My Super Sweet 13(.1)

A 1st Half Marathon

25 Days Until… (10 Miles and Confidence x10)

Holy doughnuts, Batman! I ran 10 miles!

Well, I did it! I ran twice last week, hit up a yoga class, popped by the gym, worked my core, and turned 31. And then, on Saturday, the 31st day of March, my first full day of being 31 years old… I ran the Papa John’s 10 Miler!

I was really nervous about the race – I’d never run more than 8 miles – but once we got started, I began to enjoy myself; if you’re lacing up your running shoes every Saturday since January, then part of it is habit. But the rest? Fun! The crowd of cheering people were great (though they disperse a bit once you get into Iroquois Park, which, by the way, was a less-strenous jaunt through the park than the IHR Thanksgiving Run was) and the weather was fantastic. I walked through all but one of the water stops, and I paced myself down until mile 6, which is when I really started to kick out the jams, so to speak. When we got to mile 9, I pretended I had two more miles to go, and once we got to the final lap – through Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium, very cool – I ran as hard as I could. My bib time (I didn’t get through the start until 8+ minutes after the official start) was 1:52:14, which I think is respectable enough; again, never done this before, and an 11:20 mile isn’t too shabby for a newbie runner at such a distance, I think. Of course, the winner of the race ran 4:20 miles, but hey, he’s a professional runner – it was cool to see and cheer for the winners around mile 3, which is when they were passing us pokey folks:)

I’m not sure I’m going to run today; I think I might hit up yoga instead. After the 10 miler, I took a nap and was stiff and sore. I stretched, then went out with friends and watched the Cards lose to the Cats in the Final Four (myeh, but if Kansas wins my bracket’s still intact) and then got home only to be invited up for cocktails (and belly laughs) at my neighbor’s. The next day, thus, I was really really bad off. Don’t do what I did, which was over-do it partying after slamming my body through a race. I’m still sore in spots and my wonderful boyfriend, who cheered me on, also gave me a good back rub and worked my left thigh a bit, as my IT band and hamstrings were so stiff that I couldn’t get to sleep for my post-race nap. Mad props to boyfriend:) Also, mad props to Mom and Dad, who gave me some massage gift certificates this year. I might use one this week, I feel so creaky.

The best thing about this race is that it showed me a few things. It showed me that training and practice really do pay off (thanks Blue Mile!) – holding myself back and going what I call “gorilla pace” (I have a loose arm, swingy, short-step 11:00/mile steady pace – anything faster and I have to stop and walk about 3 miles in) helped me run nearly the whole race (again, I stopped for water and walked about 2:00 in Iroquois at one point). I was impressed that my body could do this, and I my confidence for the half marathon improved. I’ve got some tough weeks of training to complete until the Derby Festival miniMarathon, but I now know I can handle it. I’ve also discovered, in light of this 15k (+), that I enjoy running longer distances. 5ks are fun, but I’m finding I don’t really get a groove on until about mile 4. This bodes well for my marathon dreams. I’m proud of myself and looking forward to getting my body recovered this week for more runs. I know I don’t run fast, but I’m only racing myself; finishing was my goal this year. Maybe next year it’ll be shortening the time? No matter what, though, it’s important to shout out a hurrah for progress, challenges, and goals achieved! Now, only 25 days until the Derby Festival miniMarathon… I think I got this:)

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