The feeling when I crossed the finish line of my first half marathon was amazing! The endorphins were flowing. It was Runners high.
Some days I love running and some days I find it really exhausting. On the day of the race, it felt like running came natural. I don’t know if it was the cheering crowds or that fact that I had mentally prepared myself, but the 2+ hours flew by. Luke and I were running together and at mile 3 I turned to him and asked if we had gone a mile yet. I was enjoying the views of Austin so much that I hadn’t even noticed the mile marker signs!
At miles 4 and 8 we took energy chews. At each water station we drank. It got really hard at Mile 12 because it is a steep uphill climb. Since Dallas is so flat, I hadn’t practiced doing any inclines so this really killed my time. Now I know that I need to add in more incline work if I want to improve my pace.
The weather was one of the warmest/most humid race days for the Austin Marathon which made it more difficult, but something about the adrenaline rush helped me push through. It wasn’t until the three hour car ride home that I really started to feel sore in my knees and hips!
Oh and the blisters set in, I’ll be wearing flip flops and bandaids for a few days, lol…
It was such an incredible feeling of accomplishment that at the end of the day, I was ready to sign up for another race and scheduled my next runs in my calendar!
This time last year I could barely run half a mile, now I’m addicted.
I hope the notes above encourage you to start running, sign up for a race or find a new workout you love! Here is the 20 week plan we used.
A Few things that helped me get though it:
2. The Proper Shoes: Try out different shoes. I’m a neutral runner and after getting blisters on every toe and some trial and error, I went up a full size and wore these thicker socks. I still got bad blisters during the race, but I didn’t notice them until the final mile. These blister bandaids have helped tremendously.
3. Cheering: I prayed throughout the run and told myself I could do it. I focused on subtracting each mile when I hit a marker. I also loved the live music, motivating signs and cheering crowds! My parents came to watch and when I saw them on the sidelines at Mile 6, it gave me an extra bolt of energy.
4. Good Nutrition: The night before a long run, I usually tried to have some brown rice with vegetables and edamame to fill me up. I amped up my calories the week leading up to the race. I made sure to pack the coffee, breakfast bars and Organic energy chews that I always practiced with in my training. (It is important not to try anything new if you have a sensitive stomach.)
The night before the race, we ate at P.F. Chang’s so that I could get my usual brown rice and edamame fix.
5. Extra Water: I’ve always been a big water drinker, but never like I am now. It takes a lot of extra hydration throughout the week to be able to keep up on the long run days. The week leading up to the race I always kept a large water bottle with me and even though it was extremely humid the day of the race, I felt hydrated.
6. A Running Partner: It helped so much that Luke and I trained for this race together. Even if you can’t run at the same times, having someone to text and say ‘I ran this morning and this was my time!’ really helps to keep yourself accountable.
For those asking if I’m keeping up with the running, we are starting over on this less intense twenty week build up plan below! On Mondays and Wednesdays I do Pilates and if there is a day where I’m too tired to run, I skip it. Let me know if you are going to join!
TEE // SHOES // HEAD PHONES // energy chews // RUNNING BELT