A few weeks ago I wrote that I signed up for my first half marathon. I asked for suggestions from runners and friends, as running anything more than 5 miles was outside my realm of comfort. I received so much great feedback and have implemented a lot of advice during my training. I find myself 2 weeks out from my race and have put together a little list of my own advice & tie bits learned while preparing for 13.1 miles of running.
1.) Long Runs deserve a Run Buddy - Shorter runs during the week haven't been an issue, it's the longer runs on the weekend where I find myself needing extra support. Running is so much easier when you have a run buddy, someone who will help you remain accountable and support you when all you want to do is stop.
2.) HYDRATE - So simple and yet, as the days are getting shorter and colder, I find myself gravitating to more coffee than to more H20. I made the mistake of not drinking enough water before an afternoon jaunt and it ruined my run. My body was so dehydrated I felt dizzy and could only focus on getting to a water fountain. It was miserable. Now I make sure to bring my Nalgene water bottle to work and fill it up consistently throughout the day. If you need help remembering, Apple has a a few apps that helps you track your daily intake and receive reminders!
3.) Make Friends with a Foam Roller- It's a love/hate relationship but my foam roller has been useful for loosening up super tight quads and calves. I look at it like a free massage.... without the scented massage oil and tranquil spa music. YOGA compliments running nicely! As my friend Kate Bobkat says, "Run like a ninja and stretch like a swami!"
4.) Fuel the Body - I've figured out that my body likes to run on an empty stomach. Eating too close to a run makes me feel heavy, lethargic and has upset my body on more than one occasion. Because of this, I like to accomplish my runs in the AM if possible. However after my run I am all about a good meal. Usually it's a loaded smoothie or a full bowl of protein packed oatmeal. If' it's a weekend, these pancakes made with banana and oats are delicious!
5.) Running is Emotional - I battle every sort of emotion on my long runs/trail runs. I've felt so upset I want to cry, so angry I want to yell and so defeated I want to stop. I've also experienced extreme gratification, renewed self- confidence and unshakable determination. All these feelings are fleeting, some of them lasting seconds. Before I know it my run is complete and I always finish feeling fulfilled and achieved. Once it's all said and done, I reflect back and think.. "it wasn't that bad.."