Well holy crap, I just finished my first half marathon! It was not easy. Even with all that training I did. At the beginning people were flying past me but I knew better than to start fast. Kept my ego in check and kept at my slow and steady pace. By mile 6, was still feeling good. Popped a smartie and kept at it. By mile 9, my legs were starting to hurt and I prayed that they wouldn’t buckle. By mile 12 I was holding back sobs because I had never gotten that far and was determined to finished no matter how bad it hurt.
And I did! It took my somewhere around 2:10. No idea really. I was trying to keep from falling over.
As I was running, I was thinking about this post and any advice I would give other runners. So here goes:
Get there early. Yes, getting there at 6am for a 745am race seems ridiculous but I needed and used every minute. I wasn’t rushed, got my bib, stretched at my car and used to bathroom 2 times before we started with enough time remaining to say 10 “Hail Mary’s” and “Our Father’s”.
Don’t wear gray pants. I’m referring to the warm ups before the race starts. Hear me out. I don’t care how nice the race is, a Johnny-on-the-Spot is a Johnny-on-the-Spot. They are all gross. So while I’m trying to squat and not touch a thing in there, I managed to pee on my pants. My gray ones. In other words, there was no denying it. Luckily I had my running pants on under but I didn’t want to risk falling over INSIDE the Johnny-on-the-Spot while trying to change them. *shutter* My solution? I came out to wash my hands and dried my hands on my pants. No one said anything to me and even if they did, who gives a shit?
Stalk someone. Or if that sounds too creepy, find a pacer. I happened upon these 2 ladies that were running at a 10 minute mile pace which was the pace I was trying to keep. I zoned in on their Ironman calf tattoos for about 8 miles before they sped it up at mile 12. Good job ladies and thank you!
If you train with water, bring your water. I always run with my Camel Bak. 2 things I must have with me at all times, running or not; water and chapstick. So why should my race be any different? I know they had hydration stations throughout but I would rather drink when I wanted to, not when they were available. Plus, I don’t want to have to stop to drink the water. If I’m running, I want to keep running. Every time I try to drink out of those cups I always end up gulping a ton of air. No thanks. I’ll stick with what works for me; my trusty ol’ Camel Bak.
….and on the topic of water. Make sure it’s WATER you grab before you pour it over your head. They hand out Gatorade too.
CANDY! Yes I said candy! And one of my favorites too; Smarties! Don’t buy into the hype that you have to purchase expensive running gels for your race. Save your money and buy Smarties. They are easy, small and dissolve right on your tongue. And what’s more? They are MUCH cheaper.
Switch sides. Of the road that is. The road may look flat but it really isn’t. The road curves down a little at the shoulder. So if you keep running on the right (or the left), you experience some pains and blisters that could have been avoided. Switch sides when you can. Or if at all possible, run the middle of the road. I found myself running on the center yellow line as often as I could.
And now my favorite part….my post half marathon burger. Not everyone is the same but I cannot eat within 2 hours of finishing a long run. I will get sick. Waiting for this burger was torture so I took a nap.
I had been thinking about this burger for a month. It sounds disgusting I know but trust me, it is absolutely delicious! I ate two!
4oz 80/20 beef patty
Sunflower seed butter