"Runners just do it - they run for the finish line
even if someone else has reached it first."
Well I did it! I completed my first half marathon in 3 hours and 19 minutes!
At some points when I was heading up hill with a strong wind coming towards me keeping an even effort meant walking. It was somewhat tempting to try to ‘muscle through’ and ‘keep up the pace’ but that would more than likely mean burning out to soon, the last thing you want when racing 13.1 miles. I had to realize that there are other factors outside of my control that impact my effort level and all I can do is do my best within those circumstances. To avoid burning myself out I had to really acknowledge how those forces were impacting me and adjust accordingly.
That meant slowing down when it felt like I ‘should’ keep up the pace and at other times it meant pushing on when it seemed as if I ‘should’ be struggling more than I was. The mind is a funny thing and it can play tricks on you, sabotaging your success if you don’t catch it!
There were times when it didn’t seem like the hill was all that steep and yet I knew I was putting in more effort than I was a little bit ago so I had to slow down a bit. There were also times when it really looked as it the grade of the hill had not changed and I still had a ways until the top and yet it felt like it was getting little easier so I picked up the pace. Tricky, tricky mind! Silly tricks of the eye! You can’t fool me!
I paid attention to the sound of my breathing, the heaviness of my foot falls and how I felt overall far more than anything else. These are all ques I pay attention too during my training but during the race I would catch myself in the excitement of the moment and not realizing that my feet were starting to shuffle a bit or that my breathing was getting somewhat labored.
The environment of this race really challenged me to pay attention and be in the moment instead of thinking ahead to far or holding on to expectations of how I thought I 'should' be feeling. It was an awesome opportunity for me to work on practicing awareness.
|The finish line is within sight!|