Running my first half-marathon

April 12, 2019

Growing up, I never considered myself a “runner.” I played softball and tennis in high school and college so I would run 2-3 miles for cardio exercise every now and then, but I suffered from shin splints and was operating under the assumption that my body wasn’t built to run.

But then I started meeting people who have done it. In person and on social media, it seemed like there were marathoners everywhere! And they weren’t all super-athletes with the perfectly thin “runner’s build” either. They were people just like me. With each person I met, I was more inspired, and then when my sister ran her first and shared how much fun it was, I decided to go for it.

I started weight training last year and I feel like this played such a huge role in my training and overall success. I also counted macros and started eating way more protein than I ever had before. I feel like these two things were more important than the actual running itself. I ran 2x per week for about 9 months leading up to the race. There were, of course, some weeks where I didn’t pick up my shoes, but I tried my best to be consistent and kept my weight training mixed in also. I would do a short run (between 3-5 miles) and one long run per week (I built all the way up to 10 miles). I never really paid attention to pace, the goal was just to keep running. It felt amazing to push myself and to reach each new mileage goal.

After I reached 10 miles in training, I finally felt confident enough to sign up for a race and my sister and I decided on the San Diego Half Marathon. I had never done any type of formal running event ever in my life, not even a neighborhood 5k, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I was just happy to be there and excited to break a new mileage record when I finished.

On race day, it was truly incredible to see such a diverse group of people all working to achieve the same goal. There were cheering sections, marching bands, candy handouts and some really great signs – all things that made it easier to keep going. My sister and I stayed together at the same pace, and she totally pushed me when I needed it – like on the mile 9 hill climb, and when my foot-cramped on mile 10. I never thought that a runner’s high was a real thing until I ran this race. The adrenaline was insane. It’s still hard to believe that my body did not stop running once throughout the entire race.

I finished the race in 2 hours and 2 min – not bad for a first timer (I’m told), and our mile times averaged around 9min 22sec. We somehow completed the last mile in 7min and 28sec, though, I told you the adrenaline was pumping!

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t sore afterwards, because believe me, I was. I was also reminded of the importance of stretching and foam rolling and the power of ibprofen. Soreness aside, I’m already planning on doing another race. The competitor in me is now determined to finish in under 2 hours!


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