Well the weekend finally arrived for the big scary half marathon. I was so not ready for it. I hurt my toe really bad about a week and a half before the race and I quit running. My longest run before I quit was only 6.7 miles (which is about half). I went home for 2 weeks in February and I ate a lot of really good food and only went running twice. All those things didn’t stop me though. And here are the tricks that I did to survive the 13.1 miles and finish with a smile.
- Spice girls radio on Pandora. The music was upbeat. It was all the greatest (annoying) pop music from my jr. high and high school days. I had never listened to the station before so it was fun to hear all the oldies but goodies all over again.
- Excedrin at the start line. Maybe I shouldn’t announce this to the world, but it was amazing how much it helped. It was a burst of caffeine and a pain reliever all at once. I have my running buddy, Amy, to thank for this one.
- Speaking of my running buddy, Amy, she was a life saver. She’s my good friend’s sister. She was the perfect person to run the race with for two reasons. One, I know her well enough that it wasn’t awkward and two, I don’t talk to her very often so for the entire race we never ran out of things to talk about. It was magic and made the time go by so fast! And we were able to keep each other going.
- The refueling stations were perfect. Fresh oranges and licorice were the snacks of choice for both Amy and I. Then the Gatorade and the water just sealed the deal. (Hint: Fold the paper cups in half and pour the drink into your mouth. It saves you from spilling everywhere.)
- I got a massage afterward. If your race has them for free, take advantage. They’re heavenly.
- I went into it with no expectations of how I would do. I mostly just wanted to finish. Amy and I kept a pretty steady pace and only stopped once because I had to go to the bathroom. And can I just say I’m proud of how we did. Our time wasn’t super fast, but we were pretty consistent the whole race and that’s saying something considering it was 13.1 miles.
The two worst parts of the whole thing were.
- Training with two babies. The double jogging stroller is a beast. Scheduling runs around nap times is a beast. Waking up all night with sick or cranky babies makes waking up to run the next morning miserable. I will probably wait until they’re a little older before I do anything this ambitious again.
- Recovery. All day Saturday I thought my legs were never going to work again. My hip joints and knees (from all the impact of running on pavement) felt terrible. I couldn’t go up or down stairs, carry my babies anywhere, or get on or off the couch. It was raining off and on during the race and so my shoes and socks were wet. My feet were pruney and sensitive and hurt to put any weight on them the rest of the day. It was a long day of feeling miserable. I’m still a little sore today but nothing like Saturday.
I claim I won’t do another one again, but don’t be surprised if I do. You never know right?!?