MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: First Half!

BOOM. Check! Cross! X! I can finally cross it off my bucket list! I completed my first half marathon and it was AMAZING. I’m still sore. And from everything I read and from all of those that I speak to regarding the post run process I can expect to be sore, and relatively fatigued for about a week. Sounds silly, but I was totally not expecting that. No 13.1 miles can’t just be a causal Sunday run? Oh, okay.

So Saturday night we got together with my cousin and her boyfriend who were in town for the race. My cousin was planning to run the half and her boyfriend, the full (All hail!). We had a dinner of pizza. Yes, pizza. I am definitely not a pasta person, and considering pizza runs in my blood, (remember this?) it always seems to be the pre-race meal…why mess with a good thing? Especially when that good thing is pizza…After dinner, I got all of my things together for the morning…and even pinned my bib to my shirt!

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: My first Half marathon | Keep it Real Clean

I was somewhat of a mess on Saturday night trying to pull together everything I would need for Sunday morning. I wasn’t sure how the weather would be and how to really prepare. The weather was actually super great, but since the race started at 7am it was still pretty chilly walking there in the dark at 6:20am. I ended up wearing 2 tops on top of my race shirt. Both shirts were deemed “throw away” shirts which I basically dropped along the course. I also “donated” a pair of gloves along the way. (For real though, all of the clothing that was dropped during the race was collected and donated by race volunteers. So smart!) When I woke up Sunday morning at 5am I was definitely happy I had pulled together everything the night before. I was able to eat some breakfast, get dressed and head out by 6am.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: My first Half marathon | Keep it Real Clean

My cousin and I headed to reach our corral, but ended up getting stuck about 2 corrals up since the crowd was so huge. While we were waiting to start the sun was just coming up. Nice of you to join us…

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MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: My first Half marathon | Keep it Real Clean

We slowly made our way along to the starting line. It was a weird feeling as we got closer and closer to the start. A mix of excitement…but also a little anxiety was slowly increasing as I stepped closer to the start. The race coordination was really great about doing a “wave” start which helped to decrease the crowds along the way. I can’t imagine how it would have been had they not tried to stagger the start considering it was pretty crowded the whole race. Miles 1-3 went by super quickly. My cousin and I ran together pretty comfortably. By mile 3, I shed one layer of clothing and had dropped my gloves. Around mile 4, my cousin and I drifted away from each other and I dropped another layer…this time the headband. Miles 3-7 went by quick as quick as I was really enjoying the crowds, the awesome signs, and the general feeling of the entire race. Then, mile 7, ie. the start of the hills, began.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: My first Half marathon | Keep it Real Clean

Miles 7-9 were definitely much more challenging. It was actually a nice change of scenery, but definitely made for some slower splits. Once I hit that mile 10 marker I knew I was going to make it and the hills were slowly fading behind me. Miles 10 and 11 were tough, but still felt good…I actually was in somewhat disbelief…that despite everything I was still running. At the mile 12 marker, I had a weird feeling that I had wayy too much energy left and I needed to just go for it. Yes, I was that person that did the duck and weave for the last half mile, but I was so close to the finish I figured I might as well go big! As soon as I crossed that finish line I knew I was ready to sign up for another race. Crazy, huh? And as soon as I saw this guy I knew I was going to one day convince him to run a race with me. Even more crazy, huh?

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: My first Half marathon | Keep it Real Clean

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: My first Half marathon | Keep it Real Clean

They say as soon as you step over the finish line you begin your recovery. After running for 2 hours and 11 minutes my body was definitely ready for some rest. Immediately after the race, I was feeling great..for about 15 minutes…then it set in. We walked for about 20 minutes right after the race…not that we would have had a choice due to so many road closures, but it turned out to be a good thing!! Luckily, we walked by a grocery store to be able to grab a chocolate milk!

Now 2 days out, I’m in active rest and recovery mode.  I’ve been trying to figure out what that means and how long I should give my body to recover. On Monday, I joined a few other participants from the half and the full marathon at Body Cycle Studio for a recovery ride and foam roller session. I’m still in the process of trying to figure out how best to help my body recover and to find my next race…but at least I get to wear this while I do it :-)

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: My first Half marathon | Keep it Real Clean

Can’t wait for my next race…but this one taught me something great…Turns out, I’m a runner…who knew!

Posted in Health & Fitness, Races
4 comments on “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED: First Half!
  1. Janelle @ Run With No Regrets says:

    Congratulations and great finishing time for your first half! You looked good at the 1 mile mark!

  2. Krissie J @ Philly Nerd Girl says:

    Congrats on your first half marathon!!! That’s a kick butt time for your first one out!
    I always make sure the days following I try to move around at work, getting up and walking so my muscles don’t get too tight sitting. Light cardio with low impact can help too, think biking (as you did), elliptical, or a treadmill walking, yoga for stretching.

    • Colleen O'Connor says:

      Thanks!! Cycling definitely was very helpful. I’m lucky to have a superrr active job, but I was also afraid I would have a super tough job getting up and down at work. I was glad to have the day off! How soon would you start running again?

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Colleen O'Connor - Keep It Real Clean

About Me

Hey! I'm Colleen and I'm a healthy lifestyle blogger living in Philadelphia, PA. Join me on this adventure to lead a healthier lifestyle including clean eating and fitness, all while enjoying the real world!

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