Half #2 in the books.

I haven’t blogged in 21 days.  To those of you who read this, I’m really sorry.

Truth is, I am really embarrassed about the (lack) of training that I did to prepare for this half marathon.  Here I have been, writing all these posts about how motivated I am and dedicated to fitness and continually striving to live a healthy life…. and I just didn’t follow through.

I admitted this in my last post, my training has been awful.  In fact, here is picture evidence of how terrible my training has been….

Sorry about the bad picture quality!
Sorry about the bad picture quality! Notice all the areas that have no writing? That’s because they weren’t completed.

Embarrassing, right?   

But heading into the race, I knew my training was terrible and I knew I was very unprepared.  So my goal went from running the race in under 2:15 to running the race to finish.

Man, did that make things so much easier.  In fact, my friend Lindsey and I actually had fun. Can you believe it? FUN….running a half marathon…. Never, ever, ever in my life did I think I would say that.  We talked wayyyyy more than we did our last half, we joked around, we sang “The Fox” song, we people watched….Additionally, we walked.  Much more than we did last time.  Mostly because there was an incredible amount of hills.

We ran the Brooksie Way Half Marathon in Rochester, Michigan.  When we signed up for the race, we heard it was pretty hilly, to which I thought “psh, I can handle hills”.  It wasn’t until about a week ago that I actually looked at the elevation page on the website.  Whoops.  Apparently “hill training Monday” (which as you can see above really didn’t happen…) wasn’t going to be enough for this race.  What’s that phrase? What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger? Right? Ha.

IMG_0110 IMG_0111

I felt the race was pretty good.  It did seem a little disorganized, parking was a little chaotic (I don’t know why people don’t just get there earlier), one of the dirt roads was very wavy and bumpy, and I wish there was a little bit more rah! rah! along the course… BUT I appreciated the change of scenery (from downtown to suburbia to trails), the change of running surface, and I did appreciate the hills, despite my lack of preparation.

I finished my 2nd half marathon in:

ResultsThis was 11 minutes worse than my last race…. but I am totally okay with that. Obviously there is a bit of disappointment that I wasn’t able to beat my last race time (human nature) but given my lack of preparation and especially my lack of preparation for the hills… I’d say 11 minutes ain’t so bad.

I learned a lot this race, isn’t that what is most important? I learned that:

  • Training is really important, but sometimes it’s okay to let life get in the way. PRs don’t always need to be obtained.
  • Hills aren’t something to be messed with.
  • The race was so much more enjoyable when my nervousness was gone and I was able to relax, enjoy, and appreciate my run.
  • I think races are incredibly inspiring.  If you run a race and aren’t inspired, you aren’t taking it all in.
  • Friends are important.  I wouldn’t have been able to finish when I did, with a smile on my face, if it wasn’t for my friend, Lindsey.
  • I can do this. I did do this.

There is so much about running that needs to be put in perspective. While September is over, it marks the year mark of my running journey.  That’s it – 1 year.  In 1 year, I have run three 5ks, a 4miler, and two half marathons. Seriously? That’s incredible.  When training for this half, I came home from a run and told M “The run sucked, I only got 5 miles in and I had planned for 6”.  And then I stopped and thought… “I just ran 5 miles.  A year ago, I never could have even imagined running 5 miles.”  Running truly is an amazing sport.

Now, with this 2nd marathon under my belt, I plan to take the next two weeks few days and recover (meaning I need to be able to move fully as I am so incredibly sore and suffering through a bit of a knee injury I haven’t blogged about).  I might take a little time off training for a big race and just focus more on exercising for the health of it.  We’ll see though, I can be talked into just about anything.  Because I know I can do it.

Thanks for listening to me – my journey is continuing and I can’t wait to see where all I go.  With school madness in session, I hope to be blogging a bit more and sharing my life.

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