Memories were stirred up this week when a radio station reached out to interview me. I was flattered and happily agreed to talk running. The audio clip below aired this past Saturday morning during the Illinois Marathon pre-race show on Champaign-Urbana stations WIXY 100.3, Mix 94.5, 92.5 The Chief and WIXY Classic 99.1. Take a listen... and try to control your giggling.
When I ran my first Half, I didn't even know about the blog world yet, much less write my own. So I thought I'd take a moment to document and reminisce that day. Training for my first half went fairly smoothly. I fondly remember the excitement every weekend as I went longer and longer miles. I was pretty glued to the gym track and treadmill back in those days, which now sounds like torture to me. But my confidence grew with each training run. I followed a plan found on the web and trained all the way up to the 13 mile distance, saving the .1 for race day.
I made the ultimate rookie mistake and started off too fast. I felt invincible at mile 4. Dog-tired and dragging in mile 8. By time I hit the 11 mile marker, I was walking. I found finishing power in the last mile, and sailed into the Illini football stadium with a burst of energy. I raced another gal down the finishing chute with everything I had left in me. After the finish line, we hugged, complete strangers, but bonded in that moment.
Official Chip Time: 2:33:46 (11:44 pace)
I returned the next year and greatly improved with a 2:03:38 (read here).
I was pleased with my first finish, but definitely not satisfied. I knew instantly that there would be another. In fact, I registered for my second Half just weeks later. And so the cycle began...
Three years later, I have now completed 15 half marathons and 5 full marathons across 13 different states. Who could have imagined?