Thursday, April 30, 2009

First half marathon done

After training for 3 months, Sunday I ran my very first half marathon.

In the last days before the race, I tried to balance my diet a bit more towards carbs and have tried to hydrate well by sipping lots of water, and the day before I felt I was quite well prepared. My training had been great and I was confident I would run a good race.

My sister lives near the start of the race, so I drove to her place saturday and and I cooked her and my 3 year old nephew a nice rice dinner, hey - it might only be a half but I can still carb load a little bit ;)

Fast forward to around 11 pm, my sister suddenly collapses on the floor with strong abdominal pains and after talking to a doctor, she is rushed to the hospital. I stay behind to take care of my nephew.

By morning I knew she had suffered from a
ruptured ovarian cyst but is ok again, just tired and will be home in a few hours. My mother who was coming to watch my race will take care of my nephew until she is home again.

Needless to say I did not get much sleep that night, but several large cups of coffee later, I am at the start, warmed up and drinking a bit of powerade.
I lined up in the corral for those that expect to finish around 1:50 and off we go. Temperature was around 20c for this first time this year and I try to run in the shade as much as possible, but it's still rather hot. After some trouble desciding I was running in shorts and a t-shirt and I sure was happy I wasn't one of those that choose to do the race in full jacket and windproof pants, even with the pre-race announcer warning against overdressing constantly. I don't even run in that much clothes when it snows and we passed quite a lot of abandoned gear during the race.

Around 6km I am very happy to see my mother and my nephew cheering me on and as the course looped around I passed them around around 10 km for another much appreciated cheer :) At around 12.5km I eat an energy gel and drank at the depot, the first one at 6.5km was just way too crowded and I get my first experience of drinking from a cup while running - I should have practiced that before, after this I hit every water depot and grab half a cup of water. 12.5km is also time for the first hill as we gain about 30 meters in height over the next 2 kilometers, this is the first time I feel anything but flying, but I am ok again until the next couple of hill at around 18-19km. These honestly felt like straight up and I remember thinking placing those so near the end was evil! I loose about 50 seconds off my planned time at that point, but at least I'm not walking like lots of others around me, I regain a bit of time and finish in a chip time of 1:48:34, which I am very happy about :)

After some much needed water and some fruits I followed my mother back to my sisters place where my nephew was was very happy to see her home again, as was the rest of us.

This was certainly quite the experience and while I was a bit tired, I would probably have been too nervous to sleep anyway.

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