sun Run. J and a few of my close friends, Dawn and Jerrick (Kinetic Family) also participate in half marathons and when they asked if I would consider running a half (21.1k), my answer was “no way”. Guess I was wrong!
Here’s the proof – Scotiabank Half Marathon, Vancouver Running Series:
The route was beautiful, started at the university I attended, UBC (go Thunderbirds!), and pretty much all around campus. Then it went down by Point Grey and West 4th which is always a gorgeous sight. Next, it ran along English Bay and ended at Stanley Park.
The training was something else. I only committed myself to the event 3 weeks before race day. I had just ran the BMO 8k so I had sort of a baseline already. I had 6 weeks before the Scotiabank Half Marathon but I wanted to see if my body was capable of running 20k before I officially registered.
The training involved many, many, many long run days, hill sprints and recovery workout/runs. To be honest, I didn’t always complete each scheduled workout. If my body wasn’t feeling up to it, I opted for an active rest day, which included running around with my girls, foam rolling and stretching, or a power yoga class. I felt great 3 weeks into training. I ran into a few hiccups (blisters, nausea, headaches, etc) but some new gear and proper refuelling helped. When it was time to taper, I ran into trouble. I hadn’t kept up with my usual plyo/strength workouts and my muscles were starting to tense up and get fatigued easily (which was even more evident during the race). I had a few weeks left to go before race day so I kept pushing myself to stay active without overdoing it. All in all, I finished the race without injuries, mostly just DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) and mild stiffness (foam rolling helped reduce this). I don’t feel completely spent and I had FUN!
If you have never signed up for an event, it is definitely something worth trying. The atmosphere and energy is just incredible. Most participants come out for a common goal: to finish the race and have fun. For me, it was especially significant because I proved to myself that I CAN run 21.1k.
I’ve already mentally committed myself to another half marathon next year. 🙂