I have come a long way since my first half-marathon in 2009! I thought a lot about my first race this past weekend when I was running the half-marathon with Kyla, as it was her first half.
I remember being absolutely terrified before my first half-marathon; I had no idea what to expect. I remember crossing the finish line thinking I could not run one more step if I was forced to. Actually, I remember thinking “how the hell do people run another one of these in a row? I never want to run a marathon!”
It was important for me to make sure Kyla knew all of this because chances are she was just as nervous as I was six years ago, and chances were also good that she would feel how I did after the race- physically exhausted.
Although I was physically exhausted after my first half marathon, mentally I was on cloud nine. It was a very proud moment for me and I remember just being ridiculously happy.
The one thing I remember being the same as six years ago was the expo. I remember it being the coolest thing ever, and it still is!
The night before my first half my family and I went to the Greek Islands for dinner and I was so nervous I could barely eat. This year Kyla and I got Italian, and I was so relaxed I got a cappuccino after!
Kyla and I stayed at the Allegro this year, which is actually the same hotel we stayed at six years ago!
The night before my first half-marathon I slept very little. I had my first missing-my-race nightmare, which I faithfully had last week as well! However, the night before my recent half-marathon (besides the missing the race nightmare) I slept great. I went to bed carefree and had no pre-race jitters. I was however nervous for Kyla because I knew how I felt six years ago.
I wanted to get to the race 40 minutes early because I thought it would help Kyla get pumped up and maybe ease any pre-race jitters.
I remember being completely consumed at my first race, primarily thinking “please hurry up, please hurry up!” and this half-marathon I was checking out posters, crowd support, the city, and talking to Kyla non-stop! I did not expect Kyla to chat with me during the race, so I did my best to not ask questions- just talk.
I finished my first half-marathon in 2:01:20, with an average pace of 9:16. I finished my last half-marathon on 1:43:48 with an average pace of 7:55.
I need to be cautious with my wording because I am not trying to brag about being fast. The purpose of this post is to show you that improvements can be made, and it is okay if they take along time. It took me six years to run a race and be happy with my time!
So how did I improve my speed by 17 minutes and 32 seconds?
Over the past six years I have gotten better about strength training, running hills, doing speed work, cross training, and eating ridiculously healthy (99%) of the time.
I wanted to write this post to show you that with time, patience and the belief in yourself that you will make improvements in your running. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it will happen.
There have been many, many runs when I have gotten frustrated with myself for not running fast enough. I honestly think that is a common thought. However, I have learned to be more patient and to not push my body. I will get faster in time.
If you are wanting tips on how to improve speed please read my post on Increasing Speed as well as other posts under “Training”.
As always, if you have a more specific question that you can’t find the answer to just leave me a comment! 🙂