Facebook. Ohhh Facebook. You are truly a lovely human being because you reminded me that 6 YEARS AGO I ran my first-ever half marathon! I seriously cannot believe it has been 6 years- I have learned so much since then (my oh my how much I have learned). I wanted to share with you some things that I've since learned do not work well when training/running a half-marathon (as well as some things that I DO still recommend doing).
- Do NOT skip on your last 2 long training runs. I was starting my senior year of high school and had trouble finding 'safe' routes to run around in Syracuse, so I either cut my runs short or did them on the treadmill (but I normally never hit my mileage goal). Terrible, terrible idea.
- Do NOT stay out until 12am at a Frat party the night before your 5am wake-up call. Yeah, I haven't made this mistake since then! Even when you are completely sober, it still is not so much fun to wake-up mere hours after you come home.
- Take some sort of energy gels/gus/ chews during your race AND training runs. I don't think I started doing this until I started training for my first marathon. Ohhh I was so inexperienced!
- Invest in some body glide and use it all the time. This is a relatively newish thing for me and once you go body glide, you can't go back. It's a game-changer.
- Go pee before the race starts. I haven't made this mistake since this first race and I will never forget getting to mile 11ish and sprinting out to the woods to relieve myself because I never went before the race began!
- Drink so much water the day before the race. Our bodies are made up of it and crave it, honor that and refuel properly afterwards.
- Prepare to be sore after the race. Yeah, I had no idea how much pain I would be in....
- Know your race route. I had no clue that this race included both trails and pavement and felt totally defeated once I hit a gravel section of the path because I didn't include those on my runs!
- Be prepared to never forget your first experience! I still remember how absolutely elated I felt once I crossed that finish line. This race didn't even give out medals and I couldn't have card less (I had no idea that was even a thing)- the finish line experience was all I needed.
- Eat something before your race. I may have had a banana, but honestly can't even remember. I had no clue about nutrition and carbo-loading meant eat this entire giant plate of pasta and bread the night before your race whether you're super hungry or not. Yeah. Not the best idea to stuff-your-face before you run 13.1 miles the next morning.
The t-shirt that they gave was pretty terrible and no medals at the finish line, but this small-town race still gives me chills everytime I remember how accomplished I felt at the end! I truly had no idea my body could run that far and I road that runners-high for sometime afterwards. I actually didn't run or train for anything particular after my first 13.1 miles for a year and a half later (then I did another race, shaved over 20 minutes off my previous time and haven't looked back)!
What are some of your most memorable 13.1 mile memories?
What was your first big race and was it a life-changing experience?