Rambling: WE DID IT! and some other thoughts

This weekend I successfully ran my first half marathon. Yes, after all the long training runs, eating raw almonds, icing my shins, waking up in the morning with hurt knees, lacing of the shoes, wearing tights and braving the chilly Chicago wind… I did it. I completed my first half marathon under my goal time – in fact, with ten minutes to spare. (2:20:00)

During the run, I couldn’t think of much besides how excited I was to get that medal, see my friends as I crossed the finish line, and how to keep going/how much farther until the end. Maybe that’s normal. I did read something on how most runners think during the race “how much longer until it’s over?” but once it is over, the question of “how much longer until the next one?” is the first thing that comes to mind – and that was completely true for me, too. In the last few miles I found myself thinking more of ‘what can I do differently for training next time’ and ‘well I can’t wait to start lifting weights to make this easier.’ All of that was a new sensation completely.

Another new thing was living the rest of the day. For a few hours after I finished, I wasn’t even really hungry, but I knew I needed to eat. I feel like I ended up eating a lot that day, but I actually don’t think it was quite enough, either. The race was on Saturday, so I still had all day Sunday to recover. With the weather being super cold, I decided to just go for a little bike ride, since my knees were still hurting, and that ended up feeling pretty good. Now, on Monday morning, I’m finding myself in a bit more pain but it’s still pretty manageable. Um… I think that’s about all my thoughts on the immediate things. I’ve hung my medal up with my DCI Finals and my second-place skiing medal from a few years ago, so that is looking lovely. And I’m thinking more and more about getting a tattoo, which you can find out more about here. 

Alright, now I’ll be referencing the feelings I expressed in this post.

At the beginning of the year, I actually started to enjoy running. It started out as training for another activity, and now it’s training to train to run more. Which was really weird for me. Now that I’ve completed this thing that I never thought I’d do – running a half marathon, enjoying it, and planning to do another one – I feel like I’m starting to fit more into the idea of an ‘athlete’, which is not really a word that I would have ever used to define myself. I find that I’m worried about both eating too many carbs and not getting enough carbs, my knees hurt more often than they should, shin splints are a pain the in ass and kind of secretly badges of honor to have, and best and worst of all, I find myself making sure I get at least some exercise in the day, and I’ve found that I feel really crappy if I don’t get the chance to sweat, burn off energy, and move a little. 

I guess I feel like now that I’ve done this major thing, I feel more like I deserve the title of athlete or runner or one of those other words not really used to describe kids at art school. I’ve found that I regret not doing track/cross-country in high school, and I’m putting races on my bucket list/birthday wish list. I’m trying to figure out how to do all the things I want to do in such a short amount of time, but that’s what’s bringing me joy and helping me keep my life rolling, for some strange reason. 

So that’s what’s up, I guess. There’s a lot more going on too, but that’s my thoughts post-race. Next up: Grandma’s Half Marathon in June – Duluth, MN. Training (13 weeks this time instead of 5, woohoo,) starts in just one week. I can’t wait.

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Author: erikabunk

Raised in Northern Minnesota. BA in Radio/Business & Entrepreneurship, but right now just talking too much about running shoes and a Masters Student at DePaul (Journalism). Training for the marathon with various podcasts. Spends too much time on Spotify, in search of the best record store in the world, and dreams of returning to Reykjavík.

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