All of the training was so worth it. I set a PR of 1:57:04 and am so happy to have made my goal of under 2 hours! Thank you so much for all of your support in the BMW Dallas Half Marathon.
I hope that by sharing my story I’ve inspired some of you to take up running or find something healthy you are passionate about!
A lot of you have reached out saying you want to train for next year or are currently getting ready for a half so I thought it would be helpful to share a race recap as well as a few questions you’ve sent. If you want to get a head start, you can already sign up for the 2018 BMW Dallas Marathon here.
Here is a whole post on the exact 20 week training program I followed. I scheduled the long runs for Saturdays because that is what worked with my schedule, but make it work for you! In prep for my first half marathon last February, I never did any cross training. This time I switched from 5 runs/week down to 3 or 4 so that I could keep up with Pilates or stairs 2-3 days a week!
Cross training is really what helped improve my pace.
I drank a ton of water all weekend (so important) and did not do any work outs the two days before. I had brown rice and vegetables from Pei Wei (my favorite!) the night before. The morning of, I had Black Iced Coffee with a Think Thin Bar. I had to have my Gall Bladder removed years ago so testing out what I could eat was really important. This is exactly what I practiced doing on a few long runs to make sure my stomach didn’t hurt.
You don’t want to try anything new the day before/morning of a race!
During the BMW HALF MARATHON
I was so nervous, but tried to just relax and enjoy it. I grabbed water at each station and took these energy chews along the way. Finding my family at mile 3 was really fun! The cheering crowds, a good playlist and all of the pretty Christmas decorations honestly made the race fly by!
When I got tired, I focused on how lucky I am to have a healthy body that is able to run and how hard I had trained for it. At the end of the day races are supposed to be fun!
So much of it is mentally encouraging yourself.
Post Race and Recovery
Immediately following the half marathon I was on a total runners high and couldn’t wipe a smile off my face!
I kept moving right after so that the muscles could slowly relax, used a foam roller, took a long epsom salt bath (so helpful), and treated myself to a massage at the Joule Hotel.
The massage was a nice thing to look forward to during the race!
Your Questions and Answers
Q: Would love to know what strategy/plan you followed to get into running. I know it’s been 2 years since you first began but would love to know how you got started. Congrats again on your great finish in the half!
A: When I started dating my boyfriend he was training for his 5th half marathon and I could barely run half of a mile. After his race, I was inspired to pick up running and he said you should try it with me! I would walk/run until I could run without stopping for 2 miles. Then it slowly started to get easier and I began to really love it!
You can read this post to learn about the exact training program I used.
Q: Hey girl! Any tips on knocking time off? My goal is under 2hrs but haven’t pulled it off yet. I can run the first few miles pretty fast and then I just lose steam.
A: A few things that helped me: Practice long runs slower and short runs at half marathon pace, add in sprints 1 day a week, include cross training – pilates really helped me strengthen my core and upper body.
Q: Can’t wait for this post! Do you have pain from running? My biggest problems with running lately has been knee pain and hip pain. Any remedies you use? Thank you!
A: Epsom salt baths, (you want plain unscented epsom salts) massages, and foam rolling. I used to get really sore in my ankles and shoulders when I first started running but the more I did it the less sore I would get over all. Check with a Dr. if the pain is severe.
Q: Did you get really hungry or eat more when training?
A: Yes! I try to add in more brown rice, oatmeal with bananas and peanut butter, smoothies and protein bars for extra energy.
Q: I saw you use Bluetooth / wireless headphones – which I need to get for myself, but I’m wondering if you link them up to your phone or watch?
A: For headphones – I wear the Beats wireless and listen to my own playlists from my Apple Watch unless I bring my phone with me too! You can do either one. (I always bring my phone with me if I’m running alone ever since I had a bad fall while training one day!)
Q: Is there a website or app you use to keep your music fresh and not repetitive? Or do you just make your own new playlists?
A: I like to use iTunes to make my own playlists every few months. Here is my current run playlist: https://itunes.apple.com/us/playlist/run-17/pl.u-oZyl39gtRxjLq9
Q: What running app do you use on your watch?
A: The Apple Watch comes with a great fitness App that I love to use for all of my workouts. The distance/heart rate is pretty accurate.
*Thank you to BMW Dallas Marathon for being such an amazing partner over the last few months and for you guys and all of your encouraging messages!
I grabbed water at each station and took these energy chews along the way.
I loved seeing my family at mile 3! Might be a little biased, but I think my Dad had the best sign, lol! #DoItForTheGram #RunBMWDallas
Loved running in my home town of Dallas! This race goes through Downtown, Turtle Creek, (we actually ran right by my apartment building) Highland Park, Greenville Ave. and more!
Post race outfit selfie! Had to include the metal!
Picking up the race bibs at the expo is when my nerves started to kick in! I got to meet Shalane Flanagan which was pretty cool! I started following her on instagram a while ago and she is such an inspiration – so sweet in person too!
My first half Marathon time was 2:20:50 last February in Austin. I set a PR of 1:57:04 for this race and my goal was to finish in under 2 hours! I just ran as fast as I could and never looked back!