How to complete a half-marathon

I completed the Capital City River Run Half Marathon today. This race has become an annual event for me, this being my 7th outing so far (the first three years being a 10 mile run before it shifted into a half-maraton). [See links here, here and here]. I completed the race in 2 hours and 11 minutes (a perfect 10:00 minute per mile pace). This was a better pace than what I had achieved in the past three years, so that, I guess is an achievement.

Though much is said about the “loneliness of a long distance runner”  (based on Alan Silitoe’s story with the same title), I know for a fact that I could not have completed this race if it weren’t for a large number of people, most of them strangers, who encouraged me and pushed me to try harder. Foremost among them, in today’s race, were Pacers Lisa and Chris who kept a steady 10 minute-mile pace, allowing me to stay with them. And they did this while dressed, not in running gear, but rather in somewhat elaborate costumes, and carrying a flag, so that they could be easily visible to all of us.

Early in the race I got in front of the Lisa and Chris and just let them chase me to the finish line. At the end of the race I got a chance to thank Chris and have my picture taken with him. Here it is.

Who knew that the best way to run a race was to have a pirate chase you till the finish line!

I am hurting a lot right now (the perils of not having trained properly and enough) but I am thrilled at my new timing. This isn’t my best pace but it is maybe the most satisfying. I had run a half marathon in approximately 2 hours and 5 minutes, but that was 6 years or so ago, when I was younger and much better trained. Since then I have been trying to run a 10 or less pace – and today was the day!! The goal next year is to shave 15 seconds of my time so that I can end up in the 9 min + category. But again that is a year away… The goal right now is to hobble over to the medicine cabinet and get myself some ibuprofen!


  1. I discovered this post thanks to a push from my colleague, Sean Nash. My husband and I are also runners, and usually race a 5K or 10K once a month. We ran a half-marathon in May and will complete another one in October.

    Congratulations to you for completing your race. From one runner to another (as well as from one educator to another), keep up the training!


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