13.1 Lessons Learned

After months of training the big day finally arrived!  This past Saturday I ran my first half marathon.  I am happy to say I finished!  I was initially upset with my finish time, but have since changed my tune.  I ran/jogged 13.1 freaking miles and I am proud of myself no matter how long it took!  I worked hard for months getting in shape, preparing and getting myself ready for this and I DID IT!

A week ago I was asking myself why I signed up for this and saying I will never do another one.  As I was running that last 4 miles Saturday all I could think about was what I can do better next time.  Your first half is all about learning!  

That's me in the white shirt in the middle crossing the start line.

Here are some lessons I learned...

1.  Socks matter!  There is nothing better than a good pair of running socks.  I recommend Balega Hidden Socks.  
2.  Strength Training is very important so don't leave it out of your training plan.  I didn't see the importance of this and let it go.  Sunday I woke with sore arms and shoulders and had a "aha" moment!  So make sure you do those push ups and planks.
3.  Cross Training is a must.  You don't need to run everyday and kill your legs, but you do need that cardio so go for swim, use the elliptical, ride your bike or take a walk.
4.  Your tata's will thank you if you wear a good supportive sports bra.
5.  Don't do a 10 mile run 3 weeks before the half and think you are good to go.  Follow your training program all the way to the end.  Especially those long runs, they are important.  Major lesson learned here!
6.  Wearing the right amount of clothes is key.  Take whatever the temperature is and add 20 to it.  That is how warm you will be after a couple miles.  It was 39 at the start of the run and in the 50's by the end.  So glad I stuck with shorts and t-shirt.
7.  Getting FIT for shoes is a must.  It only takes a couple minutes for them to figure out which type of shoe is best for your foot.  You might find you are wearing the wrong size shoe.  So pleased with my Brooks.
8.  Fuel is a big deal!  Gu, Chomps, Honey Stinger and Huma to name are few.  I ran out of gas around mile 10 because I was hungry.  My belly was growling big time and I couldn't eat the Honey Stinger Chews fast enough.  My problem is that the gels upset my stomach and the chews didn't help enough.  I have since learned if you have a sensitive stomach to give the Huma energy gel's a try.  They are 100% natural.  I will be trying this on my long run this weekend.
9.  WATER, WATER, WATER!  Drink your water and make sure you drink a lot of it the days before the race.  Drink it right up til 30 minutes before the start of your race.
10.  Make sure you eat good the days before the race.  Stay away from processed foods.  Eat your carbs.  I really messed up here.  Friday morning I had an egg white delite from McDonald's, had a small lunch and than for supper I ate half a burger and baked waffle fries.  What was I thinking!!
11.  Get up and eat a good breakfast.  Half a bagel with peanut butter and a banana.  
12.  Get a good night's sleep!  Being well rested is key.
13.  Don't set a goal so high you can't reach it.  I started out with an impossible goal.  Soon as I realized it I changed it, but it was still to high of a goal for my first half.  Try to just enjoy the run and be happy that you finished your first half.
.1 If you are like me and don't do well with the gel/chews check out this great article I found with some great mid run snacks.

I wish you well as you prepare for your half marathon!  I sure did enjoy mine and learned so much to better prepare for my next one.  I signed up to the Bridge Street Half in April 2015.  Can't wait to torture myself some more.

Finally the finish line is in site!

Seeing my friends cheering me on!


Amanda, Mindy, Britney, Jackie, me and Jennifer

DeeAnn, Carrie and Me (FINISHERS)

A breakdown of my Half:

Thank for stopping by and have a fabulous week!

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