On Sunday morning, I woke up bright and early at 4:20 am...well okay, it was still dark. Normally it would be near impossible to get me up at this hour but surprisingly I was pretty awake and ready to go.
Why was I up so very early? I had a half marathon to run of course!
It is still a shock to me that I enjoy running. Coming from a swimming background, the idea of running did not sound like fun in the slightest bit and now look at me! I have run two half marathons for "fun." I used to this runners were crazy but what is even crazier is that I have become one of those crazies! I even have typical runner strengths and weaknesses( i.e. strong hamstrings, tight IT Bands, weak inner thighs and glutes) When/how the heck did that happen?!?
Anyways... Aaron and I left my Aunt and Uncle's house before dawn to go to the San Diego Zoo's Safari Parks Inaugural Half Marathon (formerly Wild Animal Park). It was a chilly morning but the weather turned out to be great for the long run. I started off with a very surprising pace for me being just over an 8min/mile and although it was fast for me it felt pretty good. I was able to keep under 10min/mile up until...THE HILL! This was the hill of all hills for me. It felt nearly a mile long and was big grade for me. This was when I thought, "what the hell did I get myself into?" Luckily, with some walking and positive thinking, I made it up the hill and enjoyed the downhill by picking up the pace I lost. Unfortunately, we of course had to go back up it after another two miles but the second time wasn't as bad.
The rest of the course were rolling hill which were difficult but beautiful. And the last 2 miles I'd say were the hardest for me. I was so exhausted that I couldn't even try to go fast at the end but I kept going and finally made it over the finish line! Yay! 13.1 miles completed!
I ended up finishing with a time of 2:15.19 which is 6 minutes faster than my first 1/2. I could not believe how well I did, especially for the stupid hills, being sick for the past two weeks, and the time change! Even though it was probably the most physically and mentally challenging thing I've done, it was still a great experience. The course was hard but pretty. The downhills made up for the uphills. And I got to use the park afterward and see a tiger, which is rarely out! So over all it was a great day and good race. Best of all was being able to take a 2.5 hour nap afterward hahah.
Even though this one was much more challenging than the last one, I'd still like to run another 1/2 marathon. Eventually I'd like to work my way up to a full marathon but I'd like to get another couple 1/2s under my belt. Any suggestions of fun events to run?