this past sunday was the nike womens half marathon in dc. last year i ran this race as my first half marathon, since i have done a full marathon and an 11 miler and then sunday i ran in the second annual nwhmdc! it’s such an amazing race, “15,000 women and a few good men” as the announcer kept saying at the start line, were running and the energy was awesome! the weather was also perfect, not too hot but sunny so you didn’t freeze if you were wearing shorts and a tank top. plus you can’t really beat running around the nations capital, there are so many amazing sights that there is rarely a day that is too ugly for a run.
i had a decent race, a bit slower than i wanted because my ankle was still bothering me from when i twisted it during the marine corps 17.75k. but i had fun and finished in the upright position and didn’t want to die for the last three miles (which tends to happen to me)! it also was the perfect way for me to get excited for my summer training which will be starting next week!
my tips for running a half marathon (or longer):
1. pick a race that is going to be fun and have good on course entertainment, especially if you’re anything like me and running for more than 20 minutes seems completely unbearable because of the boredom factor
2. get fitted for a proper pair of shoes- i can’t stress this enough, go to a running store and have your gait analyzed and get a recommendation for a good shoe. this can make or break a race
3. train in those shoes, don’t buy new shoes to race in after one month prior to the race, you need at least one month of training in them to break them in
4. train and run with a buddy system. having someone there to push you when you think you can’t do it anymore is so great, plus it also helps with the boredom factor i mentioned in tip #1!
5. don’t worry about time, unless you’re trying to qualify for boston or another race don’t focus so much on your time, instead focus on having fun and enjoying the race as much as possible! this way you’ll probably finish faster than anticipated anyways because you won’t be stressing about it!
6. hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! before, during, and after the race hydration should be your most important focus, stop at every water station even if you’re not thirsty
7. carb load the day before but not that night, last year i was so with having a big pasta dinner the night before the race but then the morning of the race i was still feeling the aftermath of eating so much pasta, this year i carb loaded 2 days before and for lunch before the race but for dinner the night before had a light dinner of salmon, rice and veggies! i felt so much better on sunday morning!
8. trust your training and run your own race. there are always going to be people who are faster than you and who are slower than you, stop worrying about everyone else and run your own race. the fact that you are running a half marathon is amazing, trust your training to get you across the finish line and be proud of yourself for finishing no matter the time.
9. have fun. try and enjoy every mile, you’ve trained long and hard for this, now enjoy it.