My First Half Marathon
I’m excited to announce that I finished my first half marathon. It was the 2013 April Fools Half Marathon in Atlantic City. It was quite an accomplishment considering that I just started running last May. If I can do it, then anybody can achieve it. I want to take a few minutes to share my experience with you.
First, I was so nervous before starting. Nervous like before I take an exam or nervous that I’m going to miss a flight. I didn’t have a nervous bathroom experience though, all the true athletes know what I’m talking about.
I was delighted that the race started on time. I thought I started out really good. We started at the Revel Resort/Casino at the top of the boardwalk. It was a pretty flat course, which in the grand scheme, I actually prefer some hills along my route. I may be crazy. It was really picturesque to run next to the ocean. Back to running, when we passed the Caesar’s casino, I thought we ran at least 3 miles already. Not the case it was only mile 2.5.
There were 1825 people that ran the race. Sixty three percent of the finishers were women and the thirty seven percent were men. When I got to mile 4, I saw the eventual winner coming back pass me. I was like WTFreak (I don’t curse). My stride was ok and I made it to the end of the boardwalk and I started the course onto the street. I had to go number one really bad, but I refused to go until I turned around.
By the time I made it to mile 7, I was starting to feel the hamstrings tighten up and I refused to quit. I kept saying to myself, “if your feet stop, you will drop.” Mark Jackson, the basketball coach of the Golden State Warriors and former TV analyst coined the phrase, “hand down, man down.” I had to come up with something and that’s what I thought of first. I tried motivating myself up to mile 9.
Mile 9 is when things got interesting. I started passing people that originally passed me in the beginning. They started walking which validated my quote. I saw a woman that was keeping my pace with me and so I decided she would be the one to help me finish the race, so I formed the alliance by asking her to help me finish and she obliged and we topped it with a fist bump.
We ran miles 9-13.1 together. When I would slow, she would keep the pace and encourage me and I did the same for her. It was great. We didn’t talk until the finish line, but we both had a will and a goal to finish this thing. The music in my headphones became white noise after mile 9. It was all mental at that point.
As we approached mile 13, I was psyched to get to the line and started to sprint. It was refreshing to hear all the cheers and people slapping my hands to encourage us to keep it up. As I closed in on the finish line I heard my daughters screaming daddy, daddy! When I crossed it with jubilation! I finished!
After the race, I hugged the woman that I ran with and we both thanked each other. I wanted to finish in 2:10 and I did it in 2:10:49. Wow setting a goal and achieving it really worked. Amazing. Some of you may ask, was I sore at all and the answer is yes! I was so stiff. My feet were hurting and so were my thighs. The hammy too. I was sore for two days, but guess what, I was back to running on the third day.