I did it: I ran my first half marathon! This morning I ran the Foot Traffic Flat Half Marathon on Sauvie Island - the same place where I picked berries last weekend. This was the perfect first half marathon because it was completely flat (thank goodness for no hills), the scenery was gorgeous (berry patches, crop fields, farmhouses, the river), and the weather was amazing (upper 50s and sunny with some clouds and a little breeze).
I found a "rabbit" at the very beginning of the race for me to follow and keep up with. So for the first few miles I kept a good steady pace by keeping the girl in the white jacket in sight. But then around mile 5 (about the time the Rocky theme "Eye of the Tiger" came on my ipod) I picked up my pace and passed her. I kept a pretty good pace throughout the race and my body felt great the whole time. One of my goals was to pass more people than passed me. It kind of became a mind game and I started thinking of the race as a Nintendo game - like I was accumulating points for each person I passed.
My main goal was to finish the race (13.1 miles) in less than two hours. When I came to the final mile, I turned on the Chariots of Fire theme song and kicked it into gear. It's a shorter song than I thought so when it finished I had to play it again to keep my momentum going for the last half mile. I picked up to full speed and crossed the finish line at 1:56:57. My coworker Mary Lee (yes we have the same name) was right on the other side of the finish line waiting for me and snapped a picture of me as I crossed (will post picture soon!). Her husband Scott ran the race as well and is the one who talked me into signing up a few months ago. Thanks for being my photographer and cheerleader, ML!
I had such a great time taking on the challenge of running a half marathon and honestly loved every minute of the race. I'm already trying to figure out when I can run another one!
This morning as I was pulling up to the start line, I couldn't help but think how funny organized races are. I mean we're paying money to run a long distance, waking up at an oddly early hour, and fighting traffic to join a crowd of thousands of other smelly runners. There is definitely something more satisfying about competing in an organized race, though, that you don't get from just running around your neighborhood for exercise. And it helps that you get a medal and fresh strawberry shortcake at the end of the race as well!