Saturday, September 29, 2012

Running my first half marathon

I am getting ready to leave to go run in the Fort 4 Fitness half marathon this morning. Jane is running the 10k (there is also a 4-mile run). This is our first time running in this event, which is in its fifth year of existence. This picture is from the start last year.

I start at 8 am, and am supposed to be there like an hour before my start time. I think that will be the worst part, because it's probably going to be a bit chilly yet - especially if I am in shorts and a t-shirt. Jane starts at 9 am. So we should both finish at about the same time. I'm hoping somewhere between 9:45 and 10 am. Then we'll probably hang around for the rest of the festivities until noon-ish.

My original goal was to finish in under 2 hours. I still hope to, but my excitable side now wants to do it in under 1:50. I think it's possible, but... we'll see. I hope to force myself to start slow. I want to begin running around 9 to 9:20-minute miles. Then after the first couple miles I want to quicken it to 8:15-minute miles (or so). When I get to the 4 or 5 mile mark I hope to drop under 8-minute miles and try to maintain that pace for as long as I can. I am hoping adrenaline can carry me the last couple miles around 8-minute miles, but we'll see.

Everyone says you run faster when there are other runners and with all the excitement along the course (bands playing and spectators cheering, etc.). But I'm used to running by myself, and I like to do things very methodically. I am constantly looking at my watch and counting my breaths, so... I'm a little freaked out about having all these other people around. Anyway, I think it will be fun. I just hope I am up to it physically. I haven't ran since Tuesday when I didn't feel good. I still feel a bit sore and sluggish, and my right eye is like constantly watery. I'm hoping I can come out of it once I start running... at least by the 4th or 5th mile. I will be really bummed if I can't finish. Really bummed.

We went and picked up our stuff last night. It was pretty exciting seeing the finish line and all the stuff around Parkview Field. There are just under 10,000 runners, and they estimate another 25,000 or so spectators. I'm pretty pumped. I think I woke up at like 3:30 and wasn't able to get back to sleep. Apparently son Isaac and his girlfriend and daughter Carrie and Anna are all planning to be there for the finish. Very nice of them. Makes it even more exciting. I'm really looking forward to having pancakes for lunch afterward too. :)

However... if you don't hear from me again, I suppose that might mean something bad happened. Otherwise, I will hopefully have an update later today or tomorrow. Still... I feel pretty darn blessed to even be able to run a half marathon just a month before my 50th birthday. I know a lot of other people do it, but I wouldn't have even dreamed it possible even 6 months ago. So I'm feeling pretty good right now. I hope I still am in a few hours.