Half Marathon

I’ll stop at nothing, I am the siren that sings you home, is that clear?

Tusk and Temper – Every Time I Die

I finally finished the half marathon distance after not being able to push myself beyond 10 miles several times.

Even on this day, July 12th I didn’t set out to do a 13 mile run (yes, I know it’s 13.1 miles). I set out to put some miles in. Somewhere in my mind I was fine if it were to go down but didn’t think it would because I kept crashing when I would get to 8 or 9 miles.

I didn’t decide to really commit to the full distance until I was at 9 miles. The weather was perfect, my mind was feeling good and I was like, “I already did 9, what is another 4 miles?” For those that have done this, that 4 miles are tough. The thought at 10 miles was two completely different thoughts, “It’s only 5K, that’s 27 minutes, no big deal” followed immediately by “I still have to do 3 more miles???”

So my route is out to Humboldt from my hood and then I do a bunch of laps around Humboldt and head over to the 606 trail and finish the “race” on the rubber path they have on the trail.

Overall, I went at a good pace for most of the run. Here are my observations as a first timer noob.

Going slow is key, going slower than you think you should is absolutely key. My brain can get the best of my physical capabilities all the time and controlling my brain was the most important part of keeping me on the right path.

Once settled in, which for me is around miles 4 through 9. For whatever reason on a slower paced run getting warmed up takes me about 4 miles to zone out and cruise for a while. This lasts until the first breaking point for me, which is right around 9 miles. I ask myself how much more I’m going to do. This is a long conversation and it goes back and forth. One part of me is saying I’ve done enough, the other part is saying “today is the day.”

Going with “today is the day” is kind of a commitment but it’s not set in stone yet, I think it took me to about mile 11 to say, “yep, no way I’m turning back now”

The funny thing I noticed with the longer distance run (mind you this is the longest I’ve ever run in my life, so this is long for me) is the inability to go into full on sprint mode. I told myself to pick the pace up a couple times and my legs just kept the same pace. Like my legs overruled my brain and kept the same pace. This was helpful because it would have sent my heart rate way too high and I don’t know if I would have been able to recover.

The last thing is the last half mile. I’ll tell you what, I let it go for the last half mile and went full sprint. It wasn’t one of those flailing sprints though, it was one of those I’m moving my feet with my quads and hamstrings, I’m bringing my knees up and pushing off with my back foot as hard as I can, then repeating that until you get up to speed. Once I got up to speed I pushed another button and started throwing my glutes into the mix. I started to feel like a train. If it weren’t for the proof in the data I would have said I felt like I was flying but in reality probably was going super slow.

Next up is increasing the miles by a couple every couple of weeks. The Chicago Marathon has been canceled so I will have to sign up for another marathon to do. I don’t know if I want to wait until next October to run my first marathon. Seems like a really long time.

We shall see…

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