Race Read: My First Half Marathon by Freddy Perez

 

Hello my name is Freddy Perez, and I was asked by Julia and Dan to write a post race recap of my very First Half Marathon! I’ve known them for about 9 months now and I can’t describe the impact they have had on my life, because of them I ran my first half marathon this past Sunday and this is my first blog ever!

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A few months ago we were asked to come up with a 6 month goal that we would be held accountable for The November Projects 3rd Birthday! I decided what the heck: I’m going to run a half marathon! I wrote my goal down not thinking anybody would pay attention to it, but let me tell you I was very wrong! I don’t think the ink was dry and Julia had approached me about running a half marathon full of excitement for me, with suggestions of different races that I should consider doing. It continued every time I saw Julia and then Dan started to talk to me about doing a half marathon. Finally after a month of peer pressure I gave in and decided to run the South Platte Half!

I had never ran further than 5 miles in my life! I did the Spartan Races last year in May and August but a half marathon was a different animal! I was nervous from the second I signed up! I’ve never associated myself as being a runner! The whole reason I ever ran was to lose weight for a fitness challenge and after that I casually ran. I was never a fast runner, and I’m still not but that was the thing that everybody at November Project told me — it’s not how fast you are or how slow you are — the key in all of this is movement! I knew if I was going to run 13 miles (BTW really far), I was going to have to start running more and start pushing myself to run further. Many of my friends saw that my life literally became that. My Facebook and Instagram were overcome with posts about my runs. I’m sure there were a lot of people who unfollowed me and wanted me to stop filling their newsfeeds but I can’t fake the funk! Running was becoming my life!

My training leading up to race went quick! I ran almost 4-5 times a week various distances 3-10 miles, with various speeds challenging myself along the way. I used the Nike Run Club App (Thanks Troy) to help with with a training plan. I started enjoying running so much I even did some trail running at North Table Mountain and Waterton Canyon, which was really satisfying!

So after all of that training and wanting to give up so many times, race day was here! We got there early, (if you know me that’s my MO) so I had time to get my mind ready. I was nervous but Eric, Dan, Tyler, Julia, Troy and William all assured me that was going to do great. After we said our hello’s it was quickly goodbye and we went to our respective waves. Here we were, waves were being released and all I could think about was be yourself. Don’t try to over do it in the first mile. Take my time and focus on my breathing. I decided not to run with music because I wanted to enjoy the atmosphere. This proved to be vital because it really helped me with not getting too hyped up over a song or slowing down on a wicked guitar solo.

I made sure to be front and center for my wave. I didn’t want to stumble or trip over anybody because that stuff always happens to me. Ask my parents or my wife! Ha! My nerves were getting the best of me but before I knew it we were on our way! Miles 1-2 was a tour around town and I told myself to take my time don’t over do it because during my training I had a habit of running a fast first mile to only get a slower and slower mile after that. I was happy with the pace I had set in the first two miles, that I continued that pace until mile 4. Around that time I ran into my first November Project friend on the course. Courie and I high-fived and away she went. I felt strong and happy with my pace not wanting to over do it. At Mile 5 I ran into Troy as he was waiting at the relay exchange, I was super excited to see him! I high-fived him and went on my way! I felt strong I was cruising along and at this point I increased my pace. Miles 6-8 were spent enjoying the views and kept focusing on the increased pace. In between mile 8 and 9 I caught up to Courie was happy to see that I caught her because I could see her in the distance the whole time but never thought I would catch up. Once I got to mile marker 9, I knew that the NP cheer gang was going to be around mile 10 at Habitat Park. I knew that I was close to the end when I got to them! I was super excited to see them there cheering me on (BEST CHEER GANG EVER)!

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Mile 11 and 12 were difficult because I literally felt I was running into the wind. At this point the weather wasn’t an issue but mile 11 and 12 is where I felt the wind pick up. I pushed through it but could tell that my legs were starting to get tired. Once I got past mile marker 12, I knew the end was near but little did I know that the last mile was literally uphill! I’ve always hated Little Man Ice Cream hill but my training on it paid off! It was what fueled me to make it to the end. Once I got over the hill and turned the corner there was everybody waiting for me! I can’t explain how happy I was to see all of my friends there cheering me on! Eric ran me in and I finally did it!

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I was so happy that I completed such a feat! I had so much fun along the way! I never thought in my life that I would run a half marathon! I had set my own goal to finish in 2 hrs and 20 minutes. I completed my first half marathon in 2hrs 14 min 31 sec! I owe so much to all of my friends from life long friends, to new friends that I have made at the November Project, but I wanted to say a huge thank you to Julia and Dan because without them I’m not sure how I would’ve completed something I’ve never thought about doing once! I can officially say I am a runner now and now it’s time to rest up a little bit because my next half marathon is the Colfax Marathon and I intend PR!

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