My First Half Marathon

**This post has sat unfinished in my drafts for over 2 months.  But as I told my friend recently, published is better than perfection, I’m pushing it out.**

When I started this blog I had this crazy idea that I was going to be a triathlete.  Even though I was overweight and out of shape.  Even though I hadn’t ridden a bike since I was in high school and I hadn’t run a whole mile since 10th grade.  I swam for fun, I didn’t swim for distance and time.

I still haven’t done my triathlon, but I have ridden a bike.  (Admittedly, I need to do that more.) I have swam laps in the pool until I was exhausted.

But the running part?  Ha! That, I can absolutely tell you I progressed on!

On June 5th I ran my first half marathon!  It was the third one I’ve signed up for – so I guess it was third time – the charm.  I ran the San Diego Rock n Roll Half Marathon!

I started my training late.  I started my long runs in April.  Because my work schedule is a little erratic I could always depend on Sundays being free for long runs.  My idea was to increase my mileage by 1 mile each week.  I was in the middle of a round of 21 Day Fix Extreme and it got more difficult to balance that schedule with running and rest.  (And work which also got a little crazy.) For the most part this approach worked and I ended up completing my 10 miler the week before my event.  That really helped my confidence in knowing I could do 13.1  I had accidentally done a 9.5 on my 10K in Las Vegas.

It was really helpful that a friend let us stay at her place that was conveniently situated within walking distance of the start and the finish.  I did the requisite preparations.  Carbohydrates the night before.  Plenty of hydration.  I stood in line for the bathroom until it was time to start.  I had my gels and salt twists.  I didn’t get a playlist together but I have Apple Music on my phone.

It really was the hardest thing I have ever done.  I just kept moving forward.  I ran as much as I could, which ended up being a lot more than I anticipated.  My calve cramps were the only things I stopped for.  They didn’t really start until after mile 8 and I did a brief stretch out on the curb a couple of times to get through.  I drank water at the water stations, Gatorade when it was offered.  I used 1 gel and it was probably not the best idea.  It really made my stomach hurt after about a mile after taking it. The end of the course had some downhills, which I appreciated.  I finished stronger than I thought I would.

Afterward I kind of felt drunk.  I could only move slow and my thinking wasn’t really where it should have been.  I had recovery food (banana) and waited for my friend to finish the full marathon.  Stopping was the hardest part.  Sitting was awful until it was time to get up and then THAT was awful.  I did get to enjoy Gavin DeGraw as the headliner though!

The walk back up to my friend’s house was SLOW.  Everything hurt.  All 3 of us were beat up and miserable.  I don’t really remember what we did or what we ate that day, but I do remember that the next day was NOT as awful as I thought it would be.  I went to Bloom and got Traumeel in my shot.  I used my plantar fasciitis braces.  I was more okay than I expected to be.

So from thinking that I’d be “one and done” I’m actually considering doing this race again next year.  I don’t think that RnR Las Vegas in November is in the cards.  I still think that with better conditioning and with less weight to run with I could actually have a much better time at this.

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Umm, Have You Forgotten About Triathlon?

No, actually I HAVEN’T forgotten about my triathlon goals.  I know it seems it, with all this talk to 5K and Beachbody, and Shakeology, and eating Paleo, and all the other seeingly random health-related things I bring up here.  Finishing a triathlon is definitely still my goal.  Maybe my why has changed?  I view triathlon as something REALLY badass.  I think of myself as pretty badass.  Therefore, completing a triathlon would further prove that train of thought.  You really need a great level of fitness and endurance to finish one.  You can’t really just get away with being good at one event and phoning the others in.

I'm still regularly doing TRX and getting fantastic strength and flexibility gains.

I’m still regularly doing TRX and getting fantastic strength and flexibility gains.

I have started running.  Like, actually running, not just walking really fast.  I’m working with a trainer who is really helping me get my form down.  My fitness level and muscle development is good enough that I can venture in to this world and not have to worry about killing my joints now.  Sometimes my lungs keep me back, sometimes it’s my legs.  Strength and cardio endurance.  I’m going to piggy back with these, but I’ll get better at both.

Biking is still eluding me.  I have a bike, but I’m not super comfortable on it.  We’re going to get a trailer hitch on one of our cars so we can use a bike rack to transport our bikes.  As it is now, my bike is big and heavy and getting 2 bikes in our small SUV is kind of difficult.  My husband thinks that cycling will be the best way to improve my cardio output without hurting my body.

Swimming.  I could be swimming in the ocean *right now* but I’m using the excuse that it’s too cold.  Which, really, it is.  But I also have access to a couple of pools.  I need to get my butt back in the water.  It’s always awesome and I always think “Why haven’t I been doing this” when I’m swimming regularly.  I did practice water transitions with my trainer.  Unfortunately it resulted in the loss of my iPhone because, well, I have no excuse other than I didn’t think far enough ahead.

I’m going to find an event within a week and either sign up or set up an alert for it.