I had the best time running the race this past weekend with Kyla! I asked her to type of her experience with it so I could share with you.
What a blast! I ran my first half marathon this weekend and even though my legs are still regretting it, it was an awesome experience. Between the thrill of running with thousands of other people, reading hilarious and inspiring signs, and feeling the accomplishment of finally crossing the finish line with my sister (one of my goals, whohoo!). I definitely plan on doing this again next year. There were a few important things I learned from this run, however none the least of which is the art of drinking water while jogging (it’s a lot harder than I anticipated!).
The importance of training! I skimped a little on my long runs and I paid for that during the latter half of the race. Even though I met my goals and was able to run continuously throughout the course, the last few mies felt rather brutal. I could tell by the ten-mile mark that my legs would be hurting the next day. There were also a few points during the last three miles where briefly panicked and wondered whether I’d be able to keep running, while at the same time angrily wishing the announcer we ran by over a minute ago would stop telling us we only had three miles left! Surely it was more like 2.8 miles left now, right?!
Joking aside, I am thankful that I prepared mentally for the race. I knew there would come a point where the irritation would set in (does this happen to everyone?) and all those awesome signs and cheering people would become as aggravating to me as everything else that tried to distract me from the fact that I was physically stressed and wanting nothing more than to stop and rest.
For me personally, there were two key things to keep myself going at the end: whenever I felt panicked or ready to stop I made myself focus on one thing- not stopping for that moment. I didn’t let myself muse over how much further I had to run, or how tired I was, only that I had to keep running for that moment. If I didn’t let myself think too much about any one thing, I couldn’t talk myself into stopping or slowing down.
The other thing that kept me going was focusing on staying with Courtney, who was willing to give up a PR to stick with me during the race. In turn, I didn’t want to disappoint her by going slow, so my goal of keeping up with her with by far my biggest motivator.
However, for most of the race I was beyond exited and having a blast! The first few mile were a breeze and I enjoyed listening to the crowd of specters and taking in the sights of Chicago. A fellow race even gave me advice on how to drink while running! And all of the irritation and exhaustion built up during the last few miles were gone the second crosse the finish line. All in all, I am so happy to have been apart of this race and I plan on continuing my training to tackle it again next year!
Something Kyla did not share, which I think is funny is that I kept joking with her throughout the race (she did not always laugh…) I kept telling her once she finished the race we could go to the Lincoln Park Zoo and visit the otters and wolves, and then I’d buy her gelato. We often act like three year olds when we are together so I’m sure if people overheard us they thought we were crazy. Crazy fun!
Don’t worry, we got to see otters, wolves, and have gelato (twice!).
I am so proud of my sister for not only finishing her first half-marathon, but for running the whole time and kicking butt with a super fast time of 1:43!