Friday, 18 October 2013

The Oktoberfest Jost Running Half Marathon

It wasn't too long ago that I almost gave up running because of injuries. I suffered calf injuries, knee injuries, foot injuries, etc. I had two half marathons under my belt and one failed marathon attempt. I had to pull out of the marathon after suffering a calf injury half way through. I couldn't seem to completely heal after that. Every run was painful. My knees were so achy. I had just about given up on running.

But I couldn't. I decided to take a few months off and start all over again. Unfortunately, I let myself gain weight. I reached a weight of 202 lbs. At 5'4" tall that was not healthy. After a bad doctors report, I decided to make a huge lifestyle change. I committed to a plant based diet and started running again. 

I took it slow, running short distances. Slowly building myself up. I felt okay after each run. Everything was holding up. My new diet played a huge role in that. I started running longer distances without any recurring injuries. My recovery time was decreasing. I was feeling like a runner again! 

Fast forward to today. I am 43 pounds lighter and worked long and hard at building myself back. I felt I was ready to run a half marathon again. I chose the Jost Running Oktoberfest Half Marathon and ran it on Oct 14.

I will admit, I was a bit nervous. It was my first half marathon in three years. I knew in my heart that no matter what, I would finish this race. 

My strategy for this half marathon was to start slow and use the 10 and 1 formula, which is run 10 minutes and walk 1. My goal was to finish with a time of 2:30 or under.

I started nice and easy and was able to get into a nice rythem. My pace was perfect. I hit such a huge runners high very early as all I was thinking about was I am really running a half marathon again! I reached the 10 minute mark but didn't want to stop for a 1 minute break as I felt so awesome,  so I continued running. I stopped for the first time at the 30 minute mark and proceeded to use the 10 and 1 formula for the remainder of the run.

The route was a very good one. Not too many hills and scenic. I was enjoying every single step I was taking. There was no doubt I was finishing this race. I wondered about all the others competing in the Oktoberfest Half Marathon and wondered if they were enjoying it as much as I was.

When I hit the 11 mile mark, my legs were tired but I knew I needed to push ahead for two more miles. They were two tough miles but I got through them and finished the half marathon with a time of 2:23. I was so proud when I finally crossed the finish line and proud to be back at half marathon level.

As this is only the third half marathon I have run, it will always be the most special. I will always remember how I went from almost quitting running to returning to half marathon level. Hard work and a never quite attitude always pays off! My next goal - finishing my first marathon! Training commences now!

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