Malibu Half-Marathon: Mission Accomplished

I started running (again) in August. 2-3 miles per day mostly out around some local trails and a few beach runs. I say “again,” because running is something I’ve always enjoyed doing. It’s just, I haven’t been able to do it. See, I’ve been nursing a back injury for a while. So I put on weight, wasn’t eating healthy, and well, I just didn’t feel good.

These days, a lot of that has changed.

Sunday morning, I got up early to run the Malibu half-marathon. I’ve never run a half-marathon before, so I was both nervous and excited. I wouldn’t say I trained for it either, so that had me a little worried.

I’ve never more than 4.5 miles on my trail runs. My longest distance was 7.5 miles. And for the month of October, I was nursing some back pain so I did very little running to prepare. Still, I had been swimming and I felt I could do it.

I finished at around 2:38. I’m not too happy about my pace, but I’m happy I finished. This being my first of hopefully many more half-marathons, I would say I learned a few things:

  • I need to learn to pace myself better. I started fast and ran my first 2-3 miles at about 8 – 9 minute pace. I often do that on my trail runs, but I’m only running 3-4 miles, not 13.1. Duh. Anyway, I need to pace myself so I burn less energy throughout the run. And, if I don’t burn all that energy early, I’m sure I can trim quite a bit of time off my average pace per mile and finish faster.
  • If I really want to do this consistently (and I do), I need to train my body to handle the longer distances. My foot was killing me at mile 9. My back and knee held together, but man my foot was killing me.
  • I managed to stay properly hydrated and I felt good like I had enough energy, but I started cramping at mile 11 – not good. Maybe I just wasn’t used to the long distance? I don’t know, but I need to figure that one out.
  • Running makes me feel good. Mentally, and physically. There’s a sense of accomplishment that you get after finishing a good run. There’s a point where your brain keeps telling you to stop, or slow down and walk. Telling you “you can’t do it” and “you should stop.” But out there, I win every time. I don’t listen, and I keep going. I feel like running is giving me confidence not just out there, when I’m running, but in other areas of my life too.

Find Whatever It Is That Motivates You

These days, I’ve been drinking less, eating healthy, and exercising. Why? Because it makes me feel good. It gives me energy. It’s giving me confidence. And it’s making me disciplined even in other areas of my life.

It gives me the energy and motivation to work.

So my advice to you if you feel like you’re stuck in a rut, throw a pair of running shoes on and figure it out. Or find whatever it is that motivates you, and add more of that to your life.

And w00t! I finished my first half-marathon!

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  1. says

    Ricardo, congrats on finishing your first half marathon. As a guy who swore he’d never run long distance, I have to confess (and warn you) that I find endurance running addicting. Of course, it’s in a good way because a healthy lifestyle always warrants itself.

    I’m an 8-time half-marathoner and registered for the (full) 26.2 Big Sur Marathon coming up in April.

    I’ve fallen so much in love with running that I’ve completely abandoned any weight training I had been doing. Over the past year, I’ve lost 25 pounds, and am running faster than ever.

    All this to encourage you to stick with it. It’s a great hobby, one that you can do alone or with friends. And if you ever get to the point where you’re looking for improvement, let me know – one of my best friends is running coach. She trains anyone from the layman to Olympians. 😉

    • says

      Thanks so much Brian. I agree with you, it is addicting – in a great way. Starting out was hard. I was sucking wind after that first mile. But now, it’s gotten much easier and it’s something I look forward to daily.

      It’s the greater distances I have to get used to. I can run 3 miles fast. I need to not do that if I’m running a longer distance but I’m sure I’ll figure all of that out.

      For now, I can confidently say that I enjoyed this one and I’m looking forward to many more to come. And even more so, to improving on each one.

      Enjoy the Big Sur Marathon! I love it up there!

  2. Demian Farnworth says

    Congratulations Ricardo.

    I love long-distance running. I love that the equipment is minimal: shoes and outwear. I also love that it’s just my legs and feet that carry me over the landscape.

    I’ve run two full marathons. Over ten years apart. Both were brutal because of weather. The one in KC snowed, and the one in April last year baked everybody with 80 degree heat.

    In that last one I started too fast. By mile eight I was done. All I wanted was a 2-liter of Coke and a pepperoni pizza. But I pushed through.

    To be honest, I prefer the training over the races. The early Sunday mornings spent meandering the rolling hills in my backyard. Just me and the road for like three hours.

    Speaking of motivation, there is a 72-mile stretch of trail in the Smoky Mountain National Park (part of the Appalachian Trail) that I would love to run in one day. From sunrise to sundown. I don’t think it’s ever been done before. Not sure my 40-year old body will hold up, though. :)

    • says

      Re: “The early Sunday mornings spent meandering the rolling hills in my backyard. Just me and the road for like three hours.”

      This is easily growing to be one of the favorite parts of my day. Running on a trail, through the park, or on the beach. Getting started was hard of course. I was sucking wind at mile #1. But now, I look forward to it and I just keep going. Thinking. Pushing. And enjoying the damn fine views!

      As for the Smoky Mountain National Park… Now *that* sounds like fun!

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