3 years ago today I ran my first half marathon in Nashville, TN with Team in Training. Running the Country Music Half Marathon was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, starting back in November 2009 when I signed up.
When I signed up for the half marathon I was only running 1-2 miles at a time. The thought of running 13.1 miles sounded crazy but I believed in the process, the training plan, and the charity I was running for.
I’ll never forget my first Saturday run with my team. I was incredibly nervous, knew no one, and was so insecure. We ran 3 miles and I kid you not, I had to walk most of it. We ran a 1 mile loop 3 times with a massive hill on the back side of the loop. In that moment, I truly doubted whether or not I’d be able to do it.
After that run my coach Tina recommended that I try a run/walk training plan. The new plan would allow me to run for a set amount of time and then to walk for another amount of time. I was insecure about not just running the whole time but I quickly realized this was a great way for me to train!
At the next training run I met Becky, Dana, and Barbi who would become the support group I needed to get through the training. Becky and I teamed up, both running the same pace. Depending on the run we would either run for 2 minutes and walk for 1 minute or run for 3 minutes and walk for 1 minute. It was hard to get use to but I really enjoyed running intervals (I used the Gymboss Timer).
I also loved the fundraising aspect of Team in Training. Being able to help those battling Leukemia and/or Lymphoma meant the world to me. It was the least I could do.
The morning of April 24, 2010 I was so excited and nervous! We woke up at the crack of dawn and gathered in the hotel lobby before heading to the starting line.
It was cold and rainy that morning but was pretty perfect when the race started.
As we waited for the race to start, I stood there with the women who had supported me through the entire training process. Having friends to run with can make a world of difference!
Becky and I ran a 3:1 ratio at the start and moved to a 2:1 ratio as we hit the hills around mile 6. Let me tell you, Nashville is one hilly city!! I felt like we were running uphill most of the race.
My goal for my first half marathon was to finish in under 3 hours, and I finished the race in 2:54:23!
Becky and I ran most of the race together, separating around mile 12. I had a really hard time around mile 11 and didn’t want to hold Becky back. She was rocking the house and running strong for her Mom!
My first half marathon was such an amazing experience and I do hope to do it again! Neal and I would both like to run one together, so I know another half marathon is in my future.