Early this morning at 6:30 AM, I awoke to run my first half-marathon
here in Boston during our Memorial Day weekend. Prior to this, the
farthest I've ever ran was 9 miles on a treadmill but also 10 miles
with a lot of breaks on a treadmill. So you can imagine my wariness.
I've been quite nervous the last few days thinking about this
challenge, but rest assured, I rose to the challenge!
Earlier this week, I bought a brand-new pair of running shoes, and I
took some rest days. The last 3 days, I carb-loaded, and I ate a lot
of pasta. Last night, I made myself eat lots of food before I went to
sleep, because I knew that I wouldn't have time to eat much in the
This morning, I drank my famous smoothie, which is made of a banana,
some frozen blueberries, fat-free Greek strained yogurt, some whey
protein powder, but today, I avoided putting my usual 2 tablespoons of
flax because I didn't want "surprise moments." I also drank some hot,
When I got there to South Boston, I parked my car, and I chatted with
an older guy. He was very jovial, and basically, he told me good
luck. When I got to the racer's complex by foot, which was like a
half mile away, I saw thousands of runners about to run many different
events - 3, 5, and 13.1 miles. I was to bring with me 4 KIND granola
bars, and that's it.
Just before race time, my heart was racing like crazy: It was beating
at around 144 BPM, and I hadn't even started running yet! At 8:00
sharp, the race began! For the first 5 minutes, it was *very* slow.
I actually calculated that the slow start equated to 1:20 minutes of
not moving. After 5 minutes, we were no longer walking.
Miles 1-2 were TOUGH as usual. In my mind, I was thinking to myself
"Look - if you want, you can quit the race at mile 5 or 6. It's as
simple as that." I kept moving forwards. Most everyone was advancing
and overtaking me, which is OK, but things started changing at mile
4: I noticed that some folks started walking, and that I was
advancing racers. Around this time, I threw 2 of my granola bars
away, as they were a big burden to bring with me.
I drank a little water at the refresh stations, and more importantly
on today's humid day, I poured water on my face - AAhhhh!!! This
sounds corny, but I had real spiritual moments during all this. I
don't know why, but I was feeling quite spiritual. Anyways, I
marveled at how I didn't need to go to the bathroom or take a walking
break...mile 6.5 - the halfway point - I didn't take my break either,
even though I assumed that I'd need to do this.
Starting mile 9, I decided to eat one of my KIND granola bars. This
may have been a mistake. Around this time, I felt a bit nauseous, but
this feeling went away soon. At mile 11, man, I knew that I wouldn't
take any breaks - bathroom or walking or whatnot. I paced myself, and
at the next water station, I sort of paused for like 2 seconds, and I
cringe as I type this, but I DIDN'T STOP - I jogged in place, and
quickly got the hell out! This was my low point of the race, and I
feel bad about this.
Finally, the home stretch was like approaching an optical illusion.
No matter how close I got to what I perceived to be the end, the end
seemed to advance away from me. I wasn't sure where the race ended,
but I was feeling ecstatic. At past 2:15, I completed my first half-
Just after the race, it seemed that I felt like I was being propelled
forwards, or maybe that I was about to fall forwards. So I sat down,
and stretched a little. I also ate one of my KIND granola bars
(although I threw away 2 of them, I still had 2 left over, one of
which I ate at mile 9).
The walk back to my car was TOUGH! It was the hardest 0.5 mile walk
in my life. I felt shaky and tired, but I got there to my parked car,
it was a good but wary time: What if I had a heart attack? My left
shoulder was aching me a bit, and what if this is a myocardial
When I got home, I took a nice, warm shower. I was exhausted - more
than I've ever been in my life! I ate a ton of pasta with cheese,
lots of water, I took a nap at noon sharp after watching TV a bit.
Woke up less than an hour later with a bad headache and went back for
another nap a few hours later. I ate more pasta and drank some more
ginger tea. Now, it's 8:00 PM, and I feel great, but still
exhausted. I'm definitely *NOT* ever going to run a full-marathon.
Maybe other half-marathons, but not a full marathon. I feel way too
beaten up right now.
Friends, I feel so connected to the world right now. I feel euphoric
for not pausing once during the entire race. I can apply some of my
skills to real-world use, and I am more confident in my abilities.