Monday, May 7, 2012

My First Half Marathon

It’s almost summer time, and those of you that know me know that I like to run races in allergy season. No, I’m not crazy; I just like to challenge my body and what better way to do it that pound the pavement with other crazy folk before the weather gets all hot and sticky?

But this week holds a special significance for me because on Sunday, May 6th, I ran my first half marathon! For those not familiar with the mileage on these things, this means I competed with thousands of other people to finish off a 13.1 mile race. That’s right: 13.1 miles! I’m on my way to a full blown marathon.

Now, I may seem pretty excited but the hours after the run yesterday were anything but exciting. I felt a little like someone else had taken over my body and I was feeling their pain, not mine. As an avid exerciseaholic (yes, I made up a word), I sometimes underestimate the pain that comes with new fitness experiences because I usually like workout pain. This was on a whole different plane though, and when I analyze it I understand why. I ran that race and did not stop once. Yes, for about two hours, I did not stop once.

Anyway, pain aside, you must be able to tell that I am extremely proud of myself. Though it was painful, it was one of the most exhilarating experiences at the same time. Knowing that I could control my body to achieve something most people can’t made me feel good. And although I know that the rules usually discourage music, I’m so grateful I had my run playlist. If you’re building your own ‘Power Playlist’, I’ll share a few of the songs on mine in a future post so that you have some ideas. All I can say is music does really push you further. Well, that and the gentleman's voice on my Nike+ iPod app. He is amazing :)

What preparation worked for me? 
  • Not running the day before. I was so tempted to just get a few minutes in, but I’m glad I didn’t. It gave my muscles and joints a chance to relax, especially my knees and ankles.
  • Eating that morning. About an hour before the race began, I had a bagel to keep my energy up. I usually don’t eat before my runs, but I’m glad I did.
  • Stuffing some energy food in my running pouch. I am one of those runners who hates carrying anything when I run. But I stuck a mini energy paste sachet in the pouch of my pants, and I’m glad I did because I needed it between mile 8 and 9.

I did make one mistake though. I did yoga a couple of days before my run to relax, and almost hurt my knee in crow pose. I’m pretty glad God spared me there. However, the lesson I took from that is that when you’re supposed to be taking it easy, do workouts that don’t have the tendency to hurt you. I mean, what’s the point if training if you get hurt at the last minute?

So a big thank you to all those who supported me on Twitter and Facebook! If you have any marathon stories to share, we’d love to hear them.

Cheers Eights & Weights!

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