When I tell people I’m running a marathon, I get a couple of strange looks. To those who run and love to do it, it isn’t a far fetched idea, but to the people who never run can’t seem to understand. People who don’t run, don’t understand why we like to run. When I took on the marathon, I was even clueless about it. Marathon training takes up a lot of time. I run four times a week which isn’t really a big deal, but the length of the runs is what takes up the time. I wake up at weird hours to run the streets and sometimes I’m forced to run the evening. It’s not always ideal. When training for any endurance event, it’s pretty much known that training plan will run your life. Most people who aren’t in it, don’t understand.
Eighteen miles is the longest run I’ve ever done and I never thought I would get out there and run that much. I was wicked nervous about running these 18 miles. I know when I’m training, I train alone and it’s much harder for me to keep with the pace. I can’t really find anyone to run with me for various reasons which are all valid. People ask why I’m running all these races? Yes, I enjoy running the races and I would be lying if I didn’t enjoy getting the medals because that is always an upside! But I am currently running all these races to keep me focused on my training plan. It some how comforts me and makes me push a little harder. It kind of sucks when I go and I really want to PR during these races, but I have to remember it’s about getting through the run at a particular pace.
The five miles before the race when surprisingly well and I was feeling good. The beginning of the race went pretty well too. I really didn’t start to feel anything bad until around mile 9. My legs started to get heavy and I realized that my half marathon fueling plan wasn’t going to work for my marathon. I had also forgotten to bring my banana with me and my protein mix before the race so this could have been a problem. Also, around mile 9 my stomach started to get a little queasy. This has been happening to me a lot lately and I’m wondering if my problem with the GU gels is starting to reoccur and/or I’ve been taking gatorade at most races which is something I’m not use to. But all in all, running the 18 miles wasn’t that bad and it was a learning experience. This was definitely the first time I thought, “Why they hell am I doing this?” But then I remembered I am running the marathon for myself to prove that I can do something from start to finish and if that inspires blog readers along the way, that’s a plus!
A few things about the race:
- This race was put on by a local running club and it was extremely well organized. Plus, there were a lot of great sponsors for the event.
- I got a shirt at packet pickup (cotton long sleeve) and then a nice tech shirt for finishing the race. The medal was pretty cool too!
- The shuttles too and from the race were phenomenal. They worked with DISD to use the school buses from DART stations. The buses were on time and I never had to wait and the ride was only 10 or so minutes. It was nice not having to worry about getting too and from the race. To me, this is the most stressful thing about races, but this experience was VERY pleasant. I think a lot of race directors can learn from this race.
- The course was beautiful. This is one of the reasons why I’m choosing not to do my long runs at home. It same ole thing on the same flat terrain. I wanted a change of scenery and this course was GORGEOUS. The race was held at Norbuck Park and ran around White Rock Lake. The beautiful surroundings made the race even better.
- Great crowd support! There were tons of signs about people “running better than the government.” It was funny the first 3 times a saw it, but it got old really quick, especially the 15th time I saw the sign. I think I was seeing the same people holding up the signs though and just moving to different places. So if I would have attended this race with a support system, I thought it was really cool that it was spectator friendly and they could move from place to place very quickly.
I finished the half marathon in 2:18:50 which I was really surprised about since I had to run 5 miles before the race. 2:18:50 is on par with my RnR San Diego and Tyler Rose. I am positive I would have finished better than that if I didn’t have some serious problems with side stitch at mile 10-11. It was a very happy moment for me because I finished my 10th half marathon of 2013 and ran 18 miles. The only bad thing was, I went alone and had to drive home after all of that in the car. Five hours after running 18 miles = no fun! I will probably run this race again next year because it was perfect! Great job to the organizers!