I finished my first half-marathon attempt about a week ago. This wasn't a scheduled event. I just took off out my front door and didn't stop until 2 hours and 11 minutes later. It was a long run. It was a painful run. It was a tough run.
But it felt great to finish.
Previously, my longest run was 10.2 miles. I recorded that about two or three months ago. So the thought of going the extra distance of essentially another 5K didn't really faze me. But it should have.
Here are the few issues that crept up during my half-marathon:
1. I started my run with only about 1.5 hours until dusk. So, running the last part of the race, when I was tired and sore and wishing it was over, was only worse with low visibility.
2. A half-marathon is a long run. I probably should have had more water before starting. I sweated A LOT during the run. I should have brought a bottle of water along.
3. I wasn't completely prepared for the numbness and pain in my legs. The bottom of my right foot started hurting around mile eight. It wasn't fun to feel a shock of pain in my sole every step. Also, around mile eleven, parts of my legs started to go numb from cold and exhaustion.
4. I wasn't prepared for the calf cramping that occurred about fifteen minutes after I had finished the run. That took me by surprise. I should have done more extended stretching after the run.
Overall, though, I felt like things went pretty well. I finished my first half-marathon. I made it home in one piece. My time was respectable. I would have preferred to finish in under 2 hours, but now that will be my goal when I run the next one.
When will that be? Stay tuned (but probably next spring)...