After training for almost 4 months, this morning I ran my first (and probably only) half marathon at the Lake Sammamish Half. My realistic goal was to get under two hours, with my “wishful goal” being under 1:45. I’m proud to say I ran it in a few seconds over 1:44, achieving both of my goals.
To train, I used Hal Higdon’s guide for novices, and I recommend it as a reasonable way to get prepared for a half. Unfortunately, I had been too busy to do the long runs on weekends for the past three weeks, so I was a little worried going into this half. This probably made the last few miles harder than they should have been.
I stuck to a pace between 8:30 and 8:50 per mile in training, but I managed to hold just under 8:00 per mile for the real event. The first few miles are always a little rough, but once I warmed up around mile 5 or 6 autopilot kicked in and the miles just racked up.
Getting to 10 miles felt good, since that meant double digits. But after 11 miles, everything became infinitely harder. Mile 12 was almost all a zigzag through a park, and it was absolute torture to keep running back and forth next to people ahead of you. The last 2 miles or so felt like they took an eternity. I think the middle 60% of the distance went by the easiest.
How far 13.1 miles really is didn’t kick in until the shuttle ride back from the finish to the start. The bus drove back on a lot of the running route, and the time it took the bus to get back really emphasized how far we had ran.
I just wanted to finish and get a time I was happy with, and I accomplished both these goals. I can say I’ve ran a half marathon in under 1:45 and had fun doing it, but it’s hard to say I would want to do it again.