I know that you usually start by running half marathons and then moving to full marathoning, but we do things a bit differently around here. So even though I’ve run the half marathon distance in training, today was my first actual half marathon race.
I had a really great last six weeks of training, really stepping up my game after the first six weeks, and I broke 2 hours they other day on my training run so I figured things were going pretty well. But I woke up Thursday morning with a small itchy spot on my right shin and by the end of Thursday I had a bump. A bump is a small infected spot that just randomly shows up – it’s like the worst zit you can imagine, but they swell to be a couple of inches in diameter. Painful is really the word to describe them. I’ve had several and they can be quite unpleasant – especially when you want to run 13 miles with that leg. I started to worry that I wouldn’t actually be able to run. It’s the worst kind of running injury because it’s not even the result of running.
Luckily, the swelling hasn’t reached massive proportions when I woke up today and I decided that I was going to run anyways (I figured it wouldn’t do much more damage). So this morning I got ready and we headed down to the race start where I realized I’d forgotten my Garmin running watch. I’d been super prepared, laying out all my running gear the night before, but had left it charging and completely forgot to grab it. I always run with my Garmin, so I was quite upset about the idea of running without it. Not a perfect start to a race at all.
But once I started running I started to feel better about how things were going. In some ways I’m sort of glad that I didn’t have my GPS with me – by the time I’d run a few km, figured out my pace, converted it into miles and realized that was probably faster than I wanted to be going I’d already settled in and decided just to go with it.
It turned out to be a pretty good run. I just found a guy who was running at about what I thought I should be and followed him most of the way. I was much faster than I had hoped, crossing at 1:53. That is 50 seconds faster a kilometre than my marathon this spring and almost 4 seconds per km faster than my 10 km race this spring. I hope this means I’m getting faster!
Now that the race is over it’s time for a little break (at least until my leg heals because it hurts) and then on to a new spreadsheet and running program. Hopefully the excitement I have for running now will carry on through the winter. If I run I can wear my new jacket, so that should give me at least one thing to look forward to!