This week’s “Take It and Run Thursday” topic over at the Runner’s lounge is the Half Marathon. I’m not sure I can impart any great wisdom on how to run your best half, but I can probably tell you what not to do. ;o)
13 has always been a good number for me. My first “date” with Beer Geek was on Friday the 13th. We were married a year later on Saturday the 13th. My dad’s birthday is on a 13. At one point, Beer Geek and I had a huge list of lucky 13s. Too bad I’ve misplaced it LOL.
I’m not exactly sure why I love the “middle” distance races. Probably because I’ll never be fast enough to get an age group award at the shorter distances and at this point in my life, I just don’t have the time to train for a full marathon again. I’ve only raced one half marathon and it was a horrible race for me, perhaps the worst I’ve ever had. Yet I came away from that race with the feeling that I’d found a great distance for me. Long enough to be a challenge, but not so long that my only goal would be to finish. My marathon training really cemented this feeling for me. I run without an ipod and I can easily do a 13-15 mile run without getting bored. After that point, I just want to be done.
I’ve already signed up for two halfs this year, with three more I’m considering. So, here’s what I’m doing to prepare and what I won’t be doing this time around.
1. Speed work – I really want to break the 2 hour mark this year.
2. Hills – Running lots of hills during marathon training made me stronger. I’d like to keep that up.
3. Max out at least 15 miles – Before my last half, I’d only ever run a few 12 milers. I’d never gone the full distance. I want to get to a point where I am strong for the whole distance.
1. No going to the beach the day beforehand – starting a race already dehydrated is not a smart game plan.
2. Eat enough carbs in the days leading up to the race – I just plain didn’t eat enough the day before my first half.
3. Get cocky – I was sure I was going to finish in under 2 hours last time, so I pushed hard at the start. Not one of my smarter moves.
My best advice? Respect the distance. It’s not a marathon, but it’s still a heck of a long ways, so put some thought and time into your training and it will be a fun experience.