Excited and Scared, I'm Running My First Half Marathon In 2 Days
HI! I'm William! I go to college in Chicago and in two days from today, I'm running my first half-marathon. The way I started running was through my Dad. He was always a runner (he was pretty good back in the day) and in his quests to make me exercise when I was eight we ran a couple of miles. I always hated it, but somehow I joined the cross-country team in middle school. Despite coming in near last in all the races that first year, I found out that I enjoyed running and I kept with it. (Yay for no cut sports!). By the end of high school, I was a competent runner, even if I wasn't a star.
I just completed my first year of college and to keep that Freshman 20 at bay, I decided I knew that I needed to keep running. I'm from San Francisco, and running in Chicago during college has been a struggle. The weather is always either 15˚ with snow or 90˚ and humid (I think), and it's been pretty difficult for this spoiled Californian to handle. I don't always have a ton of time, so I often end up running early in the morning before class. My trick for forcing myself to wake up? Find running buddies who will run in the morning, so I feel bad if I leave them hanging.
The furthest race I've ever run is the Bay to Breakers (a 12K) and I wanted to challenge myself so I decided to sign up for the SF Half-Marathon. My goal is to run it in 1 hour and 30 minutes, which might be pushing it, but we'll see what happens on Sunday. What's the point of a goal if it's not a little intimidating?
Here what I'm scared of:
- It's so long! 6 miles is far! Then when you get to mile 6 and you realize that you aren't even halfway done and you think to yourself "Oh no..."
- Hills. I mostly trained in Chicago, where the largest hills are freeway overpasses (this is not a joke). So coming back to San Francisco and running a race up and down all the crazy hills is a scary thought.
- Going out fast and dying. I tend to get excited when I'm about to run a race, and then I go out super fast. In a 5K I can kind of get away with it; but I'm betting if I go out like a speed racer on Sunday I'll have serious regrets at mile 10 when I feel like my legs are made of jelly and I'm asking people for piggy back rides.
- The time. The race starts at 5:30am, which means I'm gonna have to get up at 3:30 or some ungodly early time. How am I supposed to race if I fall asleep two miles in?
- That I'm completely out of my league. What if all of these people have been training better than me? What if I have no idea what I'm doing? What if I just want to lie down at mile eight? What if I can't even finish? Ahhhh!
Of course, I wouldn't be doing this if I wasn't excited. Here's what's going to be awesome:
- The course. The SF half-marathon goes along the bay, across the Golden Gate Bridge and back, and into Golden Gate Park. At least I'll have lovely scenery to distract me.
- Family! I'll have a big group of extended family cheering me on, from my mom to my grandparents, along with my lovely cousin Kelly who's also running!
- Weather. After running through Chicago winters and summers, 60˚, foggy, and a breeze are going to feel like the best things in the world.
- Racing! I love running races. It's so much fun: the anticipation, the adrenaline, pushing myself. It's my second favorite feeling in running.
- Finishing. Duh, the best feeling. I'm already looking forward to crossing that finish line, accomplishing my first half-marathon, getting home, showering, feeling awesome, and eating so much food. Just so much. All of the food. Doritos, cookies, In-n-out, chocolate. And I don't have to feel bad about it at all!
I'll let you know how I do! 2 days and counting!