Well that was better than expected…

Well I just finished the half-marathon of the Spokane Marathon race, and I’ve got to say it went a lot better than I expected.  Here is a rundown of what I was going through race day:

I awoke early, and with the advice of my friend Caitlin at Caitlin Lives Well and ate some toast with peanut butter, a power bar, and some Gatorade.  I am a big fan of Gatorade and their #InsideEndurance program and their new #WinFromWithin slogan.  I got down the race and didn’t know if their was going to be a bag check or anything (words of the wise: the Spokane Marathon is done on the cheap: poor website, no racers expo, no goodie bags, etc…), so I parked my car at by buddy’s work downtown, left my extra layers in the car, and hid my keys.  I then headed down to the starting area in Riverfront Park, where I ran into a few familiar faces and they helped me out by telling me I’d do great, which I didn’t believe at that point.

The race started and I was on my way.  I heard from other runners to be careful to not start too fast, as many people do when running in such a large group.  I was sure to stay at my own pace and listened to those around me talking about their pace until I found one that I liked and then just followed the people in front of me.  This worked well for me and I got into my groove pretty well.

One of the big things that I never understood was the ‘runners high’ that people had always talked about.  To me, it just didn’t make sense, as I really wasn’t a fan of running at all.  I did end up feeling that high, and here are those moments for me:

  1. A couple miles in, I saw a familiar face that was there cheering on her sibling on the course and the cheers and encouragement just felt outstanding.
  2. The first big cheering section on the course was around 5 miles in, and again the support that those claps and encouragements brought was awesome.
  3. I past the 8 mile sign on the race, and realized that this was the longest I had ever run. What a great feeling!
  4. Reaching the top of Doomsday Hill, a massive hill that is a part of the Bloomsday and Marathon course that took place around mile 9.  For all of the weeks of my training leading up to the race, I assumed that I would have to walk up part of Doomsday. With only 7 weeks of training, I wasn’t prepared to be able to run up the hill, but I did!  I could also see downtown Spokane and I realize that I will be able to finish without walking.
  5. Crossing that finish line and realizing what I had accomplished.

And there it was.  I crossed the finish line in 2 hours, 8 minutes, and 12 seconds after starting the race.  My goal was to finish and I was pleased with not having to walk at all.  I felt great!

The one thing that was a big downer was the support from those around me.  None of my family is in the area, so I didn;t expect them to be there by any means, but it was a strange feeling to not have any on the course for me.  I had signed up with my friend Jude, who was going to do the full marathon, but he ended up not running the race and couldn’t make it that morning.  The rest of my friends just didn’t seem to care too much.  They all wanted to know how it went afterwards, but I don’t think they understand how much the support really matters and they didn’t make it a priority to be supportive during the race.

All in all, it was a great experience that I am very happy that I have accomplished.  Now that I have done it though, all I can think of is that I am halfway to training for a full marathon, so we’ll see if that is something that will happen in my future.

photo courtsey: Spokane Marathon photos: Doug Edmonson Photography


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