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In the aftermath of Blogocalypse, I’ve gotten so caught up in catching up that I haven’t even told you about the coolest thing that’s happened lately:
On October 5, I ran my 4th half marathon! It was also the one year anniversary, almost to the day, of my first half marathon. The Jacksonville Marine Corps Half Marathon is known for being hot (in Florida, early October is still summer), and this year was no different. But the route is beautiful – it starts near the entrance of the Jaguar’s Everbank Stadium, crosses the St. Johns River (TWO bridges), and winds through one of our historic districts. The crowd is big, with about 30,000 spectators and volunteers. And at the finish line, runners are greeted and given their medals by uniformed Marines.
My first half marathon was rough. It was hot. Really hot. And somewhere within the first few miles, I rubbed up terribly painful blisters on both heels. By the time I got to the finish line, it was a struggle to limp, let alone run. (Don’t let my photo fool you – I was miserable.)
I was tired, in a lot of pain, and convinced that I couldn’t possibly run twice as far.
I’ve learned a lot since then. I’ve found better running shoes (for me), learned the importance of wearing proper socks, and discovered the magical powers of anti-chafing products & sports tape. I use compression sleeves for recovery and have a love-hate relationship with my foam roller. I’ve experimented with lots of different kinds of foods, fuels, and supplements, and I know what combination works best for me. And most importantly, I’ve learned that I CAN run twice as far as a half marathon. And I’m going to do it again.
Shanin Frost says
This is a very interesting question. I have actually learned more since my first 5K than I probably will in the rest of my running career (maybe). However, what I have am most amazed about is how well I ran my first 5K. I pulled a 30:25 race time with a pace of 9:48 finishing second place in my age group. Too bad awards only went one deep. I have never placed that high in a run since (triathlons are a different story)! I trained using Couch to 5K and I took it very serious. And the results showed! At the time I really didn’t realize my accomplishment; I am only realizing this now two years later.
Shanin, that’s interesting. My first 5K was in July 2012 and I finished in 28:56. I’m running 16 miles tomorrow, but I honestly don’t know if I could manage a sub-30:00 5K at this point. My focus has definitely been almost entirely on distance vs. speed.
Michele C. says
awesome! You go girl!!!! I have learned a LOT from my first races (5Ks and 10Ks) — how important shoes and socks are, and to definitely go at your own pace. It’s hard at the starting line, when everyone takes off so fast, to keep to your proper pace, but it’s so important to do so. My first race ever was a 10K and I went gangbusters out of the start b/c that’s how everyone was going, even from my corral, and man did that hurt 4 miles later. 😉
I know the feeling! I started this last half marathon with a friend who is just a touch faster than me (the friend in my photo). We ended up splitting up around mile 3 because I couldn’t keep up. I think I might have finished a little stronger if I’d started out at a pace that was more comfortable for me, but who knows. I think the lesson learned is to time/pace myself and not rely on someone else to determine my speed. I’d really love to finish a half in under 2:30. Maybe next time… 🙂