I official ran my half marathon in support of St. Jude Children’s Hospital on Sunday!! It felt great to have all my training pay off when I crossed the finish line. This was my second half however, my first one was five years ago and I didn’t train as well for my first half and I definitely could tell a difference. Immediately following the half marathon I was on a total runners high and was happy I finished under my goal time!
Here is the exact 12 week training program I followed for this half as well as my first half. I scheduled the long runs for Saturdays because that is what worked best with my schedule and it was nice to get the long run out of the way and be able to relax and recover on Sunday.
I drank a ton of water all weekend, my goal was 150 ounces a day! The night before I focused more on Gatorade for the added benefits leading up to the morning of the race and did not do any work outs three days before. I had pizza and salad the night before which wasn’t uncommon for me to have the night before my long runs during my training so I knew it wouldn’t upset my stomach and it gave me enough carbs. The morning of, I had a full Gatorade with an RX Bar. This is exactly what I practiced doing on a few long runs to make sure my stomach didn’t hurt or I didn’t cramp up, don’t try anything new the day before/morning of a race!
DURING THE ROCK N’ ROll HALF MARATHON
I was so nervous, but tried to just relax and enjoy it. I grabbed water and gatorade at each station and took these energy chews along the way.(Tip: skip the beginning of hydration line and keep running, the volunteers at the end station never have a line!) Seeing the band stages throughout the race was fun and reading the crowds funny signs was amusing along the way. I was mentally fully in the race all the way up to mile 8 and then, a huge hill!! When I got tired, I focused on how lucky I am to have a healthy body that is able to run and how hard I had trained for it and reminded myself I could do it! At the end of the day races are supposed to be fun and thats what I trained for!
POST RACE AND RECOVERY
Immediately after crossing the finish line I kept moving. I walked around and did some moderate stretching before sitting down. I had a mini massage at the hospitality tent and tried to keep the liquids flowing and take in as much Gatorade as possible because it has added sodium, electrolytes and potassium to help replace everything that was lost during the 13.1 miles. The day after I did some light stretching and this yoga sequence. I did that sequence after my long runs as well. Two days post race I felt fully rehydrated again and had a full body massage to help ease any additional tension that was still in my muscles, it felt great! I highly recommend treating yourself to a massage a few days post race!
1. Once my long runs started to become longer I had some issues with my sunscreen sweating into my eyes which wasn’t pleasant. I ordered this lightweight hat that really helped protectant my face and eyes from the sun and I would only apply my sunscreen from the nose down so I didn’t have any issues with it getting in my eyes.
2. I HIGHLY recommend these socks for anyone who runs more than a few miles at a time. During the middle of my training regimen I began to get routine blisters in-between my toes from friction and moisture which didn’t feel great during the run and post run. After some research and reading some other runners comments I came across these socks on Amazon and the reviews spoke for themselves!! Since wearing these on my long runs and some short runs all my blisters are gone. I was initially worried they would feel weird on my toes and be distracting my entire workout but I was pleasantly surprised how comfortable they were and I didn’t even notice them during my runs. If you’re a runner or plan to start a program you need these socks! They were my lifesaver on half marathon day!
3. At the beginning of my 12 week training program I was content with using my ear buds that came with my iPhone. They did the job and I was able to change songs or adjust my music easily however the cord did become a nuisance as my runs became longer. I’d thread the cord down the collar of my shirt to avoid my arm movement from knocking them out of my ears which was helpful but it did cause the cord to either become too loose and crawling up leading to having too much slack around my neck or the cord crawling down and forcing my earbuds to loosen which lead to me readjusting the cord every half mile or so. Eventually I became tired of always readjusting the cord and the distraction in general. I ordered the Beats wireless earbuds which have been a great investment! They pair easily to my iPhone, they hold charge well and have never died on me even after 3 hours of use. The sound quality is great but not as amplified as I had expected considering they’re Beats brand which is great for runs yet still cancel out most other sounds.
4. Although I didn’t carry this bottle with me during runs, it was great for daily hydration leading up to my workouts since I typically run in the evenings except for my long runs on the weekend. It holds quite a bit of water and is easy to clean.
5. Be sure to go to your local running store and get properly fitted for running shoes. Its very important and will only make your runs easier in the long term. I didn’t get fitted and randomly bought some Asics that were basically for someone with the opposite feet and stride as me so needless to say I was causing myself avoidable pain and discomfort. When I did get fitted properly, I picked up these Brooks that have been great, lots of cushion and toe space for when my feet swell. I love them!
6. These bars have become a staple in my running routine. I have one everyday before a run or long run on the weekends. They have lots of protein and keep me full for the duration of my runs.
7. I ate these every few miles during my half marathon. They aren’r gummy and didn’t get stuck in my teeth but had a good amount of carbs and sugars to help keep me energized as my body started to get tired. Be sure to practice on your long runs exactly what you plan to eat on race day so there isn’t any surprises!