01 02 03 corral b.: featured friday: 6/20 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

featured friday: 6/20


today's featured blogger is sara from lake shore runner. she also lives in chicago and i love reading her experiences in running in our shared city. she also has an incredible story of pushing herself to be able to run after having screws put in to her ankle; so inspiring!

what was your first half marathon?
July 2011 – Chicago Rock ‘N’ Roll Half Marathon

how long had you been running before you decided to tackle the half marathon distance?
I had been an athlete my entire life playing basketball, softball, and volleyball. I obviously had to run in these sports but wasn’t doing to many long runs for fun. I would occasionally go on real long runs during basketball to keep my endurance up – 13 miles. My senior year of high school I had to have my ankle fuzed which resulted in 2 screws in my ankle. Doctors said I would never be able to run again.  I decided a doctor was not going to stop me. In college I was always in the gym lifting weights, using the elliptical, or running on the treadmill. I never did long runs but occasionally would go on 3 to 5 mile runs. The summer right after college I needed something to occupy my time while looking for a job. I decided what better way to fill my time than running a half marathon. To get back to the question I would say I have run all my life but it probably wasn’t till I started training that I ran long distances.

did you use a training plan to prepare for the race? if so, which one?
Yes – Hal Higdon Novice 2 Half Marathon Plan

did you have any goals going in to the race?
I wanted to run it under 2:00 hours and finish of course!

did you have any worries going in to the race? how did it turn out?
I did get nervous right at the starting line. These are the thoughts that went through my head: What if I can’t do this? What if I feel sick? Am I going to faint? 13.1 miles is faraway. Can I do this? What if my ankle starts to hurt? What if one of the screws breaks? Basically all the negative thoughts possible went through my head.

It all ended up great. I finished the marathon and did it way faster than I expected – 1:47!

what kind of fueling strategy did you use during the race?
I was very very new to running for this race. I knew nothing about fueling before or during a race. I have learned lots and lots since then. Before the race I ate a Cliff bar (don’t think I have had another one since) and a banana. I did not eat anything during the race and don’t think I drank much either – huge no no. Knowing what I know now I would have run my 1st race much differently. But if it wasn’t for that first race I wouldn’t have learned all I know about health, nutrition, and running as I do today.

what was the highlight of the race for you?
The finish line! Knowing I accomplished something that a few years prior I would never have thought would be possible.

how did you celebrate after finishing your first half marathon?
Went and had a nice big bloody mary from Stretch with my parents. At mile 11 all I did was visualize that bloody mary and know I was oh so close to having it.

have you done/are you planning to do more half marathons? Why or why not?
I have done 1 other half marathon this past winter – F3 Lake Shore Winter Half Marathon. It was 0 degrees.

I have done a lot of half marathons unofficially training for 2 marathons since my first half marathon. I am looking forward to running 2 half marathon races while training for my 3rd marathon this summer – Chicago Rock ‘N’ Roll Half Marathon & Magnificent Mile Women’s Half.

what advice do you have for a runner going in to their first half marathon?
Enjoy every moment of it! This sounds very cliché and I don’t like when people tell me this because I always want to beat my previous time. But this is your first race and a benchmark for more races to come. You can never have your first race back! I remember mine like it was yesterday. At mile 12 I decided I would never do one of these again. Since then I have run many more races and completed two marathons! My first half marathon is what got me addicted to running!

 check out more from sara on her blog, and follow her along on twitter and instagram! thanks again for contributing!


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