First off, Congrats to all the Boston runners. How exciting it was to follow along yesterday! I can't wait to read the race reports. I am also looking forward to talking to the guy from my run group who ROCKED Boston yesterday and achieved a PR for the marathon distance!
While my half-marathon achievement may pale in comparison to running Boston, it truly was a significant accomplishment for me. I'd like to take this time to reflect back on my past half-marathons just to put it in perspective.
2007 Chips & Salso 2:38:08 - This was my first ever half-marathon attempt. I planned to accomplish the distance by employing a run/walk strategy. By mile 11, I was done, caput, finished! I walked practically the rest of the way. I was hurting in a big way afterwards, but was quite pleased with myself for getting to the finish line.
2007 Duke City 2:36:58 - Second half-marathon attempt, a mere 6 weeks or so after the first one. Same strategy. Slightly faster result due to a bit more training, but still hurting at the end. Slower and slower as each mile progressed and more walking. If someone would have come by in a golf cart at mile 12 and offered to take me to my car, I would have given up and jumped right in!
2008 Unser 20K - While not technically a half-marathon, it was close enough to include in my history. Finish time was 2:21:35 for 12.4 miles, so it would be something like a 2:30:00 finish for a full 13.1 miles. Walked through most of the aid stations. Again, I was hurting by mile 10 or so.
2008 Chips & Salsa DNF* - This was the year that my knee issue (patella-femoral-syndrome) made itself known. My knee was hurting at the start line. I never should have attempted run the race. I stopped running at mile 6.5. I walked to mile 10 at which point I was picked up by car and headed to urgent care...
2008 Duke City 2:29:07 - Once again, about 6 weeks after my DNF. For some stupid reason, I tried running a half-marathon AGAIN. My knee was feeling better because I basically didn't run between the two races. However, once again, knee pain emerged. This time at mile 5. I was miserable throughout the rest of the race. Walked a bunch at the end. Very unhappy. A few weeks later, finally had the appt with an orthopedic that set me on a path to get healthy with regard to my knee.
2009 Duke City 2:25:14 - A full year and much knee therapy later, I tried again after racing nothing longer than a 5K in between. I had trained almost exclusively on dirt trails. Running the race on ashpalt took a huge toll on my body. Everything hurt by about mile 8. Lots of limp-walking especially the last few miles. Did not achieve my goal of finishing strong, feeling good. Not a happy camper.
2010 Albuquerque Half-Marathon 2:21:31 - Slight knee pain at mile 11, otherwise, I felt good and ran steady throughout. Planned my race and raced my plan. Finished strong and feeling good. It was a long road to this point, but I finally conquered the distance, it didn't conquer me!! VERY HAPPY!!