Monday, July 9, 2012

The Mad Half

In all honesty this is only tangentially DIY-related (insofar as it involves a small addition to a previous project, but is mostly about my personal life), but I thought I'd share anyway. I've been away for the last week, up in Vermont visiting with my family and extended family. It was a very nice visit, filled with fireworks, a parade, sailing, golf, good food, one heck of a sandal tan, and fun with family and friends. On Sunday, I capped things off with my first half marathon. It was tremendously enjoyable, if that's possible to believe (with plenty of hills to keep things interesting...), and I beat my goal time of 2 hours 10 minutes by about 7 minutes. Now I have a new race bib to add to our corkboard!

I may want to find a more elegant solution for the race medal, but in the meantime I just put a small nail in the wall and hung it from that. Look at me, I'm a "finisher"!

Here are a few photos from the race, courtesy of Sam -- who came out to run the last 3 miles with me -- and my Mom, who came along with my brother and aunt to see me finish. It was a lot of fun!

The view as Sam and I drove to the race course in the Mad River Valley at 5:15am:  

From 7am to 9:03am, I got to run some amazing Vermont country roads with beautiful mountain views.   Of course, much of the time I was staring at the crest of whatever hill I was currently struggling up, telling myself that what goes up must come down.

Thank you to all the volunteers who staffed the course and -- maybe most importantly -- the water stations! Here's me slowing to a walk as I pass through an aid station so I don't slosh gatorade all over my face while trying to drink it. 

Rounding the corner to the finish, a final sprint past the girl who had been running a bit in front of me much of the way. So satisfying! Thanks to Sam's encouragement, I managed to pass a handful of people in the final few miles that I'd been trailing most of the race.

Finished! Exhausted, but that just means I left it all on the road. I don't think I could have pushed any harder, and that feels great!

Anyway, this post had almost nothing to do with apartment decorating, but I wanted to share anyway since running has been my other hobby for a little while now. Just a word of encouragement for anyone who thinks they could never do this: you can if you want to! I just started running a year ago, and I really stepped it up to train for this race (I was running maybe two times a week before that, about 3 miles at a time). I followed Hal Higdon's training schedule for half marathons (I used the Novice 2 program), which had me running four times a week for 12 weeks. Over that period I ran 200 miles, which meant that by race day I had the most important thing of all: mental confidence that I could do it. Even though the course was tough, I didn't doubt that I'd make it at any point during the race. And it felt amazing to finally cross that finish line!


  1. Yay! Congrats! Looks like it was a gorgeous day, too.

    1. Thank you! I couldn't have asked for better weather -- it was a beautiful day, sunny but not too hot at that time in the morning. I really lucked out!