I have been running consistently close to two years now and in February, I have decided to subscribe for my first ever half-marathon in Longueuil (a neighboring city to the south shore of Montreal). The half-marathon was to take place on May 19 which gave me a bit more than 3 months to prepare.
How did the preparation go?
I trained 3 or more times a week with two 10k and one 5k run working mostly on the speed for two months. Since it was still snowy in Canada during my training month – March, April, and May – most of these runs took place on a treadmill and included a fair amount of 6am wake-ups to drive to the gym. During the last month of preparation, once I was able to run outside, I started working up the distance and ran 21k twice before the half-marathon. One of the things that was notable is that my first “training” 21k took place on my birthday. I decided to give myself a gift only I can give myself and it was so worth it.
Was it easy to prepare?
I don’t think that there is a person who wakes up and thinks “Oh let me run 10k, that’s gonna be easy”. Of course, it was not easy. Every single time was struggling with my mind and jumping over my “I can’t”, fighting my laziness and procrastination and finding my own motivation. In one of the interviews from a famous runner, I read something like: “I like running because it teaches me how to deal with things that I don’t want to do”. This is how I felt about running and I extremely grateful for this experience.
On The Day Of The Race
The day of the race, May 19, turned out to be rainy and around 10C which I found to be great weather to run. Rain always cools me down during runs and I prefer it much more for longer runs. Once I got to the site, I met close to 800 other half-marathon runners which gave me an instant boost of excitement! The run itself was not easy but I got so much adrenaline from the start that I was on a roll for the whole week afterwards. Part of the route went through the residential area and some of the kids came out of their houses with small posters to support runners and were giving us high fives as we were passing by. This made the whole atmosphere feel like a celebration. My father in law was asking me how I felt during the race – my answer was that it was not really a race for me, but a celebration of all the efforts that I put in to get to that stage. And that’s exactly how it felt – a celebration filling my heart with absolute joy.
I finished my run in 01:59:19 – just a bit under two hours, which was my main goal. In my category, I came 17th and my total rank was 419.
My Biggest Lesson
There were so many takeaways from preparing and actually doing a half-marathon but if I had to pick the most important one, I would say that everything is in your head. As long as you can believe that you can do it, you will do it. One thing is to have a goal and work hard but it is also important to have a belief that you can do it. Once you believe it and put one foot in front of the other, your legs will carry you to the finish line.