On Saturday I will be running my first half marathon. I have been running on and off for about ten years but it was only recently that I became more organized and decided to push myself further.
I started running in 2010 when we moved to Norway, I realized that with an office job I wasn’t getting much exercise and I didn’t want to fork out for a gym membership. Norway is very much a culture geared towards exercise so I felt a certain amount of peer pressure to take up some sort of physical activity. Running seemed the obvious activity as it also got me outside.
I tried to keep the running up when we moved back to Houston but it was tricky mainly due to climate and humidity so I did a lot of running on a treadmill or early in the morning. It wasn’t a huge amount of fun, but I felt it was something I needed to do. After a while it become a more integrated part of my schedule and when I didn’t run it made me a feel a little irritable. I guess it was endorphins kicking in.
I ran a couple of 5ks in Houston but nothing more than that. Every so often I would run 10-13 miles in training but never committed to that sort of distance formally.
I have more of a community here in Portland, including my Tuesday group at Foot Traffic. As a group they do a good job of encouraging each other so I felt empowered to push myself further. With the running culture here in Portland there is a race most weekends so it made sense to attempt a formal half marathon.
For the last few months I have added a 9-10 miler into my weekly schedule. Unfortunately a couple of weeks I slightly pulled a calf muscle. It healed up fine after a week or so, but left me wary of over stretching myself the last week or so. So I ended up dropping my weekly rate a bit earlier than planned. My last 5 mile run on Tuesday went fine so I feel comfortable for Saturday.
The race I will be competing in is the Hop Hop Half. It is a nice flat course with a lot of mixed abilities. Also as there is a 10K and 5k going on as well it should be a pretty big event. The good thing about these events is the party atmosphere. They can be a little expensive to enter $75 is not an unusual registration fee, however along with the race there is usually some cool giveaways at pick up, and for this race we get brunch afterwards.
Time wise i’m aiming for 10:30 a mile which is 2:18 pace. That’s a bit slower than I expect to run, but if things I go well I can possibly up the pace in the last few miles. I will of course advise how I did next week.