Yesterday was a big day for “Be Mighty Legs Megs”. I literally ran over my first half marathon… 22km/14 miles around an indoor track.
As you question my sanity I assure you there were moments where I did the same. What seems crazier, is that I inadvertently forced myself to run without environmental distraction during those 84 laps. I found that I could not lose myself in any sort of fascination with my surroundings and as such came away with learnings that I never anticipated.
The first thing that I noticed was that running laps allowed me to consistently compare my lap times as I neared ever closer to my evening goal. This proved to be motivating as my splits occasional slipped too far in the positive -pushing me to reach for every last second in order to achieve a negative split on my last lap. Though I am not heavily focused on timing my training runs yet, should one be interested I found this to be a good link for establishing average benchmarks:
My second take-a-way was every lap was different. I felt something different. Whether greater ease or utter discomfort I never quite knew what to expect. I even felt certain muscles on laps that I did not on others. Tight quads on one, hyper flexed glutials on another. Even mystery muscles in my feet that I never paid much attention to. When it was all said and done, my feet were a little sore, but more so were my lower back and intercostal muscles.
Third, though I inconveniently ran out of electrolyte gummies eating several Skittles per lap is fuel in it’s own right. They were easy to chew, tasted good, and offered a pleasant accompanying rhythm to ever step. Skittles… if I become accomplished remember this. Snickers may keep you satisfied but skittles keep your feet moving.
Taste. That. Rainbow.
Fourth discovery? I truly lost my mind in those laps. There became a point where I no longer contemplated work, to-do lists, life stresses – my body only allowed me to focus on me in that moment. I actually can not recall a conscious thought beyond 5 miles. The music played and I ran. And I ran. I ran so far away…
And five, every step I took beyond 10 miles became a new personal distance record. No matter the time it took to achieve it. That was and is tremendously impactful. 3 weeks ago I never could have anticipated that I could run over 22km.
In this moment – 42 seems a distant dream.
What have you discovered in your first half marathon distance? Please share your stories.