Yesterday, I woke up at 4am. Why would I ever do that you ask?! To run 13.1 miles, of course!!! I finished my first half marathon this weekend!!!!! (: The 2015 International Olympic Road Race in Taipei!
On Friday afternoon, Lakyn and I headed to New Taipei City. We headed to Banqiao, where neither of us had been. All I can say is I wish we discovered it earlier! It was shockingly western! There were Italian restaurants, bagel stores and an entire mall of American sports stores, like Columbia and Nike! It was still awesome to see now but I totally could have used this when I was feeling more homesick, or when I just needed some pasta! We wandered around for the afternoon and then found our hotel. I showered and tried to go to sleep early. I was fairly unsuccessful in trying to sleep because I was really nervous and excited!
My alarm went off at 4am and I was up and ready to go! I ate a quick breakfast, took some advil, got dressed, packed my bag and skipped on over to the starting point! I checked my bag, and pinned my number on (15693!!!). I stretched a little, mostly because everyone around me was stretching and looked really serious about it. I found someone to take my picture for me before the race and I was ready! At 5:30am, the race started!!! There were thousands of people, so even after it started, I had to stand for like 25 seconds, then walk until the crowd thinned out. It was cloudy and a little rainy, which was great for running. I was dreading the hot sun but it was nowhere to be seen, yay!
I was loving life, jamming out to my music and taking it all in until about mile 7, when my knee started to swell huge amounts. I have always had problems with my knee(s), they are actually the reason I hadnt run in three weeks. I ran three weeks ago and my knees hurt so much, I decided to let them rest until the race…and they did feel better…until mile 7. Dreaded mile 7! I had a great time too…until then. I tried to walk but it only felt worse and my right toes were going numb. So I had to do a weird run/hop/walk/limp from mile 7 all the way to mile 13. Not the most enjoyable. But…I DID IT! And that’s all I care about. I finished within the allotted three hours and I was so happy!!! I was really proud of myself because I had never run more than five miles until this year and I normally run on a treadmill, which is easier. So, this year I not only traveled to a foreign country, learned a new language, and ate stinky tofu….but I learned how to distance run! Even with the last 6 miles being painful and not all that enjoyable, I’m so so glad I did it. And I really did enjoy the beginning. I’m hoping I can see a doctor in America that will know how to ease the pain so I can continue to run. There’s a half marathon in October in Boston that I have my eye on!
Anyway, thanks to Lakyn for taking all these pictures!!! And waiting an insanely long time for me to limp across the finish line! There were lots of professional pictures taken along the way but they arent posted yet, so there might be more coming soon! And I’m bringing back my medal, an Olympic Day mug, an Olympic Day shirt, an Olympic Day towel and some toothbrushes(?) to America (yay giftbags!!!!!)