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First Half Marathon - any tips?

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Old 03-18-2015, 09:51 AM   #1
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Default First Half Marathon - any tips?

I'm running my first half marathon this Sunday and nervous is an understatement.

I've been training, so I'm not concerned about finishing. It might take me forever, but I'll finish even if I have to drag my fat @ss across the finish line. lol

Mentally, I'm totally freaked out.

Any tips?
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Old 03-18-2015, 09:59 AM   #2
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Start slow. Take walk breaks on a regular schedule. Enjoy it. The 'scene' is always awesome.
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Old 03-18-2015, 11:54 AM   #3
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Just keep reminding yourself that you're there to have fun. Don't worry, you'll have a blast. Good luck!
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Old 03-18-2015, 04:49 PM   #4
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I did my first half last Saturday in the pouring rain.

You will be fine because you have trained.

I ran much faster than usual and I found the whole thing a lot easier than my training runs. Having so many other people run with you makes the whole thing so much fun. I found I was constantly racing people ahead of me which really helped.

My advice for next time is do it with a running partner, because the conversation makes the whole thing even more enjoyable!

My advice for this time is simple. It's all about what you eat and drink beforehand and what you wear.

The last thing you want is to need a sh!t when running 13 miles. I know what makes me sh!t. Coffee and big breakfasts. So I ran the half on a banana and some dark chocolate for breakfast with a little water. I took extra dark chocolate with me for the run which I ate at about mile 9.

Eat what you need to to fuel you without you needing to sh!t. Run close to empty if you can.

Almost as bad as needing a sh!t is needing to p!ss when you are running 13 miles. Yes, there will be portapotties but it will slow you down and there will be queues to use them. P!ss before you race. Push every last dribble out. There will be queues for the portapotties so keep that in mind. You don't want to start late.

You also need to think about what to wear and what to bring with you in a gear bag to wear after the race (I screwed up on the latter). You need to run as light as possible so dress as light as you can for the weather conditions. In rain, dress to keep dry rather than warm. You do not want to be running heavy and you will warm up. Bring lots of warm, dry clothes/shoes in your gear bag to change into after. I forgot to and was freezing at the end of the race, made worse by having to wait in long lines to get home.

Prepare everything you need the evening before the race so you can just get up and be prepared the next morning without thinking.

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Last edited by IanG : 03-18-2015 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 03-19-2015, 06:08 AM   #5
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IanG - was hoping you'd respond!!

I've basically taken 15 months off from all competitive sports because life got pretty terrible for a bit, but used to do sprint triathlons, 45 mile bike races, 5ks and 10ks. I did the tris pretty competitively in my division (the fatty girl Athena group) and even placed in the top 10 a couple of times. Running has ALWAYS been my weakest sport and has definitely gotten into my head. I think I'm doing the half to prove to myself that I do still have it and I can do it.

My husband is doing it with me, so I thankfully won't be alone. He didn't train though. He seems to think he'll be just fine because he used to run 10ks with me.

I've been eating the same breakfast before every run to help prevent the sh!ts. A lighter dinner the night before and I've been having a cup of coffee, greek yogurt, granola, and a banana in the AM an hour before my run. That seems to be the right fit for me without making me need to sh!t. I've been training with the Power Bar Energy Blasts starting with one chew at mile 4 and having one each mile. That seems to fuel me without making me want to puke.

The forecast is looking absolutely dreadful. It's suppose to rain all morning/day and be about 50 degrees. Any "stay dry" tips? I've read that some people put trash bags on over their socks and under their shoes. Ever tried it? What about water proof spray on shoes? I'd really prefer not to soak my $150 running kicks.

Unfortunately, the race is in the city with nearly zero parking. They're asking everyone to take public transit in, so I can't really take anything with me. Ugh. I'm hoping to find a way to stay as dry as possible during the race.

I plan on bathing myself in Aquaphor to help with chafing/blisters.

I'm rambling...
Weight watching, bourbon loving, foodie and baker. Triathlete. Atlanta native. American Outlaw. USMNT, MLS, Falcons and UGA lover.

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Old 03-23-2015, 12:38 PM   #6
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SoMuchFattitude - How did your race go? I hope everything was well and you enjoyed it!
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