It’s been a few weeks since the half-marathon,
but I figured I would still give an update as to how it went
as well as hopefully give a little advice to anyone who
is thinking about running in one.
All in all it was such a fun experience and I’m
SO happy I did it and it was seriously the best
feeling of accomplishment after you finish,
so for anyone on the fence about signing up for one,
my first advice is JUST SIGN UP!
okay now on to the real advice..
1. BYOB…. Bring Your Own Banana
seriously though, we were told they would have
pre-race snacks (because everyone gets there 2 hours early)
and water and such, but with thousands and thousands
of people there, they were bound to run out… and they did.
They did have bagels left when I got there, but my digestive
system is way too sensitive to eat a dry bagel before running.
2. Get in line for the port-o-potty before you have to go
They had hundreds of port-o-potties lining the field we were in,
yet each one still had a line of 20+ people… so get in line before you really have to go.
3. Switch up Water & Gatorade
Okay so every mile they will have water and gatorade stations for you,
this is strategic. Make sure to switch between the two, someone way
smarter than us has come up with the reasoning behind it,
but I followed it and it really does help.
4. Don’t go in a slower corral to run with a friend
okay this sounds mean, but races won’t let a slower-timed
runner go in to an earlier corral with you, they will only let you
go to the later corral with them.
Terrible idea, this means that the ENTIRE RACE you are going to be behind
people who are walking or VERY slowly jogging, which means you will be weaving in and
out of people the entire time, making it nearly impossible
to get your desired time. It also tears up your knees. Lesson Learned.
5. Don’t start out of the gate too fast
Okay so this is definitely my weak point, I was never a long-distance
runner growing up, I always did sprints.
Well being the competitive person that I am,
I started off the race at a faster pace than I trained at and ended up
getting a cramp around mile 3…. which totally negated the time I
slashed in the first 3 miles before from mile 3-5 I was running like
someone was stabbing me. Thank god it went away after mile 5 and then I was totally fine.
6. Don’t eat something you didn’t train eating (FML)
okay so anyone who knows me knows that I’m not much of bread person.
Do I like bread, yes of course, who doesn’t like bread?
But I also like to be slim (judge me whatever) so I typically
don’t eat a dry mini-bagel …. ever.
Well…. as I said before, they were out of bananas and I hadn’t eaten in several hours
so I had 1/2 of one of the mini bagels. I know that sounds like nothing, but as mentioned previously
I have a ridiculously sensitive digestive system and even eating this little amount of
dry bread before running really messed up my stomach. Just Don’t Do It.
Now if you eat bagels on the regular, than go for it, you’re going to burn it off anyways.
Just stick to what your body knows.
7. If you have to go potty during the run, Go!
There is nothing worse than having to go #2 while running…
I mean I feel like it’s literally impossible to continue on and just hold it.
At least for me its not.
The race will have port-o-potties lined up every few miles,
the first check point with potties will already have lines (race nerves I guess?)
so just wait. There will be a second check point probably a mile or 2 after the first,
and more likely than not, that check point will not have as many people in line. GO!
Also, if you’re like me and no you can’t go 2 hours without going to the restroom,
check the race website ahead of time and check to see which miles they will have
8. Stack your playlist with motivational songs around the 1 hour mark
Okay so I made the mistake of stacking a lot of my higher energy songs in the
beginning of my playlist, which really wasn’t necessary.
To be honest, the first few miles fly by because you are just so pumped up and filled
with adrenaline. Mile 6-9 is the worst.
This is the time you need some motivational tunes to really keep you going.
My best advice is around this time in the race not to think about how many more miles you have left.
Around mile 6 I start saying okay 1 more mile until I’m over half way there,
then at mile 8 okay just 2 more miles until i’m in the double digits.
9. Sprint the last .1 mile
Okay so you probably cant feel you legs,
but you can do anything for .1 of a mile and you’ll get a much
cooler finish line shot if you’re sprinting 😉
10. Post Race Nutrition
After the race there will be a zillon vendors with
freebies, take them all.
You probably won’t want half of the stuff, but just grab it anyways
because you never know how your body is going to be reacting.
For me, I actually felt really good after the race, but I felt
hella parched so I drank a gatorade and ate some of those
lunch pack things of peaches and pears.
However, my friend natalie felt extremely nautious afterwords,
so those things definitely weren’t appealing to her.
They had some super bland wheat/rice crisps
which were absolutely terrible but pretty much the only thing she could stomach.
They also have chocolate milk for people to drink afterwords,
which sounds absolutely awful and I definitely did not partake in that,
but my friend Carlee swears by it.
I’m probably forgetting a lot, but those are the top 10 tips
that I didn’t know about before completing one so hopefully
they help any other marathon newbies.