First half-marathon was a huge success. I was hoping to finish at a seven minute mile pace, with a dream of maybe even breaking an hour and a half — which I considered absolute best-case scenario. As I crossed the finish line, I checked the Map My Run app on my phone, which said I finished at 1:30:10, just 10 seconds off my best-case scenario! As it turns out, I had started the app early, and I actually finished at 1:29:53, seven seconds better than I could have hoped. (In fact, I finished with the race clock at exactly 1:30:00, but because I didn’t cross the starting line until 0:00:07, I broke my dream time by seven seconds.) That put me in the top 10 percent for my age group, top five percent for men, and top three percent overall.

The distance was obviously greater than any of my training runs, and the pace faster, so I’m not exactly sure how I did it. And I’ve never really understood people who park out on marathon routes to cheer on strangers, but my god it’s the best thing ever when you’re running. And while the Oakland Marathon route finished with a quarter-mile climb, all those people cheering you on as you finish is perhaps the most positive, energizing thing I’ve ever experienced. I was lucky enough to be pretty much alone as I approached the finish line, so it really felt like everyone was there to support me.

For my next race, I’m going to do the final week of training a little differently. I ran twice in that last week, both super-easy, in addition to two “stretch and strengthen” days. And I ate, a lot. I finished yesterday a full ten pounds heavier than I’ve been since before harvest started last summer, though some of that probably has to do with the bottomless brunch buffet and several beers I consumed after the race.

Now, time to find the next one. #BetterEveryDay

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