today's featured blogger is rachel from running on happy. she recently completed her own first half marathon, and has plenty of advice to give! it always helps to hear from a fellow newbie :)
what was your first
half marathon? My first half was the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon on May 18!
how long had you been
running before you decided to tackle the half marathon distance? I have been running steadily since 2010. I was pregnant with
my second child in 2013, and was recently back into the swing of things when I
decided (via peer pressure from running pals) to take the plunge!
did you use a
training plan to prepare for the race? if so, which one? I did. I used Hal
Higdon’s Intermediate Training Guide. I had just completed the Papa John’s
10-Miler in Louisville, KY (part of the Triple Crown of Running) and used his
intermediate plan for that race as well. I picked up at week 7. (http://www.halhigdon.com/training/51132/Half-Marathon-Intermediate-Training-Program)
did you have any
goals going in to the race? I didn’t do well in the 10-miler despite months of training,
and I really wanted to prove to myself that I could beat a certain time. I was
really disappointed in myself. For the half, I was aiming for 2:00 finish.
did you have any
worries going in to the race? how did it turn out? Fortunately I had zero worries. I’m shocked, to be quite
honest. I was a wreck before the 10-miler. Maybe I had used up all my anxiety
for that race instead. I had a great day.
what kind of fueling
strategy did you use during the race? During long training runs I used Jelly Belly Sport Beans and
water when needed. My strategy, however, was to carbo-load and hydrate in the
days leading up to the race. I planned to focus solely on running and not worry
about fuel. I did end up fueling during the race, toward the end.
what was the
highlight of the race for you? The highlight was definitely my finish. I normally finish
and feel like I’m in shambles. I can’t focus, I dry heave (not every race, I’m
getting better!), or I just want to go home immediately. This time I pulled out
my earbuds for the last half-mile so I could take in all of my surroundings.
Hear and see the crowd, hear the drums just before the finish line. It was
amazing. I finished strong and proud.
how did you celebrate
after finishing your first half marathon? With food. Lots and lots of food. And of course by placing
my hard-earned 13.1 car decal on my car!
have you done/are you
planning to do more half marathons? why or why not? When I crossed the finish line I said no. But within 30
minutes of my finish I was already deciding on my next one.
what advice do you
have for a runner going in to their first half marathon? Relax. Trust the training. And enjoy it. You’ve worked hard
all these months preparing for your first long race. Don’t ruin it by being
anxious or stressed out. Just have fun.
check out more from rachel on her blog, and follow her along on twitter and facebook! thanks again for contributing! -b