The sun hasn’t come up, its 40 something degrees outside and there are around 6000 people standing around in very little and tight clothing, only runners on race day. As we waited to get started, we all stood a little more closely to the person in front of us, everyone wins with shared body heat and I was ok with using the man in front of as a wind shield. Then it starts and gloves, hats, jackets, shirts all start being shed as we shuffle forward. Let’s go.
13.1 can be done! Make that your new mantra. You’ll need it when you drag yourself out of bed before the sun comes up 6 out of 7 days of the week, when you find it hard to bend your knees after your distance days, when you find yourself “running out the soreness” and when you cross that finish line. Because truly, that’s what it took for me, and I can’t be that far off from other people new to distance running. A while ago I posted about how I was learning to actually enjoy learning and now look at what I accomplished!
I followed Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon plan for Intermediate runners because I had run some 5Ks and a 10K and was regularly running 6 miles on my distance days already but he has other plans for Novice 1 and Novice 2. Hal Higdon’s plans came highly recommended to me by a close family friend, my cousin, and a neighbor who all have followed them and completed half and full marathons. I didn’t follow it to a T and I gave myself more time to cover holidays out of town (yeah right like I’d run in the Colorado mountains) but I still recommend taking a look.
I didn’t join a running group, I didn’t follow a running plan exactly, I didn’t give up any food or drinking and I certainly didn’t start from a lot of experience in running and I still completed a half marathon and even beat my goal time (thank you adrenaline for kicking in). Basically, I just gave up some sleep and a few hours on my weekends and I was able to finish without walking and without practically killing myself. 13.1 can be done. It may seem like an insurmountable goal right now when you run 3 miles but that’s where it starts. These things take time and effort and commitment but it was totally worth it.
I chose the 3M half marathon for a couple reasons, one my dad works for 3M and he’s been trying to get me to run one since I was in highschool, second is he got me free registration (put those 80 dollars back in my pocket), but most importantly is that this half marathon is mostly downhill or little change in elevation. Hallelujah to that! 13.1 miles is not the time for hills. It’s just not. Of course Austin and the surrounding area and just Texas in general has a lot of half marathons and full marathons going on, but I highly recommend doing some research into the course.
And you know what? I actually enjoyed it. Even after the endorphin induced joy wore off. I thought it was fun and already looking for my next one. And don’t forget the swag. I definitely rocked that bad boy all over Whole Foods for my post race feast.
So to all my runner friends out there, buena suerte and see you at the start line!