What I Learned From My First Half

1) Always ALWAYS be prepared for rain.  Double, triple, quadruple check the weather (even though that doesn’t do much good apparently) I had my rain gear set aside when I was packing everything last week, and I left it behind. It was rough this morning finding ziplock baggies to protect my iPod and camera and etc. I was also COLD this am, which was ZERO fun. Dc103 2) Get to the race earlier than early. It said online that we were supposed to be there by 6:15, but because of the rain, I kind of took my time because I didn’t want to stand out in the rain any longer than I had to. No matter how many times I use the bathroom before I leave, I always have to go again before I get in line for the race. And, I can always count on waiting in line for at least 15 minutes to do so. Lastly, plan for traffic.

3) Do more research on the terrain. I checked and re-checked the course route, and when I talked to people, no one told me it was going to be hilly. Well, it was. VERY hilly. And I didn’t train at all on or for hills. Seriously, the hills kicked my butt, and my quads.

4) Opt for races that go in non-circular routes. I did not enjoy going up a route, and then backtracking the same way. It was hard to focus when people were passing me, and then I was passing people. It is more fun to travel different ways, and not pass by the same thing more than once. Variety is the spice of running!

5)Run with less crap. After I put on my shoes, clothes, HRM, Garmin, iPod, Camelback, visor, carry my camera in my SPI belt, and put by Luna Moons in my pocket, I have a ton of crap weighing me down. It is hard for me to NOT run with any of this stuff because I feel I need it. Without the Garmin and HRM, I wouldn’t know my pace/time. Without my iPod, there would be no Britney rock out sessions to keep me trucking along. Without my visor, I wouldn’t have been able to see with the rain going in my eyes. I guess I could have done without the camera, but that didn’t weigh me down much. The Camelback was heavy, but I can’t NOT have water with me at all times. Its another mental thing. I don’t drink much water when I run, but I need it there. Some people were running with nothing today. No water, no music, no hat, NOTHING. How do they do it?

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6) Run with a friend! It was fun planning everything with the bride and talking about our different training runs was awesome. It was fun to have her family down there supporting me, and mine was down there supporting her as well. Here are a few pictures of the bride and I hanging out post race:

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7) Tie pony tail in braid when running in the rain. Why did no one tell me this? My hair was a literal rat’s nest when I finished. I had to shampoo and condition my hair 5 times to get it all de-tangled! It was definitely a hot mess! NOT cute!

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8) Travel with a solid support group.Knowing my boyf and mom were at the finish line made me feel really awesome. I am so thankful that they came down to Annapolis to see me complete my first Half Marathon. It was also great to have the bride and her family cheer me on too. Thanks everyone for your support!

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9) Enjoy cupcakes post run! Definitely a necessity!

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10) Post run, throw on your Recovery Socks, sit back, relax and take a nap. This all should be done while watching multiple discs of Sex and the City! At least, that’s how I spent my day!

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Thank you everyone in the blog world. It makes me feel so good when I get a message of support from all my readers! It has been wonderful to share my running experiences with you! You all are amazing!

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  • Reply Suzanne May 31, 2009 at 10:19 pm

    Congratulations on finishing your first half marathon!! It’s no easy feat and you should be amazed by all you have accomplished!

  • Reply Gen May 31, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    congrats on finishing the race…in the rain! Running hills are absolutely treacherous!

  • Reply Tiff May 31, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Congratulations on completing your first half marathon! It’s a great accomplishment.

  • Reply ~Mrs. Guru~ May 31, 2009 at 11:21 pm


  • Reply dailygoods June 1, 2009 at 9:37 am

    a HUGE congrats to you! and you are such a speed demon! thanks for all the tips, they will be much needed for my upcomign half in sept! you are SUCh an inspiration!

  • Reply healthy ashley June 1, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Huge congrats on finishing your first half!! How exciting! Loved the lessons learned, too!

    Getting there early is HUGE. I don’t run with any water so I just hydrate at whatever stops they have. I usually just clip my iPod shuffle on, throw fuel in my sports bra or my shorts if there is a little pocket and will sometimes wear a visor. For me I feel like I can’t run if I have a lot of things!

    GOOD JOB!!!

  • Reply talesofexpansion June 1, 2009 at 11:18 am

    yayyyy, congrats!!! what a weekend of success for us, right? i can’t believe you had to run in the rain — i think i would have cried. you pulled through amazingly, tangles and all. and now it is done!!! 🙂 amazing job, and thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Missy June 1, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Congrats on your half!! It is such an amazing accomplishment! Thanks for all the good tips too!

  • Reply Jenny June 1, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    those socks are AWESOMEE!!

  • Reply Lacey Nicole June 1, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    i have watched every single sex and the city episode (in order) cuz i had all the dvds (borrowed). hehe. so good!!! i love that pic of you in the trashbag. i hate being cold before starting races esp cuz you usually have to wait so long!!! this is a great list!!! you have to start somewhere right?

    question– did the holey donuts ever get sent out?? is there a way to track it? i was home over the weekend and they hadn’t gotten there yet. my parents’ house is in rural NH so does that matter for shipping???

  • Reply Texan Couture June 2, 2009 at 10:51 am

    Awesome Congrats!

    And I need to get a pair of those socks googling them now!

  • Reply Andrea (Off Her Cork) June 2, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Loved this post! It was so cute and totally true. 😀 And where can I score some socks like that! Those are awesome. 🙂

  • Reply Jules June 3, 2009 at 10:49 pm

    I just wanted to congratulate you on finishing your 1st half marathon! That is quite impressive and I have to give you a lot of credit.

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