I met up with Heather W. at a local half marathon this weekend. She had a fabulous race! We ran together the first 7 miles, but then I started feeling sluggish. It was her first half marathon and she finished in 1:58. Way to go Heather! Wish I could have kept that perfect pace with you. I, however, had a less-than-stellar race, as they often are for me. (Finished in 2:00:25, and my goal was under 2 hours.) But since I learned a few things in the process, I'm sharing them with you. Maybe these things will help you to have a better race!
1. If I don't commit early enough to a race, I don't train quite enough. I wavered back and forth about this race for weeks, which made my training only so-so. I put in enough work to finish, but not to get the ideal time. I need to commit early with my $$ so that I can commit in my training.
2. Don't get me wrong, though. It is still amazing that I ran 13.1 miles in one session. My body is cool like that. I'm learning more and more about how important running form is. If you are running efficiently, you can feel like you're resting, not laboring.
3. I need to work more on the mental part of racing. I find it very easy to talk myself out of pushing hard. I guess I need to practice this every week or two by pushing really hard in a workout run. Any other ideas? I've done some of the positive thinking stuff with success, but I couldn't think myself past the three-mile wall I hit on Saturday.
4. My chest cold is not completely gone. And I need to address my asthma with my doctor. I had a chest cold for the two weeks prior to the race. And I definitely get tight and wheezy after a run.
5. I can look very dorky when I run. I picked out a cute outfit (not quite matchy-matchy, but coordinated). Then I realized the capris I chose didn't have any pockets. One pocket was necessary to carry snacks along the way. So I went for some longer shorts -- blue and black. They looked quite dorky with my green shirt. Then I had another shirt tied around my waist. Then I had to fix my headband mid-race. I got a look at myself later and my hair was all askew. Nice. Very nice. Can't wait to see the official race photos of that get-up. Good thing no one I was with brought a camera!
6. My husband and kids love me! They made some signs while I was gone and posted them. I felt very special when I returned home.
7. I love Sport Beans by Jelly Belly. They are awesome electrolyte-filled carb bites of yumminess. I'm sorry I dropped about 5 along the way.
8. Water is my favorite beverage. I think I drank a gallon today. Easily.
9. Too often I forget to stretch thoroughly after a race. That means I'm sore longer than I need to be. Make the time to stretch!
10. Being a Marathon Mommy is awesome! Thanks for running with me, Heather. Sorry I wasn't very good company. You were, though, and I appreciate it. We'll have to try again sometime.