My First Half Marathon!!!

Catching Up, Headlines — By on February 3, 2013 1:13 AM

(This picture does not do the location justice)

Believe it or not I actually hit a BIG bucket list goal last year.  I ran my first half marathon in October.  It actually was the first race ever sponsored and organized by Runner’s World Magazine  as well.  It was located in Bethlehem, very near Runner’s World headquarters.  What a BEAUTIFUL day – with the amazing bonus of being able to see all the fall foliage while running around the quaint BUT VERY HILLY town and steel mill.

I signed up for this half marathon months before the race, as part of the Runner’s World Challenge.  I had six months to train and get into tip top shape for this beast.  What I had not thought about before I signed up was the terrain of this particular location in Pennsylvania.  The reason the scenery and foliage is so dramatic is because there are MANY hills that allow you to see for miles when you reach the top.  To be exact, there were approximately eight to nine miles of hills.  And I am sure you are thinking, “and I did not train for hills.”  And you would be correct.  Not only did I not train for all the hills but the furthest I actually ran during my “training”, on my treadmill, was one hour.  My mentality and calculation was as follows; if it takes approximately two hours to run a half and I can run one hour on the treadmill without any problems then surely I can run two hours in Bethlehem!  In case anyone is wondering if this logic actually works, well it actually sort of did for me.  I had so much adrenaline running through my veins that morning and a great pasta dinner in my gullet from the night before, prepared, for a cost, for Runner’s World staff and some of us lucky runners, that I actually did not run out of energy the entire race.  What did slow me down significantly was Iliotibial band (IT Band) in my right leg that was getting torn apart because, as a novice runner trying to navigate hills, I ran most of the first half of the race on the right side of the road which was pitching downward.  My right foot was hitting the ground on a lower plain then my left.  The poor thing was taking the brunt of my weight and eventually decided, at mile nine, to let me know how it really felt!  I stopped twice to get my leg wrapped but the last four miles I was forced to run and then walk every other.  Not too shabby though.

What kept me going for so long in the first half of the race was my pure and unbroken concentration on the book on my ipod that could keep anybody running.  The book was “Fifty Shades of Grey!”  If you can’t keep your mind concentrated on the smutty parts of this book then you might as well run without music or anything.  It is quite the attention grabber.  But a word of advice, skip the entire beginning chapters because it took me miles to get to anything that remotely smelled of smut.  I’m saving the rest of the book for my next half marathon!  I may even win the race with this strategy!

All in all it was a very fun and exhilarating experience.  One that really makes you feel accomplished.  Go me!

Had you hit a bucket list item in 2012?  What was it?



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