Never has a bagel ever tasted so good.
Right after mile 12, after “hoorah”-ing with a runner I just passed, I started thinking about the goodies waiting anxiously for me at my first half-marathon’s finish line.
Along with the bevy of bagels and bananas I ravenously vacuumed up after my first half-marathon, I got a special bonus side dish of 13.1 new, strange levels of pain.
The legs, the calves. The toes? The knees? The motor skills (Is that just me?)
My leg muscles might be tight, but my heart is happy.
It was a perfect day for running. Rain the night before had cleared the air of that humid heaviness of summer. It was cool, and I was ready. Add a smoothie, an egg, some Gatorade and a motivating running partner and I was surprisingly excited to get to the start line.
Despite my nerves and my doubts that I hadn’t run far enough in training, my body felt calm and strong throughout the whole race. Although I have a lot of progress to make, finishing 17th in my age group is pretty solid.
What did it for me?
2. The act of actively avoiding negativity.
3. Looking up instead of down while I was running.
4. A good breakfast.
5. A thought-out meal plan for the days before the race.
6. Decent training. (Though I believe I could have benefited from running farther on long runs.)
7. Commitment to each step instead of thinking about the whole distance.
8. Having an awesome, motivational running partner.
I’m hoping this is just the beginning of a long running career. Give me a couple days, and my muscles should be back to normal. I’ll slip on my running outfit, tie my shoes.
Then I’ll head out the door, imagining that big red, inflated finish line once again – and for a long time to come.