My First Half Marathon:

With this being my first half-marathon, I was very pleased with my result despite having some nagging minor injuries with my shins and feet.  I missed more training sessions than I should have due to those issues as well as unexpected travel for work.  All things considered, I still felt very prepared for it and I’m thankful for all the support from the Rogue coaching staff and the other members for their advice and support before and during the race.

My primary goal for this race was just to finish it without stopping due to fatigue, injury, or my will being broken.  My secondary was a time-based goal of 2:00 or under.  I am proud to say that I met my goal dead on with an official time of 2:00:27!  My legs and my confidence couldn’t have been better once I crossed the start line, and I was even ahead of pace by over a minute coming into the halfway point.  After mile 7/8, I was still pumped and couldn’t help but high-five any spectator that stuck their hand out in support along the sidelines.  It was a fantastic feeling that I won’t soon forget.  However, once I split off at about mile 10.5 to finish with the other half-ers and I no longer had the help of my pacers, it became a war of attrition with myself.  The hills were taking their toll on my quads and my will to keep moving.  The last couple of hills were especially brutal when I was only about a mile out, and at some points I started to think that I could walk faster than I was currently “running”.  If it wasn’t for the spectators and my music, I might have done just that.  All I could think about on those last hills was what one of coaches said during the motivational pre-race seminar about how this course can leave you in a “coffin in the fetal position” if you aren’t prepared and if you underestimate it.  This was so true at this point and I wasn’t about to let that happen to me!!!  That comment helped motivate me to power through to the finish to meet my goal.  It’s amazing what a few key words, screaming spectators and fast-paced music can do when you are running on fumes.

Crossing the finish line, I couldn’t help put throw my hands in the air as if I just broke the tape!  The pain and fatigue was so worth it at this point as I put the medal around my neck and posed for an official photo.  This was a huge accomplishment for me, especially when most of my friends and co-workers insisted I was crazy and masochistic, and that putting themselves through the same rigorous training for months on end was something they never had any intention of doing.  I have always enjoyed doing things that most others I know have not, be it traveling to a less tourist-y country or wearing t-shirts that are very unique.  Simply completing a half-marathon is enough to fall into that same category, and meeting my time goal was the icing on the cake.  I couldn’t have done it without the support of the incredible Rogue staff, all of the other fellow Rogues I’ve trained with, and most importantly my girlfriend/training partner/personal motivator, Cecilia!  Thanks to everyone for such a memorable race, and I look forward to training for the next event!

– Charles

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