Two Hours of Running: My First Half Marathon

This Columbus Day weekend, I willingly paid to run 13.1 miles. Why you ask? Because running is fun! Just kidding - although the race was fulfilling at the end, I wouldn’t go straight to fun as a descriptor for these 2+ hours of my life. So you get a better understanding of this torture, I broke it down mile by mile:

Pre Race: Apprehension yet impatience

My friend Katie and I waited for 20 minutes at the start of the race. I was filled with apprehension, but I was also very impatient to get the race over with

 

Mile 1: This sh*t’s easy

This mile felt great, but it was also downhill and only the beginning of the race.

Mile 2: Ugh, the first hill

Prior to the race, we were told the elevation of the course: we would start downhill, then have a somewhat level period (their definition of somewhat hilly differs from mine), and then the end would be uphill (was not looking forward to that).

Mile 3: Confusion

Where are my friends, and why didn’t I wear contacts so I could maybe see my friends?

Mile 4: Annoyance

At the end of mile 4, there is a turn around and you can see faster runners making their way through mile 5. My friend, Katie, is a much faster runner than I am, and so I spent much of my mile 4 looking at every girl running by in a hot pink shirt until I saw her. Let’s just say there were LOTS of people in pink shirts.

Mile 5: Relief

I could see everyone behind me and it made me feel better about how slow I ran up the hill at the end of mile 5.

Mile 6: Confusion part 2

Throughout the race, I had been high-fiving all the little kids cheering the runners on. At some point, I went to give a kid a high-five and I came away with a Reese’s. On any other occasion, I would take the reese’s and run.. but seeing as I was already running the Reese’s seemed a lot less appetizing. What confused me more was how runners were actually able to eat them (I saw wrappers along the path).

Mile 7: Despair

The uphill part begins…

Mile 8: FRIENDS!

At this point, I saw my supporters for the first time and it really motivated me to keep going!

Mile 9: Trying to remember why I paid for this...

At this point, I had run the farthest I have ever run in my entire life, and I questioned why I actually paid to go through with this.

Mile 10: ...another hill.

Why.Why.Why.Why.

Mile 11: THE ZOO!

I totally saw warthogs, some type of exotic bird and the giraffe exhibit! This was also a relatively flat part of the race, which was perfect after all the hills and miles.

Mile 12: Ridiculousness

The last mile of this race is pretty much uphill. Like running 13.1 miles isn’t enough, let’s finish with our own heartbreak hill. The redeeming parts were that the race was almost over. I also saw my dad, dog, and friends, which was very motivating and helped me keep going.

Mile 13.1: The longest 10th of a mile of my life

The Mile 13 marker is right before entering the stadium in Franklin Park that holds the finish line. Prior to running into the stadium, I thought I was done BUT NO. Instead I had to continue running a half lap before I got to the finish line.

Post Race: I DID IT!

Enough said.

(Sylvia Lustig, Katie Williams, Anna Wendt (me))

Running this race was a huge accomplishment for me. I was able to mentally keep going, despite the pain (on top of running that far, I had hurt my hip prior to the race) and the want to just stop and walk. While I don’t know if I will sign up for another half marathon, looking back, I am very proud of my accomplishment and I encourage everyone to try to train for a race, whether it's a 5k, 10k or a half!