7 things I learned from running my first half-marathon

For about a year, I’ve been talking about running a half-marathon. I thought about starting with a 5k or another shorter race since the last competitive running I did was in middle school, but a half felt like so much more of an accomplishment, and I prefer longer distances anyway.

After telling myself several times that I would begin training and then letting all my plans fall by the wayside when I got busy or hungover, I figured that once I actually shelled out for a registration fee I might feel more motivated, so I signed up for the BMO Vancouver Half-Marathon. On Sunday, after approximately three months and 200 miles of training, I ran 13.1 miles/21.1 kilometres in 2:08:12. Here’s what I learned:

  1. It’s easier than you think…

I started training with the belief I could finish a half-marathon with no training. I obviously wanted to do better than just “finish,” but without race experience I had no estimate for how fast I could go. A few weeks ago I ran the full 13.1 miles in 2:24:38, so my goal was to at least beat that time, and to do so I knew I would have to average 11:01 per mile or less. Well, I ran the first mile (always the hardest for me) in 10:20, and I figured if I could stay around that pace I’d be in good shape… then I ran mile 2 in 8:24. I was flying (it helped that the first few miles of the course were downhill), and it felt amazing. I only ran four miles out of the rest of the 11 in more than 10 minutes, and averaged a full minute and 26 seconds per mile faster than my first attempt.

All photos by Steven Mac Sweeney
All photos by Steven Mac Sweeney

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5 Things I Love so far this summer

Early Morning Runs

Screen shot 2013-07-15 at 18.50.37I am not a morning person. By any means. I am the opposite of a morning person, the kind of person who would stay up until dawn and then drag herself out of bed at noon to drink an entire pot of coffee if she had the chance. But lately, although my job forces me to get up before 8 anyway, I’ve been taking things a step further and setting my alarm for 6:30 or even 6am. I do this so I have time to go for a run before work. Not only do I beat the heat (temperatures in the 90s all this week—ugh!) but it really wakes me up, and then I don’t have to worry about it in the afternoon when I all I want to do is sit on a beach towel and read trashy fashion magazines.

Continue reading “5 Things I Love so far this summer”