Monday, September 9, 2013

Top 10 Takeaways from My First 13.1 Mile Run

So, this past weekend was my "long run" weekend. Every other weekend my distance increases by two miles. The run for this particular weekend was 13 miles, my longest run ever. I decided to make it 13.1 to get the full half-marathon experience.

The Plan
The sun was not my friend.

The plan was to get up early, like 5:30, to get the run in and recover before heading to church. As is typical
with me and early mornings, I didn't see 5:30. I reasoned that I would simply be too rushed to get my meal right and at the right time, warm up, run and get back home in time. I decided to wait until the afternoon to run. It was going to be hot, but I could handle it.

Error in Judgment

It was near 90 degrees during my run. It was miserable. A poor choice to run my longest distance in such conditions. The sun was a brutal enemy.

Near the end, my mind nearly talked me into calling my wife to come get me, but I kept putting one foot in front of the other until the finish. Along the way, I couldn't think of why I decided to do such a thing. After completing the distance, I feel great for having done it.

What are my top takeaways from the experience? Here are the Top 10:

10. Water from a dog fountain is just as good as water from a people fountain.
9. Toward the end of the run, as fatigue and short temper set in, cars seemed to drive faster, motorcycles became too loud, and they all drove closer to me than they should've even though I was generally on the sidewalk.
8. The fuel gels I used for the first time didn't provide the superhuman second wind I had expected.
7. The 22 ounce water bottle I was carrying weighed at least 40 pounds at mile 11.
6. I felt like I had been running for days.

The remaining five are more positive.

5. I truly do feel a sense of accomplishment. Only a few months ago, I couldn't envision running that far (though I did a fair amount of walking).
4. Water is a treasured resource.
3. Don't focus on the miles remaining. Just think positively and keep going.
2. Good shoes make a big difference.
1. Encouragement is the best energy boost. After I finished at my doorstep, my daughters had written congratulatory messages on their windows. That was the best part of the day!

The 13.1 milestone was huge, but it isn't the end goal. That comes in January. Next up, 15 miles on September 22.

Image courtesy bredgur.


  1. Congrats! It's an amazing feeling when you run the longest distance you've ever run!

    Keep up the good work! See you at WDW in January!

  2. Yes, and the mind tricks and hallucinations near the end of the run were pretty cool, too! haha! Thanks, Sarah!


  3. Aw, how sweet of your daughters! Congrats on getting it done!

    1. Thanks, Angela! They had "Way to go Daddy" and "13.1" written on their bedroom windows. Nice surprise.