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Beth’s First Half Marathon

by Meghann on November 17, 2010

It’s official – I’m sick. :(

No point in fighting it any longer, BUT I promise to stops complaining about it – I’m even starting to annoy myself on that one. ;) Not another peep from me – I promise!

Luckily this head cold hasn’t effected my appetite, if anything it’s made me hungrier than usual. Is that normal?

Between meetings this morning I had a mini Larabar (it was the easiest thing to grab from my snack drawer in a hurry).

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For lunch I wanted to load up with nutrients by cramming as many vegetables as possible into my meal.

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Fresh arugula, left over Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad, left over roasted veggies, cheese, and bbq sauce.

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Per the request of my co-workers I’m working from home the rest of the afternoon. This way I hope to keep my germs to myself and not spread them to the world.

Beth’s First Half Marathon

Hi everybody! I’m Beth from Will Run for Books. Meghann has been so kind as to let me share my “First Big Race” story with you all.

It all started when I was training for the Shamrock Shuffle 8k, which is in March. It was my first winter actually running outside (previous winters had been spent on treadmills or taking a break from running) and my mileage was increasing steadily. While training for the 8k, I went on my first 9 mile run. It went great. It was somewhere around this time that I decided “Hey, why don’t I run the half marathon in September?!” So I signed up. In February. Seven months before the race.

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I ran the 8k in March and kept running after that, building up mileage, but didn’t actually being “training training” until June. My training program looked like this:

I can’t remember all of the runs, but I can tell you that I only completed one 12 miler and two of the ten milers. Both 10 milers were incredibly hard and a little bit terrible and had me shaking in my boots. The 12 miler, however, went great! It was also an incredibly, incredibly hot summer in Chicago, making sunrise runs (even on the weekends) a necessity. I. am. not. a. morning. person. It made for some rough mornings – I feel sorry for those that had to deal with me!

Finally, it was race day. My goal was to finish in 2:15. Due to two other big events happening in Chicago that day, they moved up the race time to 7 am. I live in the suburbs, so this made a pre- 5 am wake-up call necessary. Again with not being a morning person. (Meghann, I envy you!) I guess all those early training runs came in handy!

The race started on time, but since it was such a large race it took 9 minutes for me to get across the start line. Then it was on! The course itself is a little bit boring. It is on the south side of Chicago along the lake front, and is basically an out and back:

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There is very little shade and it was SUNNY that day! Fortunately, it wasn’t too hot. I felt great for the first 7 or 8 miles. I was dead on in my pace though, and just kept running. Around mile 10, my knees started to hurt. This was a little strange because I hadn’t really had knee problems while I was running. It was around mile 11 that I realized I was going to finish.  

Despite my goal of finishing in 2:15, I think I had lingering doubts of finishing at all. When I realized that I was going to finish, I teared up a little bit. I have asthma, and crying just makes it worse, so I had to take quite a few deep breaths and will myself not to cry. When I crossed mile 12 into the farthest I had ever run, I just wanted to be done! The race organizers are mean and start marking meters at this point so the race just seems to drag on and on and on. After what seemed like forever, I crossed the finish line!

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(Note, this is not actually my finish line picture, but the only halfway decent one of me from that day.)

I was done! The first thought I had was: Holy #$%#% I can’t imagine having another 13.1 miles to go! (Major kudos to all you marathoners!) A little while later I got my official time: 2:11:50! Despite getting really sick of running while training and the pain in actually running the race, I have plans to do another in June – sub 2:00, I’m coming for you!

Thanks again to Meghann for letting me share my story!

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