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On Sunday, May 20th, I attended the Kaiser Permanente Pasadena Marathon and ran in my first half-marathon.  Since the race started at 6:30 AM, I had to wake up super early at 4:00 AM to prepare.  I ate a bagel and a banana for breakfast and made sure to keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water.  I had already picked up my run packet the day before the race, so I grabbed my bib number, shoes, energy gummies, and headed out the door.  The event festival and start/finish lines were located at Pasadena City College.  Even with all of the street closures for the race, it was easy to access the campus and parking was plentiful and relatively easy to find since the college’s parking structures were open.  

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After getting to the event about an hour before the race, I waited in the ridiculously long lines for the restrooms.  I took this time to stretch and get warmed up while waiting in line.  A nice service that they also offered there was a bag check-in, so you wouldn’t have to try to run a marathon with a backpack on.  At this point the nerves started to kick in and I made my way to the start line where there were already a bunch of people waiting, ready to run!  They asked the faster people, in the 6-7 minute mile pace, to come up to the front of the pack.  Since I did not really train for this event and was aiming for 10 minute miles, I decided to stay in the back so I wouldn’t get run over!  At 6:30 AM my half-marathon began!

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Although I didn’t really know what to expect, it was a really nice run throughout the race.  At the beginning, I was just enjoying the moment and running past each mile check which were marked on flags.  After drinking an entire bottle of water right before the race at the advice of a friend, I had to use the restroom at mile 3…  Apparently a lot of other people took the same advice because there was a 5 minute wait for these restrooms!  After my short pit stop I continued along the race route.

It was really nice seeing the normally busy streets of Pasadena on hold so that we could run the race.  As I passed by houses, there were groups of people outside cheering you on as you ran by.  The route took me all the way out to the Rose Bowl before heading back toward the college.  

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The toughest part of the race for me was after the 10th mile.  Fatigue and cramping started to set in and I felt like the last 3 miles were the longer than the first 10!  Luckily, I ran by this older gentleman and his daughter who helped push me and told me to run hard because I was almost there.  He must have realized I was running out of gas, but kindly stuck with me and kept me talking and running, and the next thing I knew, I was nearing the finish!  After pushing so hard the last few miles, it was a great feeling to cross the finish line.  I finished my 13.1 mile run in 2 hours and 32 minutes!

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Once you finish, they hand you a medal and take your picture.  There are also people handing out bananas, other snacks, and coconut water.  I met up with my girlfriend and friend who were waiting at the finish line, took a couple more pictures, and caught my breathe, whew!

My first half-marathon was tough and took a lot of mental strength but I had a great feeling of accomplishment.  I think the biggest advice I could offer is to train for these events.  I made the mistake of not training as much as I could have and let’s just say my legs and feet did not like me for the next few days!  I was in a world of hurt, but I do look forward to my next half-marathon.  The next one I will definitely train for!

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PiiQ’d by Rocky

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