I ran my first half marathon today! That’s 13.1 miles (or 21 kilometers) and that’s the longest I’ve ever run in my life, and I survived! And I would do it again!
I was feeling pretty nervous this morning, hoping I’d trained enough in the last few months and eaten enough carbs in the last few days to reach my goal of 2 hours and 25 minutes. Rain had been forecasted for the 24 hours leading up to the start of the race and all through the morning, so I was crossing my fingers that it would stay dry. Luckily it ended up being a beautiful day for running (cloudy and high 50s) and the rain held off until tonight.
The race started from the Promenade des Anglais at 9:30, so I gathered all my gear, including my iPod with a 3.5 hour playlist (thanks to everyone who contributed!), and left my apartment around 8. The London Marathon was also happening this morning and I read an article that runners were wearing black ribbons as a Boston tribute. I didn’t have any black ribbon so I tied a piece of black yarn around my wrist as I was heading out. There were over 3000 runners for the half marathon, plus all the runners that did the 5K or 10K, so it was a pretty big event for Nice.
After everyone was lined up but before the race started, we had a moment of silence for Boston, and then we were off! I breezed through the first 8K or so, posting a few 6:30-ish kilometers. I had a lot of energy and even though I didn’t have anyone in the crowd cheering for me, specifically, I pretended everyone was 🙂 I was thinking, hey this isn’t so bad, maybe I can try a full marathon soon! (HA) For the most part, the course was flat, with just a few tiny hills. The view was, of course, gorgeous, with most of the race taking place along the sea, but also around the port and near the art museum.
After 10K, the 10K runners that had started with the half-marathon runners finished their race and we were left to run another 11K (to the airport and back). I could feel myself slowing down a little, as blisters formed on the bottoms of my feet and my toes (from which I had lost 2 toenails in my training) started to hurt. But I kept plugging along. I managed to run the first 10 miles (16K) of the race without stopping at all (I was very proud of that!) At 16K, I took a minute to shake out my muscles, down some Powerade and a piece of banana, and kept going.
The last 5K was really hard, but I managed to find a group of runners to follow. One of the guys somehow still had a crazy amount of energy and was dancing with all the different bands that were stationed along the course. It was awesome and inspiring to watch (and reminded me of something Sam would probably do :)). By 19K, I couldn’t feel my legs, but I kept telling myself I had to keep going. The best feeling was seeing that 20K sign and knowing I was almost there, and the worst feeling followed closely when I realized I still had another kilometer to go. But I finished strong, powering across the finish line at 2:23:33, a solid minute and a half under my goal! 🙂
Tonight, my feet hurt, I think I’m going to lose another toenail, my legs are sore, I have blisters on blisters on blisters, and I definitely need some new running shoes, but I had a GREAT day today. I felt so good when I crossed the finish line! And tonight’s dinner is my reward: French toast, scrambled eggs, (real American/English) bacon, and a pint of Haagen-Dazs caramel cone explosion ice cream 🙂 🙂 🙂
And as long as we’re talking about ice cream, here’s a little update on the ice cream flavors I’ve tried at Fenocchios recently (with help from Emily, Isabelle, Alexandra, and Gary, of course!)
Avocado (really really good, actually!)
Milk chocolate bar
Chocolate and hot pepper (not very hot pepper-y)
Today’s French word:
lèche-vitrine (lesh vi TREEN)– literally lick-window, it’s window-shopping!
La plupart de temps je préfère de faire du lèche-vitrine, mais j’ai reçu une autre bourse, donc je peux m’offrir une nouvelle robe!
Usually I prefer to window-shop, but I just received another grant so I can treat myself to a new dress!