My first race I ran was the City Of Trees 1/2 Marathon in 2008. If you do not know where the City of Trees is located, it is the City of Boise, Idaho. I was both excited and nervous about this run as it was my first race ever. 7 months before I was a couch potato that couldn’t run if his life depended on it. I had lost 60 pounds by then and put in the miles for training. Of course, Murphy's Law was in full affect as I was sick the three days before the race. The day of the race was the first morning that I woke up without a sore throat. I arrived at 7:30am.
The full marathon started at 8am and the 1/2 started at 9am. I was surprised that there were not that many people doing the full marathon. I thought there would have been more. It was chilly, so I kept pretty bundled up, but as the time approached, I found myself feeling really good about the run. Since it was chilly (mid 40s), I decide to keep on my outer running jacket.
This proved to be a mistake. I was glad I was there for the full marathon as I could not hear the announcer as I was waiting to start the half.
At least I knew what he was saying. The portable PA he was using was bad. There were a lot more people to do the 1/2 marathon than the full. I started off pretty good. I tried really had to run my pace and not get caught up in the race. There were a couple of people that started walking in the first mile. I followed my coach's plan of walking at each water station and this made a real difference (plus, you don't run 13.1 miles, you just run from water station to water station).
Basically, the race is pretty much up hill the first 1/2 and down hill the last part. Most of the climb is gradual with only a couple of steep spots. It was between miles 4 and 6 that I had a wardrobe malfunction. I went to take off that running jacket and of course, it pull off my head phones. I managed to keep running and fix them and then tie the jacket around my waist. Sadly, I have the waist of a carpenter: I have no hips. As such, the jacket soon was falling down. I went to readjust and that is when I found that the headphones were completely tangled with the jacket. I had to stop and fix the whole mess. It took a one more adjustment to figure out that it worked best if I wore it like a sash. This was the only way it would stay up. The water stations started off being every 2 miles, but after mile 6 they switched to three miles. The being sick part didn't really hit me until after 10 miles. That is when I had to walk a bit. From there on out, I did some running and then some walking and then some running.
I still managed to finish in 2 hours and 22 minutes. My coach guess I would do it in 2 hours and 19 minutes. If I hadn't been sick the days before the race, I probably would have done it. Everyone that finished got a really nice metal. They are pretty kewl.