Posted: September 17, 2010 in Uncategorized

On September 4 I completed my first half marathon (see entry the hampton half for more).  Let’s be clear, it was a thirteen mile run, not an official race.  As previously discussed, I wanted to enter an official race, but my schedule and desire (or lack thereof) to pay registration fees, did not jive with the rest of the New England/Tri State running community.  Hence, I designed my own course, raised money for a worthy cause, and ran.  I don’t know why I feel so defended about it.  I end up rhetorically explaining, perhaps qualifying, the run to every soul that I talk to about it.  Perhaps I should wait and see if there is a challenge to the validity of the race.  After all, thirteen miles, is thirteen miles, whether run solo or in an official capacity (not to be confused with the Feast of Maximum Capacity).

OK, I feel better getting that off my chest.  I wish I had a worthy blow by blow (or puff by puff) account of the run, but by in large, it was uneventful.  That is not to say that it was not rewarding or challenging, but in the end I felt completely prepared, and was rather happy with my effort.  Regardless, after my olympian (!) description of the Spartan Race, anything recent to that will pale in comparison, but I shall do my best.

I most definitely behaved poorly the week prior to the run in terms of taking it easy.  I was over zealous at the gym on Tuesday, leaned more towards aggressive than moderate on my run Wednesday, and spent my spare time Thursday and Friday spreading about 15 yards of mulch.  I was behind most of the week on my hydration.  My shining moment was a pasta dinner Friday.  Yay me.

So going into Saturday, the day of my race, I was sore, and tight, and wondering at which point I would strain my chronically ailing right hamstring and have to walk.  Note that I did not say pull out; I was prepared to finish this thing by hook or by crook.

I felt oddly good Saturday morning, and was even able to motivate myself out of bed, get dressed, hydrate, eat, and get out the door before 8 AM, my proposed start time.  Of course, despite having done suitable distance during my training, I questioned every heel strike and stride for the first few miles.  Was I running too fast, was I running to slow, would I make it?  Around mile four, I started to settle into my groove, which I have discovered is about how long it seems to take me to warm up for long runs.  Up to that point, the biggest highlight was finding a snapping turtle shell by the side of the road.  I found a suitable road-side stash for it, and continued on.

The first seven miles of the course were essentially uphill, with about 300 feet of elevation from mile 2 to mile 7.  I don’t know if that is a lot, but I certainly felt the gradual climb, and looked forward to my Forerunner beeping (or more so bleeping) that seven mile, to mark my ascension to the zenith.

Honestly, from there it was all downhill, both geographically and figuratively.  Well, I guess it was uphill figuratively, in that after cresting the final climb, I was able to light up the afterburners and cruise the next six miles rather uneventfully.  One of my friends met me around mile eight to send me good luck beeps with her car horn.  Apparently she put signs up along the route wishing me luck, which I regretfully missed.

I was greeted at the “finish line” by my wife and daughter, who brought me post run nourishment and fluids.  The run was an overall success, and I honestly felt fine at the end, which leaves me to wonder if I could have run it faster.  I finished in a little over 2 hours, which I am content with for my first run of that magnitude.

Having vowed that I would never train for a marathon, I now go back on my word.  The long days will certainly be longer, but I hope to make up a little for that by being faster.  The current plan is to run the Mowhawk Hudson marathon in 2011, assuming my work schedule and the Jewish holidays do not conflict.

Onward and upward!  Next stop, the Rugged Maniac!

  1. Greg Dawson says:

    How are the Mowhawk Hudson marathon plans coming?

    • jagerman says:

      Probably not gonna run that one. In lottery for New York. If I don’t get in, will look at Amica in Rhode Island

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