Fancy pictures and everything!
So as many of you already know, I just participated in my first half marathon this last weekend. I wasn’t entirely ready, but I had definitely amped up my mileage the last month or so, so I could at least be somewhat prepared. I got in a 10 mile run/walk the Wednesday prior and took Thursday/Friday off, hoping that I would be somewhat physically prepared and hoping adrenaline would carry me the rest of the way. I ended up being very happy with my results.
THE GAMEPLAN: The plan going in was to try to stick as close to a 14:00/mile pace as I could. First of all, I know that’s slow, but I wasn’t going to risk burning myself out or possible injury by trying to go faster. At 14 minutes per mile, that would get me across the finish line just over 3 hours, so I was actually hoping to cut a few minutes off overall to finish under 3 hours. That was the main goal.
THE COURSE: Summerlin is a beautiful part of Las Vegas that many people don’t know about. It’s nestled up right next to the Red Rock conservation area which offers some amazing breathtaking views. The course started and ended at the JW Marriott and went through some trails and roads and the scenery was just amazing. The trails were very scenic and overall it was a very fun course to run. Also, Summerlin is a well-off area, so some of the houses I saw were pretty amazing. Overall, I was glad I got to explore some new parts of Las Vegas I didn’t know much about. I’ll continue to do some of my practice runs on some of the new trails I discovered.
ELEVATION PROFILE: The total climb was +669 feet, with an elevation change of 1339 feet. Most of the climb was between mile 2.5 through 7, and for the most part, it was steady. Heading over the 215 freeway was definitely a challenge, and there was a random steep hill at mile 10 that was really tough to see since fatigue was setting in. Overall, I was glad the majority of the uphill was in the first half of the race, and it ended on the downhill.
Mile 1: 12:06
Mile 2: 11:59
Mile 3: 13:52
Mile 4: 12:44
I’m more than happy with this pace. I’m not tired, I am taking advantage of the flat terrain at the beginning, and doing a little more walking on the uphills. Mile 3 began a pretty high climb so instead of tiring myself out, I watched everyone else do it instead. A lot of people were pretty focused on running at the beginning while I promised myself I would pace myself and only worry about me. I’m almost 5 and a half minutes above my goal pace, so I’m ecstatic with this start.
Mile 5: 12:50
Mile 6: 13:53
Mile 7: 13:17
Mile 8: 11:54
Once again, I’m happy with this middle stretch, as I’m passing people left and right who are simply burnt out by exerting their energy too early in the race. I can care less about passing people; what it really showed me was that I was pacing myself well, as I was not fatigued at all. Mile 6 was the big uphill over the 215 freeway, and mile 7 was the last uphill portion of the race. Mile 8 started the downhill and I took full advantage of it as I clocked my best mile of the race. To be able to run that comfortably that late in the race was a positive sign for me.
Mile 9: 12:29
Mile 10: 12:20
Mile 11: 13:51
Mile 12: 13:47
Mile 13.1: 12:46
FINAL TIME: 2:47:54
Everything continued to go great until mile 11, when my hamstrings tightened up. I didn’t really think about it until after the race, but this being the longest I ever ran, I wasn’t really prepared for sustaining any soreness or injury. This definitely slowed me down a bit as I didn’t want to push too hard and risk an even greater injury, therefore I slowed down a bit. I was more concerned with getting hurt and having to sit on the sidelines for a few weeks. However, the last mile I pushed through and ended up with a final time of 2:47:54, a little over 12 minutes better than my goal for the day. I ran the last tenth of the mile through the finish line and achieved one of the greatest accomplishments in my life. I would have never believed or thought I would run a half marathon in my life (and certainly never would have thought I would enjoy it).
I can actually do this! 3 months ago in January I started getting out of the house and walking a mile or so in my apartment complex. My mile would usually take a little over 18 minutes, and no joke, i’d be huffing and puffing at the end. I don’t smoke, do any drugs, etc, I was just plain out of shape. 230+ pounds, very sedentary, with almost no physical activity. The runners high of finishing was completely amazing. 3 months ago I remember telling my girlfriend that I was hoping to participate in a 10K race by the end of the year. I ended up doing a half marathon 3 months later. Crazy, isn’t it?
Continuity. I’m not out to run to break records, win races, or lose weight. I honestly do it because I find enjoyment in working and practicing and being able to celebrate and accomplish something at the end. Races do that for me. I need to keep it up if I want to continue to enjoy it. Furthermore, I can’t keep improving if I don’t continue practicing and running. This will be evident when I decide to run my 2nd half, which I hope to participate in early June.
THANK YOU FOR ALL OF YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT!
-RH – Follow me on Twitter