Wow, oh wow! I just don’t know what to say other than that. Just … Wow!! (Don’t worry; I’ll manage to find more words, too.)
So, why the wow? Well, because I ran an amazing half marathon today. I broke my goal time. I broke my personal half marathon record. And I didn’t take any walk breaks. All with very little training.
I really doubted my abilities for today’s race—my first running of the Inverness Half Marathon—and I expected to have a miserable time that would include a lot of pain, a bit a lot of walking, and a really sore ego. In fact, I kind of thought that I might have such a bad experience (and disappointing time) that it would guilt me into doing a bit more training for my next half marathon. Instead, I’m going to have to remind myself that just because I did well without training, that doesn’t mean non-training is the best (or healthiest!) tactic.
First, my goal: I had hoped to just finish, but I also hoped to do that in between 2:30 and 2:45. I honestly thought that would be a struggle of its own—though I was planning to do my very best.
I gave myself a short goal of hitting sub-10 miles for the first half of the race, figuring that I would be lagging quite a bit on the second half when/if I had to walk (or crawl) for part of the race. Happily, I managed that quite well for the first eight miles—and I wasn’t far off for the last five. (The miles did get slower as the second half went on—with my last mile taking 12 minutes!)
Next, the non-walking: I really did expect to have to walk for part of the race—especially when I’ve had to take short walk breaks for my last two “long” runs of 6.75 and 7 miles. But as I came up on mile 7 marker—where I told myself I’d take the first walk break—I felt like I could keep running. Then when I came upon the mile 8 marker I realised that I might be able to run the whole thing. After all, it was only another 5 miles from that point.
I don’t know how I managed it—other than stubbornness—but I did. And that means that this is officially the first time I’ve not taken a walk break for a half marathon. I am extremely pleased with myself for that!
Finally, the personal best: With my first half marathon time of 2:34:36 and my second time of 2:16:57—both of which I trained for—I didn’t expect to break a record today. But as I kept creeping along mile after mile, I realised that I would be able to finish under goal. Then, I started to realise that I would be able to come close to my 2:16:57 time. It wasn’t until I hit the mile 10 marker that I actually realised I might be able to break that time.
And I did, with a time of 2:12:02!
I feel amazing for today’s accomplishments and I am sure it will energize me for the Edinburgh Half Marathon in May. After all, I now have a new PB to break!
I am now enjoying a post-race glow as I lounge around in my friends’ living room before a (well-earned) fish-and-chips dinner.
Oh, and did I say “WOW!” yet? Well, just in case I forgot: WOW!
(You can see more photos from my races here. Today’s race will be added after the fish!)
[Photo note: This was taken before the start with my friend, David, who also finished under goal about six minutes before me. Good job, David!]