Here is a note from Steve Paulus who is apart of the TRC 1/2 Marathon Training Program. Steve ran the Las Vegas 1/2 and shared his thoughts leading up to the event and during the event. If you are running your first 1/2 or even full let Steve’s story be some motivation that you CAN do it!
I started the beginner training course on June 17 2013, did a 5k in August, then started the advanced class, building on what I had to better prepare for the ultimate goal (The Rock ‘n’ Roll 1/2 marathon). During my training I was impressed with how helpful and supportive everyone in the class was. I learned about intervals in the class and was comfortable running a 3/1 interval (3 minute run, 1 minute walk) this was my goal for the marathon. During my training I was pushed a couple of times (by Andrew) to run longer than 3 minutes, I don’t think I had ever run more than 4 miles without stopping.
In the beginning of training the temps and humidity were high and it made it tough, knowing cooler temps were coming helped and when the weather started to change it did help (I didn’t care to much for the recent cold fronts that came thru, too cold for me).
Finally the time had come…training was complete, I had the support of friends and family including fellow running trainees and coaches…I was off to Vegas!
I arrived in Vegas settled in got out and about trying to keep my mind off the upcoming event (was nervous, lot of pressure). Met up with high school friend John and his buddies including Rob and Glenn that were also running. We talked about the event they tried to ease my nerves while we put together a game plan. On the way back to my hotel visited with another high school buddy, Sean . He also gave me some advice on just enjoying the moment.
Race-day!!! Since the race is late in the afternoon I had extra time to worry about the things that could go wrong. The weather was great mid 60’s at race time and dropping into the 50’s by the end of the event. John, Rob & Glenn came by to pick me up to head over to the start, on the way to the start we decided that I should move up to the starting corral they were in (for faster runners or people that think they are faster runners). We used our ninja skills to slide past security to get me up toward the front (still thinking this is a good idea). The race starts, lots of people on both sides of me and in front and behind…I was trapped! When it was time to walk, I couldn’t get to a clear spot so I kept running thinking when the pack thins out then I can start my 3/1 intervals. Finally started to then out but figured I would keep going up to Mandalay Bay, then walk…got to Mandalay Bay but still felt good, so kept going setting my sights on MGM. MGM came and went next thought was start walking at Caesar’s which was about as far as I had ever run without stopping. Made it to Caesar’s then figured I could make it to halfway…kept pushing. I set goal after goal until I was at about mile 10 then I decided to shoot for entire half-marathon without stopping (a feat set by a non-running co-worker).
On about mile 12 my left thigh started twitching, I had never experienced this before and didn’t know if it was going to get worse…kept pushing as I neared the finish the leader of the full-marathon (fool-marathon) was also approaching the finish too…the crowd was getting loader, cheering as he and I got closer…then he passed and the crowd noise died down.
I crossed the finish line, very relieved and first thing I did was look at my phone and saw the “Congrats!” from my daughter and granddaughter…it was awesome!!! I tangoed them and got to see them while I got my medal and made my way thru the crowd. I found my running buddies and talked about the event then time to make my way back to my hotel to get cleaned up and eat! (But that’s another story).
“I did it!!!” Is all I kept thinking and how sore my legs were…it was painful stepping up on a curb or down off a curb.
I don’t remember my official time but my watch says 13.28 miles in 2 hrs 22 mins and 7 secs, avg pace was 10’43”. From the time I told John I would do it, my goal was to do better than 2 hrs 30 mins…”I did it!”.
Thanks again to everyone that helped get me here!!!
Hope I didn’t leave out to many details…its Monday almost noon and I am still sore but think it is getting better…got to get out tonight and see a show!!!