Monday, February 7, 2011

Half-Marathon: The Second Time's the Charm!

Ya know, it's amazing how much better you can run when you don't have a sinus infection and haven't just heard that your grandmother died. Those are the conditions under which I ran my first half in October, and it s-u-c-k-e-d.  I wasn't there mentally at all and my physical presence was only in the most literal sense.  When I crossed the finish line of that race, it was from sheer determination and because my sister shamed me into it. I was out for the count and felt like crap.

The second time was better to infinity and beyond!  The race was yesterday and not only did I feel great, the weather was phenomenal, the people were super-super, and my energy and health were right there with me.  I had the wonderful experience of running most of the race with a friend who was doing her first half (go Edie!), and saw so many other friends along the route including getting to "meet" one of my favorite local tweeps, @AHealthyJD, who was volunteering at a junction point.  It was so great to see her there and shout out a hello!  The feeling of community was definitely in high gear yesterday, and it made a big difference for me.

The run was flat, fast, and gorgeous. I felt like I was gliding over the pavement and sailed into the last bit of the race with energy to spare. I had a good strategy this time:

1. I wore compression socks, which did wonders for my sore calf muscles. I highly recommend them! I wore CEP brand socks and bought them at Capital City Runners. I am so not a bright pink girl, but my socks were the brightest pink you can find.  My eyes still hurt from looking at them.

2. I popped two Advil at mile 2 to prevent calf muscle inflammation later in my run. I have no clue if it did anything worthwhile but I'll probably do it again cause I'm superstitious that way.

3. I had a Lara bar in my fuel belt, broken into four pieces. I ate a piece and drank a bit of water at miles 6, 8, 10, and 12.  I don't eat Gu because of the artificial sugars and additives

4. I gave my husband a banana, a Lara bar, and a bottle of water to hold at the finish line in hopes of avoiding the blood sugar plummet I had at my last half.  It felt so good to have some good clean calories right away! 

My run was out of this world and I had a great race. Uber kudos to Gulf Winds Track Club for organizing the event, TroubleAfoot for covering it, friends at Boot Camps to Go and Tallahassee Society of Association Executives for cheering me on from the sidelines, and all of the great people on Twitter who made my day so wonderful with cheers and well wishes. 

Oh, I finished the race in 2:07:07, which is 11 minutes faster than my last half and three minutes faster than my goal time. woo hoo! I'm inching closer to the benchmark of completing a half in fewer than two hours...which is the point at which I'll consider doing a full marathon. Is NYC in my future?

In the meantime, I'm still grinning. And, yeah...thinking of a new goal. 

Any ideas?


Tricia said...

woohooo! congrats!

The (not so) Reluctant Athlete said...

Thanks Tricia!

Pam said...

That is fantastic!!! Congratulations!

Christy said...

Congrats! What an accomplishment.

Jen said...

Congrats on your PR! It sounds like you have a system that works for you. A full marathon sounds like it's right around the corner!

Jamie @ A Healthy J.D. said...

I'm so glad this experience was a much happier one and I'm even happier I got to meet you :) Congrats again!

'Drea said...

Congrats on the 2:07:07.

Ellen said...

Way to go, Heather! Congratulations!

The (not so) Reluctant Athlete said...

Thanks everyone! :) :) :)

waytenmom said...

Great blog, Heather and it has been so much fun sharing in the excitement of all of this with you! Good luck on that next goal.