Instead of talking about running my first half marathon, I’m going to show you in pictures.
The Day Before Running My First Half Marathon
Most races have some sort of expo the day before where you go to pick up your race packet which includes your race bib (number), tracking tag, shirt (if you get one) and a bunch of information from the sponsors. Since the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon Virginia Beach is a huge race (almost 20,000 runners), the expo was large too. I can’t believe at this point that I will be running my first half marathon in less than 24 hours.
I couldn’t resist the red carpet!
Running My First Half Marathon
My day began at 4:30 am when my alarm went off. I tried to get a good night’s sleep before running my first half marathon, but I had a hard time sleeping.
No, I’m not holding a light saber, it’s the reflective part of my running shorts. I look like I’m glowing.
We drove to the Virginia Beach Amphitheater where we parked (and someone we knew parked right next to us, how is that for luck.) We took a 20 minute shuttle bus to the Virginia Beach Convention Center. We basically stood around for over an hour waiting. Will I ever be running my first half marathon?
I was so ready to start running my first half marathon. The race started at 7:00 am.
They let us go in corrals every 1-2 minutes.
I was in corral 19 so it was about 7:35 am when my corral finally got to the starting line.
I started out running at a 10:50 pace and I remembered that I needed to slow down. I tried and thought I was running really slow, but I was still running an 11:30 mile pace. For me that is good, but not to start running my first half marathon.
I completed the 5k and felt awesome. I was going at what I thought was a really slow pace. I was running about an 11:45 mile which for me isn’t slow. I usually average a 13 minute mile when I do long runs. I’m an insanely slow runner, but I love it that way and who cares because I’m running my first half marathon.
The best part of this half marathon is that it is a flat course. The only elevation is the bridge. It’s not bad at mile 4.25, but the other side looks a lot worse and I’ll hit that at mile 11.5. At this point, I started to see people coming the other way meaning they had run 11.5 miles already. But I’m running my first half marathon, and my goal was to finish and not worry about time.
Along the way there were groups of neighbors dressed up in a theme cheering us on. This was the group that won the award for the best block.
At this point I’ve been running over an hour and feeling great. It’s been about 5 miles here. YAY! I’m running my first half marathon!!
I’m still doing awesome. Finished the 10k in record time and I feel good. But it was shortly after this where I hit a wall.