Little Thoughts on My First Half Marathon #TORW2015

This isn’t about Raw Food. Fair warning if that is the ONLY reason you are here. 

No, this is a few notes I’ve jotted down for me regarding the first Half Marathon (21.1K or 13.1M) that I have ever run, which I managed to do yesterday. I thought I’d share them here in case any of them end up being useful for you too.

First HM Note: Take the time in that godforsaken line-up at the porta-potties and pee before the race starts. About 1km in I had to stop at a park bathroom and lost 5 minutes. By the time I came out, I was in the very last of the last group. 

Second HM Note: If you lose time to a bathroom break, don’t ‘boogey’ to make it up and burn of precious energy that you’ll need later. This is a rookie mistake. I knew it before I ran. I did it anyway and I paid for it.

Third HM Note: I was really smart (if I do say so myself) and made my goal “to Finish” and not a time goal. I couldn’t fathom setting a time goal, not meeting it, then completing my first ever HM disappointed because of a few minutes. I didn’t want my first HM to be about time, but about learning and having fun.

Fourth HM Note: It was really nice to have someone at the Finish Line (and as it was, I had TWO people at the Finish Line because my Personal Trainer was a Time Official and she grabbed me and gave me a big hug. With that hug, all my despair over my pain melted away and was replaced by Joy. “You did it!” she yelled. “OMG, yes, I guess I did!” I replied). After spending 3 hours in my own head and having several types of conversations, being pulled out of my thoughts so I could recognize the moment I was in and the achievement was really great. So I may not NEED someone to be there at the Finish Line, it was really, really great that my PT and my sister were. I will remember that for next time and ask people to be there for me.

Fifth HM Note: Reading all those books actually helped. I recalled coping strategies and used them. I recalled hydration strategies and used them. I recalled physiological responses discussed and so knew not to panic. I wasn’t dying. It was alllll “normal” and I could keep moving forward knowing that I would be OK.

Sixth HM Note: The course is littered with Guardian Angels. Those little old ladies that had been on the Full Marathon course who passed me chattering away and then told me “We LOVE your tights!” as they left me in their dust – they were Guardian Angels. They gave me my humour back and basically showed me that I needed to suck it up and keep on moving. Every person who passed me a glass of liquid was a Guardian Angel. Whomever pasted up the giant “We are So PROUD of You!” sign up for someone, but didn’t take it down so I could see it too, they were a Guardian Angel. The woman who made eye contact with me in the last Kilometer and said “You’ve got this. You can do it.” and got me to start running again so I could cross that Finish Line ‘unbeaten’, she was a Guardian Angel.

Seventh HM Note: Yes, I should have definitely trained more. Without a doubt. But now I’m smarter about how and why.

Last HM Note: The BIGGIE for me…..I spend a lot of time criticising this poor, unsung body of mine. I tell it it’s fat, lumpy, aging in all the wrong places, too big ‘this’, too small ‘that’, crooked, and all sorts of really terrible things. Then my heart and mind come up with these ‘Big Scary Goals’ and who has to see me through it all? My Body. My body supported me in ways I can’t believe when I ran that Half Marathon. When it couldn’t get rid of the lactic acid fast enough, it stored it in my fingers because it knew I wasn’t using them. Sure, I had big sausage fingers that hurt to bend, but who cares – I wasn’t using them! It used every drop of Gatorade and Water to give me everything I needed. It sent painkillers to my hip joints and feet, it just knew it had to get me there. It knew I had no plan to give up, so it did everything in its power to get me there. It showed me how Smart it is, how Strong it is, and how much it cares for me. Never again will I diss this amazing body. I will do everything I can to support it in return, from this day forward. If I got nothing else out of the experience (which I did, I got A LOT), walking away with this renewed love for my body made it all worth it.

Thanks for letting me share.  Happy running and Healthy Eating!