A cool breeze slowly rushed passed their faces as they ran towards the starting gate. Slowly at first, but eventually picking up the pace. Running along with them a thousand strangers. A thousand strangers with the same goal, to run 13.1 miles. A sharp bitter cold had penetrated the air all morning. The kind of cold that sent sharp pain into your spine. This wasn’t exactly the kind of ideal running weather any one would wish for. For the thousands of people waiting to run the Coeur D’ Alene Half Marathon the only way to stay warm was to find a place that couldn’t be reached by the wind. “5 minutes to race time”,the announcer roared from the starting line. Cheers from the crowd echoed back. All around runners began to warm up. They started to strap their Ipods to their arms and place their headphones in their ears. A blanket of excitement began to fill the air. “Ten…Nine…Eight…Seven…”, the announcer began the countdown. “Six…Five…Four…Three…Two…ONE!” With the bang of gun fire the crowd of runners began to move. Those in the front running immediately, while those in the back began to move forward with the momentum of the crowd. The only thing that stood between the finish and the start was 13.1 miles.
Me and Tasha just got back from a two week trip up to Northern Idaho. It was a trip to get away and go see some friends. I was pretty excited to go… seeing as I really haven’t done anything with friends in over six months. Tasha at one point before we left mentioned that at the end of May was the Coeur D’ Alene Marathon and Half Marathon. We eventually decided that we should do the Half Marathon. So we signed up and sealed our fate. We only had two weeks to get ready for the half marathon and began to run everyday. We didn’t ever really train that hard but figured that would could get by on race day with the adrenaline and sure will power of youth. While up in CDA I was able to get a lot of miles in before the race and felt pretty good. I went into a local running shop and picked up some new shoes. I watched what I was eating pretty closely and soon was down to 172lbs. That was actually the lowest I have ever been, since reaching 175.6 last July. I felt really good. Although, getting back from the vacation and the half marathon I have slacked a little. The day of the race finally came and it was exciting. Me and Tash went to Dennys to get some egg whites and toast before the race.
Actually pulling into the race area and seeing the Starting Gate and everyone walking around, warming up, and trying to get away from the cold was pretty great. I have never really competed in any athletic event before. I played baseball and basketball as a kid, but all through High School stayed as far away from sports as possible. Its not that I didn’t like them, I just wasn’t in shape to play them. So I shunned them. It really was bitter cold and we tried to find some place to get away from the cold. Pretty soon it was race time. There was about 1500 people running the Half Marathon and we all gathered behind the starting gate. Me and Tash took our positions towards the middle of the group. The announcer counted down the time and the gun fired and we started to run. I stayed with Tasha for the first mile or mile and a half. I was feeling pretty good and decided to run at a faster pace. I took off. I felt like I wasn’t really pushing myself to hard. After running for what seemed like a few miles I began to slow my pace. I figured I had ran at least 5 miles… and then the sign for 3 miles appeared. That put a little damper on my motivation. I figured I had better slow my pace down. Then around mile 7 I began to really get tired and decided to walk for a couple minutes. At this point Tasha had caught up to me and passed me. I walked for about 3 minutes and then started running again. At the half way mark you just turned around ran right back where you had already ran. I didn’t like that. I wanted something new! Around mile 8 1/2 my headphones that I was wearing fell out… I went to go put it back in my ear and realized that the tip had fallen off and stuck in my ear. I tried to get it out, but it pushed it in further. So now this headphone piece was jabbing my ear drum. It was really irritating and painful. This also meant that I couldn’t listen to music much anymore. Mile 10 rolled around and my legs began to hurt and my ear was shooting pain. I decided at mile 11 that I better slow my pace real down so that I could really give the last 1.1mile my all. I took my pace down to more of a run shuffle. I am sure it was 12/13 minute mile. At this point in the race the first Marathon(26.2) runner passed me on his way to the finish. He ended up winning the Marathon and beat my half marathon time by 5 minutes. I can’t believe anyone can really run that fast. Incredible. At mile 12 I picked my pace back up again and could now see the finish line. I was almost done! I finally reached the last stretch into the finishing gate (which was the starting gate) and it was a great feeling. Running over the finish line was fantastic. It gave me a good since of accomplishment. I ended up with a time of 2hrs 18min. Tasha ended up running it in 2hrs.3min.
I actually really enjoyed myself and my goal now is the run a full marathon. I think it would be neat. I also want to try and beat my time for the half marathon at some point.