Tuesday, 22 May 2012

my first half marathon

This past sunday was my first ever 21km race. Every year in Halifax there is the Bluenose Marathon, hence the weird runners with exceptionally large noses above (the marathon is called the "Bluenose" after the famous Canadian ship). Last year I missed out on the festivities but this year I decided that I needed a challenge so I signed up in February to run the half marathon race. At first I was feeling very confident, I thought, "If I can run 10km without stopping.. I can run 21km right?". I was training every day and pushing myself further and further but then March rolled around.. and then April and I was bogged down with end of the year assignments and obligations, running more than 5km a day was not an option.

After I finished my Social Work degree (yay!) in mid-April I realized that I was no where near prepared for this race and every time I tried to run more than 12km I felt exhausted and very discouraged. A few days ago, before the race, I tried running 18km just to see if I could really do it and I had a really hard time. I walked a good part of my run and I felt really unprepared for the actual event.

So when I woke up on Sunday morning, I was really worried and nervous. I couldn't even finish my peanut butter banana toast, which I desperately needed for energy! Luckily, the weather was absolutely perfect. We couldn't have asked for a better day for a running race in Halifax. No wind! Blue skies! Anyone who knows Halifax knows how rare these weather conditions are and they make for a great run, let me tell you. Once the race started I began to feel more confident. There were so many lovely people cheering the runners on with hilarious signs, bells and whistles (literally!). By km 3 my legs and knees were burning which is rare for me but likely had something to do with the fact that I didn't allow my body enough time to recover after my 18km run a few days before. Alas, I pushed through and focused on my Bluenose playlist (Destiny's Child: Survivor is a particularly motivating tune that stands out) and eventually my legs started to go numb and I forgot about the pain. At 15km I said to myself, ok Brooke you are running this entire thing! No walking allowed! And guess what? I ran the entire thing. In 2hrs and 10 minutes and I can't wait to improve on my time and run another race soon! It felt so amazing to accomplish something physical. I'm lucky enough that I've had some recent academic achievements but its been a really long time since I've had an athletic achievement. Its nice to feel semi-athletic and fit! A friend of mine recommended a similar marathon event in Wolfville in October and I am sooo excited to run that race!

So yeah, I did it and I can't wait to eventually run a full marathon, but for now I'll take some time to rest.

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