The 3M Half Marathon has a special place in my heart. The 2015 running of it was my very first road race. I’d started running just two years prior, and I had no intentions of racing. I ran to get physically healthy, and then I really started reaping the mental health benefits.
And I blame my friend Harry for getting me into racing.
He kept tabs on my running when I started out and he put it in my head one day when he told me, “you know, you should really sign up for a race. You’re getting fast, and you’d have a lot of fun in a race.”
I shrugged him off. He nudged me about it a few more times. And then he had me tag along for a 10-mile training run as he was preparing for the Austin Half Marathon.
I thought running 10 miles was crazy. I couldn’t wrap my head around why anyone would want to run double-digit mileage in one outing. But when that first 10-miler didn’t kill me, and I actually kind of enjoyed it, I started pushing myself to run further distances.
I don’t know how or why, but I signed up for the 3M Half Marathon as my very first race. And I told Harry that I’d done so. He didn’t say, “that’s awesome!” or “congratulations!” He said, “you know, I’ll bet you could run that race in 1:30.”
Damn Harry. I had no specific plan or goal time for my first race. But he put a number in my head.
So, despite not knowing what the hell I was doing, I trained hard for my first half marathon. I was chasing 1 hour and 30 minutes. I beat that goal time.
I ran my first 3M in 1:27:31 in 2015.
I ran my second 3M in 1:28:11 in 2017.
I ran my third 3M in 1:29:47 in 2019.
Today I ran that same race in 1:19:33. PR’d the course by 7 minutes and 58 seconds. And PR’d my recently-set half marathon time by 5 minutes and 40 seconds.
I’m reeling in it now and, in a way, I think I’m lucky that I was in my late-30’s when I discovered running. I missed out on a lot of beating myself up in my teens, twenties, and early thirties.
I’ve already come to terms with the fact that I’ll start slowing down soon. I’m getting older. And I’m absolutely okay with that. As long as I can get out there and run around and have fun at whatever pace my heart and legs will take me, I’ll take that every day that I can.