I finished my first half marathon today. I ran a little slower than I wanted to but when I look at the big picture I'm OK with my time. Here's the big picture:
For Christmas 2009 we bought the kids a Wii. We also got the Wii Fit game which came with a board that could be used as a scale. Based on my height the Wii said I was overweight. I couldn't believe it. I had always been the 90 lb weakling type, not the overweight type. I used the Wii Fit to get back to a "normal" weight and then tried running as a way to keep the weight off. Around that time I remember my cousin talking about training for a half marathon. I was doing the couch to 5K program and still closer to the couch than the 5K. Running 13.1 miles seemed impossible. The idea of running the 7 mile Bix was a far off dream but 13.1 was just plain crazy talk. So... the fact that I even wanted to do this race is an accomplishment regardless of my time.
Now to the photo. The course is very hilly and I didn't want to force myself to keep my average pace on the predominately uphill miles or coast on the downhill miles so I made a goal pace for each mile. I couldn't remember all 13 so I wrote them on my arm. I don't think there are any math nerds who read this blog so I won't write about how I arrived at these numbers. If you want to know, ask in the comments and I will gladly explain. I was a few seconds under these numbers for the first seven miles but at mile 8 I started to tire. I did OK through mile 11 but then hit the wall. The last two miles were both over 11:00 minutes.
During the last half mile my left calf started to cramp and immediately after the race the pain extended into my hamstring. Now, several hours after the race, my left knee is a little sore. The interesting thing is that my left leg is my "good" leg. My right, surgically repaired knee feels great, or as the kids would say, "It's Gucci".