Hello everyone! I’m Christal and I blog at Princess and the Pavement.
Running has become a huge passion for me over the past few years. I am certainly not the fastest runner out there, but I have a pace that works for me and I do what I can to try and improve it. I started running 5K’s back in 2008 and have done a few since then. My goal for 2011 was to get a little more serious about my running and complete a 10K. Well I haven’t done that yet, but on May 1st, 2011 I ran my first half marathon.
During my training for the half I really started loving my long runs. I would look forward to every Friday knowing that I was going to push myself a little farther than I had the previous week. I realized during my training that after a certain point, running is completely mental. On days when I was only doing five miles I would start winding down around mile four or four and a half. I would be glad I wasn’t doing anymore than five miles because I wasn’t sure I would be able to make it. Then on days that I did eight or nine miles, that thought process would start about a mile or half mile before my run ended. Knowing how far I was going that day prepared me mentally when I started my run.
When I initially signed up for the half I didn’t have a time goal. Since I hadn’t done one before, my only goal was to finish it. As training went on, I set a time goal of 2:30:00. The week of the race came and I started seeing signs around my work “Official Race Course” and I started getting the butterflies in my stomach! I LOVE that feeling but I knew I needed to not let my tummy be in knots on race day. I told myself that it was just another long run for me. Telling myself that really worked. Race day morning I was calm, collected and ready to enjoy the race.
I know everyone has their own preference, but I run unplugged. During the half I was able to enjoy all the people cheering on the sidelines, the structures of the older buildings we ran past, the beautiful scenery at the park and the different bands that were playing. It was so great! The rough thing about the race was it rained a decent amount and the course was super hilly. The winner of the race even commented on how tough the course was; that made me feel a little better. I exceeded my goal for the race and finished in 2:27:09. You can read the full recap here. I happy-cried when I crossed the finish line. Does anyone else do this? I did it on my last race too. That time was because I got a new PR and wasn’t even trying. This time was because it was the farthest I’ve run, and no matter how many times I wanted to quit (there were a few ROUGH miles), I didn’t quit and I finished. I cried because I passed a few people on the sidelines with medics because they couldn’t handle the race and had to stop but I was strong enough and healthy enough to finish.
Although I’m not training for a race right now, I am still putting in long miles each week because I love them. I also started doing Turbo Fire last week and while I love the videos, there is nothing that compares to running, so I’m still doing that in addition to the program. I’m ready to sign up for another half and even thinking about a full marathon. If I do a full, I want to do one that’s really fun. Any suggestions?
Heather thanks a bunch for giving me the opportunity to share on your site! Happy running everyone!