In rereading, and reading again, my recap of my first half marathon, parts of it seem very pessimistic. In all honesty, I don't think of it that way, but it might have come across as such.
A few months ago, I was talking to a customer at work who happens to also be a great runner. I told him I was going to be running my first half marathon in April. He immediately corrected me by telling me he only calls that race a 21K. His reasoning?
It is not half, it is a whole race.
It's a challenging distance that should not be downplayed by thinking you only ran half of something.
I am very proud that I accomplished such a feat. I don't want to trivialize that. Not everyone can run long distance or even run at all. The fact that I accomplished two out of three of my goals is a win. The goal of running a sub-1:50 was entirely possible and within my reach. I made a few mistakes, there was strong wind, and all the pieces didn't fall into place for that goal. No biggie. It was my first race at that distance, and like with everything there is a learning curve. The fact of the matter is, I am taking those mistakes and learning from them and will apply them to my next race.
Try as I might not to, I compare myself to previous performances (such as my stellar 10-mile race in February) and I expect to at least do as well, if not better. I forget to take into account that it is a different race, a different course, under different weather conditions, on a different day. So much can affect a race performance and I can't really compare the two.
One thing I meant to mention in my recap post was the significance of running this particular race as my first half...21K...whatever you want to call it. Last year I ran the Race the Runways 5K as my very first race in well over a decade. I felt it very fitting that I would run it as my first half.
Okay, I'm going to do a little more comparing, but only to illustrate how far I've come so far in my running in just a year. Last year I finished the 5K in 27:12 or an 8:46 pace. This year, I ran the 21K in 1:52:03 or an 8:33 pace. And I've already established, I'm sure I could have done it even faster. But as it stands, I ran a race that is a full 10 miles longer at 13 seconds faster per mile. That's pretty sweet. How much faster will I be next year? I'm excited to find out!