My first half was the Dino Half in Vernal, Utah. It is a beautiful run down Dry Fork Canyon and back into town. Just as a short recap, I decided I was going to run this race about a month in advance, which didn’t leave a whole lot of room to get in a half marathon training plan. Well, about a week and a half before my race I was on a 6 mile day, and on my first step out the door I felt a shooting pain go through my right knee. It continued with every step for the next 6 miles. Hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have finished my run that day, I assume it has a lot to do with what came next. That night my knee was swollen about twice it’s normal size and I could barely walk. This continued for the next week and it finally felt better the Friday before race day. So I made the decision that I would run the race, and if I had to, I would take time off and give it the necessary rest afterwards. Words can’t describe how happy I am to have made that decision. I went into the race with a goal to run it in under 2 hours, but I wasn’t going to push it if my knee was really hurting. I am very happy to report that I finished the race in 1:58:02! I was pacing quite a bit ahead of that until mile 11.5. I hit a wall and just couldn’t come back from it. Needless to say, I was a little disappointed when this happened. But hey, it was only my first, I have plenty of races and time to improve. I think the “first race” jitters may have given me a little boost as well. I think I had a smile plastered on my face for the entire first 10 miles!
I think I’ll be staying off of my knee for the next week or so, but lucky for me, I don’t consider mountain biking to be strenuous on the joints. So I’ll still be out and about!
What was your first half (or full!) marathon like?