After all the hype and worrying about it, it came and went so fast. I can now officially say that I have run a half marathon and it was one of the most amazing accomplishments of my life! I never thought in a million years that I would have the energy, stamina, technique or mental strength to run a half. After all, I sort of did everything wrong…..I didn’t follow a training plan, didn’t train enough (according to the experts) and didn’t eat right all the time either. Did I mention that the usual family chaos happened and I missed the starting bell?
However despite all this, here’s how I did everything wrong and still ran a successful half marathon in 2hrs 30min.
Training & Nutrition
Approximately 10 weeks off and on, running distances of 5km, 10km and even up to 25km on occasion. All very inconsistently and intermittently dispersed between bouts of extreme “summer bbq eating” and too many glasses of wine.
4 physio sessions in the 3 weeks prior to the race in order to fix a joint problem in my ankle. The pain went away so therefore this seemed to be a success.
Lemon water all day long, every day. This has been a consistent theme in my life for 5 months now and the benefits have been amazing. I believe that somehow this must have helped me!
Decided last minute that I needed a cute new outfit for the race. I bought new everything. New shorts, tank top, underwear, bra, socks and headband. Then I wore it all for the first time on race morning. Haha! Turned out well though, I felt good in my new outfit and nothing bothered me on the run. Except the headband which did not stay put but it was a minor detail. I also decided the night before to ditch my cumbersome fuel belt. That meant only relying on the water stations for hydration. I had never run without my own water before and it did make me nervous but the idea of running without it sounded even better. Luckily the race was well equipped with more than enough water and Gatorade stations.
Bought new snacks at the grocery store the night before the race. Small packages of nuts and dried fruits. New brand, totally untested but tasted great and really hit the spot while running!
Smoothie (Banana, spinach, peanut butter, ice and vanilla soy milk), water and Gatorade. All seemed to go down well. We got to the race early, parked the car, went to the bathroom and then it happened. We got separated in the crowd after a trip to the bathroom and by the time we all found each other again, I missed the starting bell. The kids were whining for snacks when I realized that I had missed the starting bell. The runners took off on to the course and I had to run in the opposite direction to get to the back and cross the starting line in order to activate my chip. I think I was literally the last runner to cross the starting line. I also had to sprint to catch up to closest group of runners. Totally crazy way to start. My earbuds weren’t in, my music wasn’t set, my headband wasn’t in place, I had no time to decide if I was running with or without sunglasses and most importantly I wasn’t mentally ready. But there was no time to think about, I just had to run! And so I did
The race was perfect. Beautiful scenery around the water, easy and clear markers, great crowd, an overall great course. The best part was coming around to the last 5km and seeing my family waiting for me. Some I expected to see and others completely surprised me by showing up to support me. It was overwhelmingly emotional to see my loved ones cheering and calling my name. As I approached the last 100 or so meters before the finish line, my niece and my daughter jumped out from the crowd and joined me. They ran with me as I crossed the finish line and it completely made the moment for me. I may have done everything wrong in preparation for this race but I must have done something right to be blessed with such an amazing family.
What have been your experiences with half marathons?
Do you follow strict plans or do you prefer to keep things open for interpretation like I did?
Share your best moment from your first half!