…yesterday I ran my first half marathon and finished a minute ahead of my 2:00 goal.
Wow, that’s a statement I never would’ve imagined I’d make (or until last September even want to make) and I’m still trying to get my head around the possibilities it’s created.
It was very special to share the event with three of my favorite people.
|me, Katie, Sara and Rob (before the race)|
|Katie, me and Sara (after)… still smiling!|
…but I did the run itself on my own (well, along with 14,000 other people and 8,700+ running the same race). It was dark when the race started at 7:00 am (I was in Corral F and crossed the start line about three minutes later) and it was uplifting to see the sun come up over the Atlanta skyline. The race started and finished in Centennial Olympic Park and the course took us mostly east, through the Old Fourth Ward, Inman Park and Little Five Points, Freedom Parkway, Virginia Highlands, Piedmont Park, Midtown and a final stretch through the Georgia Tech campus (which is a lot hillier than any of us remember!) A great course, and very familiar thanks to those six 2-day walks that cover a lot of the same hills. I met up with the 2:00 pace group about mile 3…whew! I didn’t find them at the start line and was really disappointed; after that practice run I was counting on them for not only the pacing, but also the encouragement. They’d started about a minute behind me, though, which meant I needed to finish about a minute ahead of them. So I left them just after we left Piedmont Park and ran ahead.
The run was tough, but never unbearable. Love my new Garmin watch (and I especially love that I can read the three numbers – distance, overall time and pace – without my glasses); it was a huge motivator…and a huge comfort. My favorite moment (besides the one when I crossed the finish line) was when I hit 10 miles around 1:30 and realized I could run those last three miles at a 10 minute pace and finish at my goal time. One thing that surprised me was how crowded the course was the whole time…not only runners, but also spectators cheering us on. All that support really made the miles go by quickly.
|from Marc ♥|
The support at home and on instagram and iMessage was wonderful too. thank you!
We celebrated all of that with margaritas and mexican food. and then a nap. Pretty much perfect.
So…what’s next? More half marathons for sure. Katie & I are planning to run the Atlanta Half on Thanksgiving morning (Sara has already said she’ll cook dinner while we run and I think that’s a perfect plan!) and the Georgia Half again next spring. We’ve also signed up for the Peachtree Road Race – a 10k 4th of July Atlanta tradition that I’m very excited to participate in for the first time…since I’ve lived here for nearly 35 years! and we’re scoping out other races. I’m also planning my first run with the local running club next weekend. Like I said, I’m still figuring out the possibilities…