My First Half-Marathon

by | Nov 26, 2006 | Health | 4 comments

I did it. My first half-marathon. I was not alone…

Over 10,000 others were there too. Most importantly, Katie & Ellie were with me – all 3 of us in our matching hot pink shirts. We even hat matching pink hats!

Where should I begin?

Should I start at 4 a.m. when my alarm went off?

At 5:20 when the ferry headed for Seattle?

At 6:30 when we reluctantly got out of the car and into the freezing rain?

At 7:15 when we tore head and arm holes into our trash bags to help protect us from the wet rain/slush/snow?

Maybe I should start with running onto the onramp of the I-90, or running into the I-90 tunnel and hearing countless wet runners whoopin’ and hollerin’ (I didn’t, I was trying to conserve energy and also maintain heat)…

Maybe I’ll start with the people on the side streets that cheered things like, “Keep going… You’re doing great… You’re halfway through…You chose this…This hill is fun – crazy fun!!!”

I could tell about the sign one man held that read: “Run like you stole something”…

I could start at the halfway point when Katie and I discovered our split for the first half was 1 hour and 5 minutes – which meant our first 6+ miles were done in just under 10 minutes per mile! We had thought 12-minute miles would be acceptable!

I could start out by saying we ran the entire distance, except for maybe 1 block of a super-mean hill…

The hardest part prior to the race was getting into the cold. Not just that – the WET cold. Once our bodies accepted the unavoidable fate – it wasn’t so bad. The trash bags helped, and the great mass of people surrounding us at the start line either added warmth or just a sense of excitement that overshadowed our physical discomfort.

The first half of the run went very well. Come to think of it, miles 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and even 12 weren’t bad. Actually the first half of mile 13 seemed rather easy. But then… but THEN… Though that last half-mile and one tenth was flat – that distance seemed to run through a street in Hell.

I kept thinking, “Only 5 more minutes, only 5 more minutes…” But it seemed like the clock in charge was hanging on a wall in the Twilight Zone. My head became foggy, my legs felt like lead, my back ached, and it felt like we would never reached the end.

Then we saw our hubbies – and the load of kids… yelling and smiling. A dozen or two strides later, we entered the stadium, and our feet met Astroturf. I looked at Katie and we smiled. I said, “I think I’m gonna cry!” Finish…

Soon after, my body began to kick and scream and yell in ways she has never dared challenge me before.

My upper legs, back and butt cursed at me by pulsing in pain. I grabbed my space blanket, because it was FREEZING and had only realized how freezing it was during that last half mile.

I grabbed a water bottle, and as soon as I took a drink, I felt like vomiting. I felt like vomiting for hours after. It was almost as if it was worse to stop running than to keep on! We went to lunch and my stomach growled for meat – protein and substance.

Food didn’t make anything better, only worse.

It has been 13 hours since the start of the race, and nearly 11 since the finish. I am still a little nauseous. My legs only hurt when I use them.

I’m exaggerating, a little.

Going downstairs hurts the most. I am surprised that my biceps hurt. My abs got a charley horse while changing into dry clothes after the race – didn’t expect that.

Stats:  our finish time was 2 hours and 18 minutes. When signing up my goal time was 2 hours and 45 minutes. Not too shabby!

Our overall pace was about 10.5 minutes per mile. We passed some folks, were passed by some folks, had to adjust my timing chip once, avoided having to use the port-o-lets, and weaved about through the mass of runners quite a bit – especially in the beginning. But we ran the entire distance – 1.5 minutes per minute faster than we hoped to. 


Call me crazy, but I think I’d like to do it again. Despite the discomfort and anxiety, it was fun. My “team”, the goal, the exertion, the thrill of the challenge, and doing better than hoping for 🙂 It just feels satisfying… and I couldn’t have don it without Katie, E and the total support of my dashing husband…

Hi, I'm Jenny :)

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