John 8:32 "Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." NIV

Saturday, May 22, 2010

I did it... I ran a 1/2 marathon


I ran a half marathon in Florida all by my SELF! Think: "I am women hear me roar!"

Yes, this morning, I participated in the Rock Your Socks Virtual Half Marathon. As some of you read, I had been debating on whether or not I was going to do the 10k or half marathon. I am in West Palm Beach, Florida on a trip that I won in the Gazette Healthy Challenge (first women in the 5 year history of the competition to win). I figured I needed to get a long run in today, so I might as well do the half marathon instead of the 10k on a trip I won for losing weight!

I was nervous to run in Florida... a strange place. I had talked with hotel staff about where the safe places were. I mean getting 6 miles in is no big deal, but finding 13.1 safe miles to run in a new place is a bit trickier. With my phone in my back pocket, directions from the concierge, I headed out. (Note: since I did not bring my water bottle and holsters, I decided to purchase a belt here at lulumon athletics. I love it).

I decided just to run up PGA Blvd and see where the road took me. I just have to say that Florida is VERY flat here and the best thing at 6am are the sprinklers. Every time I felt over heated, I just ran through one and felt great. I ended up on Mirasol "Trail" which basically was a concrete path around a golf course. It was nice and if I had room to carry my camera, I would have. There were some stunning gardens and wild life.

At the end of Mirasol Trail, Lola read 4.78. Ugh... so if I ran back, it would not be enough. I decided to just run back and then figure it out. At least if I decided to bail, I would be closer to the hotel. I took some energy chews (I do not remember the name now) about every 2 miles after mile 4. I think they helped. I also put G2 in my new water bottles. Every time I hydrated or took a chew, I walked. I did not have a hard time starting back up though.

On the way back, I tried to run in this gated community (thinking that it would be safe), but the gate guard said I couldn't... because you know how unsafe a runner could be. That little detour gave me another mile. I think trying to figure out how I was going to get all 13.1 miles in was the ONLY thing that kept me going. It was hard doing it all by myself in a strange area. I ran by several "ponds" that said: "No fishing. No Swimming. No boating. Possible alligator living here." I started to wonder if alligators were fast on land. I know they are pretty fast in the water. I wondered how many runners had been eaten by alligators. There was NO ONE else (well, one biker who ran me off the trail - it was a 6 foot wide trail and he ran me off!!!) on the trail, so I started to wonder if the alligator was already full having consumed another runner. Or maybe a biker... that served that biker for trying to push me off the trail (but where did his bike go?)! It is funny where your mind goes around 9 & 10 miles. I spotted a gas station and wasn't sure if there would be another, so I decided to stop, rinse off a little and tinkle before finishing the last 3 miles.

After this stop, it was hard to get my mojo going. My pace for mile 11 was 11:14. But with only 2 left, I started to pick it up. I ran around a little community that had a fitness trail. The trail was made of sand and every 20 feet there was some sort of exercise to do like squats or pull ups or jumps. I thought that perhaps if I wasn't running 13 miles, it might have been fun... but it wouldn't be fun today. The nice sand path felt great on my feet instead of the concrete.

By mile 12, I was out of G2 and energy chews, so I headed into the hotel to get water and decided to finish the rest on the Mill. It was actually easier because the Mill kept me moving. I might have run them slower outside. Plus the exercise room was so cool compared to the humid Florida temp.

Final time: 2:18:52. I doubt it will even come close to winning. But it was my first half marathon and I am PLEASED with my time. Here I am exhausted!

I stretched for like 20 minutes afterwards and then headed to Panera Bread for a nice breakfast bagel with my friend M. I enjoyed EVERY bite and did not feel guilty.

I hope you had a nice long run today or you will have one tomorrow. I'm home: Maryland - the state of hills (not flat areas), pine and oak trees (not palm trees) and asphalt paths (not concrete ones).

13.1 miles, baby!!!

30 comments:

Julie said...

Way to go Jen! Awesome job...you did it:)

MomRunningFromCancer said...

Awesome - way to run and in an unfamiliar place. Would you have thought that you would be running 1/2 marathons ???? Isn't it amazing what we can do - when we set our minds to it. ;-) Enjoy your time in the sunny / sandy / alligator state.

Tricia said...

awesome! Youre running in my neck of the woods. :)

Molly said...

Congrats!!! Sounds like a great time, love how you celebrated after!

TMB @ RACING WITH BABES said...

Awesome job! Great celebration too!

shellyrm aka jogging stroller mama said...

Great job Jen! Way to do it in unfamilar surroundings.

S Club Mama said...

good job! I'd be wary in new surroundings too. I'm running my 10K tomorrow

Barefoot AngieB said...

Sweet! Gread job running a half in a new place!!

Julie (ROJ) said...

Congrats that's awesome!!

RockStarTri said...

Great job! Well done.

proudpatriot07 said...

Way to go! I think that's an AWESOME time too! You didn't even know where you could run it, and you still ran, ran the whole thing and had a pretty good time... in a new place too!

H Love said...

Dude you are amazing! I am so jealous!!
Way to go! ROAR!!!

Suzy said...

Congratulations!!! You did amazing, and you did it all by yourself. Way to go!!!

momof3 said...

ROCK ON! That is an awesome HOT FIRST HALF MARATHON! I'm so proud of you... gosh, I got a little choked up there. You must know that it's twice as hard alone as with a group... imagine what it will be like when you race a "real" race!

MJ said...

Way to go!!!! That is awesome!! :)

The Happy Runner said...

Congratulations! What a great time for a solo half!

EricaH said...

Great job getting your run in even though your in unfamiliar territory sounds like it was a good run.

and yay for new running gear.:)

MCM Mama said...

Congrats! Great job!

TMB @ RACING WITH BABES said...

Awesome job Jen!

ajh said...

Good job! Glad you saw no alligators!

Marlene said...

I'm impressed... your first 13.1 while on vacation in Florida!!! Congrats!

Lindsay said...

You rock!!! Way to go :) Congrats!!!!!!

April said...

Way to go!! Awesome time too!! Love the pics. That cabana looks wonderful!
Hope you are having a wonderful trip! Cute socks too!

Mel -Tall Mom on the Run said...

Holy cow you are CUTE!! Love the outfit! Congrats on the first Half Marathon..

Michelle said...

Way to go on the 13.1! I love your pictures!

A Journey to a new me... said...

Congratulations!! That's really awesome-great show of discipline, dedication...You are such an inspiration-not just to me but the entire blogging community. So much so that I gave you an award; the Beautiful Blogger Award! If you wish to pass it along to a fellow blogger, visit my blog for the instructions! Have a great week!!

S Club Mama said...

I love your socks!!
Thanks for stopping by my blog; I've been following yours for awhile - it's so awesome!

I should patent the back of the bra water bottle holder! I just got so tired of holding it LOL I'm so weird. :D

Allie said...

Way to go! That's why you won, because even on vacation you're still committed, you rock!

Sarah said...

Awesome job! Running through the sprinklers was a good idea :-D

ShirleyPerly said...

Well done!!

I travel often and have often debated how to run long and be safe. Glad you figured something out and were able to complete your run.