My journey for training to run my first 1/2 Marathon...
My name is Ashley. I am 24 yrs old and I am running my first 1/2 Marathon on 3.7.10. I will be heading from Boston to Orlando to run the 2010 Disney Princess Half Marathon. Please enjoy my journey over the next months, as I track my training and thoughts about becoming a runner!
I am taking a hiatus from writing on this blog until I start training for a full marathon. Please visit my other blog http://greer718.blogspot.com/ where I post daily on that and will include running posts!
Wow..as I sit here 4 days later I still cant believe it...Sunday March 7, 2010 I ran 13.1 (13.25 says my garmin)...my first Half Marathon. It was September 15, 2009 when I clicked the submit button on active.com. I spent the next 5 months gradually increasing my mileage, running in 10 degree weather with 4 layers on, for that moment when I crossed the finish. I feel like I have accomplished so much in these past few months. Training for a race is the perfect way to set goals and accomplish them. I am a Half Marathoner! YAY
The Race weekend. I flew from Boston to Orlando Friday morning with my Mom and my good friends, Jenna and Steve.. My Dad, Step Mom and one of my friend Kristyn all Florida locals now met me as well. On friday, my mom and I went to the expo and got my race bag. I checked my d-tag( timing device) and picked up a headband from Sweaty Bands courtesy of my mom! I got one with Martini Glasses on it to signify my 66 days without Alcohol to prepare for the race post New Years Eve! I then hit Hollywood Studios, Epcot and Magic Kingdom over the next few days!
On race day I got up at 3:00am, showered, dressed, drank a bottle of water and ate my classic pre race meal of a Bagel with Peanut Butter and a Banana...my energizer of choice is Jelly Belly Sport Beans so I had a packet of those and I packed a tylonol and another packet in my capri pants for mid race. At 3:45am a taxi took a bunch of us from my hotel (Regal Sun Resort..loved it) to Epcot. It was now 4am and a freezing 37 degrees out. I did not bring layers. I was only wearing my North Face fleece. After about 20 minutes I checked my coat and shivered my way into the waiting area. I cant describe how cold I was. Next time I will bring disposable layers or some people wore trash bags over them so they could rip them off before the start. Somehow with a 10K race average of 10:04 I got into Corall A which was the first to go! I was able to get up to the start line. For the next hour plus they tried to entertain the FREEZING princesses with the YMCA, Cupid Shuffle, Macarena etc. I participiated to stay warm and keep from beign anxious. Honestly I wasnt as nervous as I thought. Maybe the cold helped in a good way to distract me. At 6:00 the fireworks went off and I started running....not knowing what the outcome would be.
All I know is that I wanted to run the race without stopping and cross the finish without struggle. My goal was 2:20:00
Mile 1:10:21 one small hill, went by fast
Mile 2:10:24 enjoyed local HS bands
Mile 3:10:26 fun characters along the way (did not bring camera, did not stop for pictures)
Mile 4:10:28 Getting closer to Mgic Kingdom...past 5K mark
Mile 5:10:21 Hill going into Magic Kingdom, crowd was great
Mile 6:10:36 heading out back onto the highway, slowed a bit as i was almost half way
Mile 7:10:29 hit the Grand Floridian where there were more spectators..half way mark..I was feeling good and ready to take on the next half
Mile 8:10:38 trying to speed up but my body was definitely feeling a bit tired at this point
Mile 9: 10:31 over the slump and I passed a woman wearing a shirt for a fallen soildier...I started to tear up and said "Keep going, God Bless" as I passed her, what a great honor for whoever that young man was! Made me feel proud too!
Mile 10: 10:36 only a 5k left! Definitely feeling tired but anxious to get to the finish
Mile 11: 10:47 Hit the first major hill/overpass and tried to keep a steady pace going over it...also 11.1 was the farthest distance I had run to date so I didnt know what to expect after this point
Mile 12: 10:47 Hit ANOTHER hill/overpass again trying my best but I was defnitely fatigued and ready to finish...I was so close! I could see the entrace to Epcot!
Mile 13: 10:34 trying to speed up as I was inside Epcot rounding the corner trying to find the finish. I was prepared to look for family and friends at this point.
Mile 13.1 10:22 I stated running on the left hand side close to the crowd so that I could look for my cheer squad. Luckily I saw my Dad and Carol and waved, then Jenna and Steve, then Kristyn then my Mom, they had all spread out along the end of the course. At this point my left calf started twitching and I said "not now" but I could see the finish and I headed for it. I gave it all that had left crossing the finish at a 7:38 pace.
I dont remember what my first thought was..all I remember was my quads and sides aching and being glad that I was walking and not running anymore. I think I was smiling but Im not sure. All I knew is that I had just run my first Half Marathon with no picture or bathroom stops and it felt amazing!
My Chip time was 2:19:27....I beat my goal! Not bad for a first timer right?
Whats next you ask? Another HM on 5.30.10 on Cape Cod (my home town area) and then the CHICAGO MARATHON on 10.10.10. I feel that this HM is only a stepping stone to my true goal of running 26.2 miles...sure a lot of people can run 26.2 miles but right now I cannot. In 7 months I will!