now, i've been looking for half marathons that are fairly close to where i live for months now (it's always been a goal of mine to do one before i leave for college) but i haven't found any that fit what i want. i don't want to have to travel far, i want it to be a fairly large race that's gotten good reviews in the past, and it has to fit into my schedule. i almost found one that fit exactly what i wanted (and went across the Golden Gate bridge - how sweet is that?!?) but then realized that it was on the day after my family leaves for vacation.
so, as of right now, i'm still not signed up for a race. but i woke up this morning and decided that even if i'm not going to be able to run in a legitimate race, that doesn't mean that i can't run a half marathon this summer. heck, i could do a marathon if i really wanted to!
with that thought in mind, i decided to go for a long run this morning! ever since track ended the longest run i've done has been four miles - i definitely burned myself out running every single day and lately the shorter distances have been really appealing to me.
but, i want to get my stamina back up and start training for this half marathon! i decided that anything above 5 miles i'd be happy with, but in the back of my mind i really wanted to hit seven.
so i fueled up with two pieces of toast with almond butter (one smooth, one crunchy), a cup of water, a mug of hazelnut coffee, and sat making a playlist while i let it digest.
i knew that i was definitely going to be struggling at the end of my run so i bought a few new songs to add to give me a little burst of energy. here's the playlist i came up with!
i also brought some sport beans with me - i know that i don't really need them when i'm only running 7 miles, but i also knew that i haven't run this far in a LONG time and was going to need a little extra energy!
i filled up my water bottle, laced up my shoes, and headed out the door!
in the beginning, i had to consciously tell myself to slow down and hold back, because i knew i was going to hate myself later if i went out too fast. i've been running 8-minute miles lately, but on 5ks and not much longer - so my goal for this run was to stay sub 10-minute miles.
when i hit mile 3, it started to get really hot, so i told myself once i got to mile 3.5 i could stop, take my shirt off, eat a few beans, and drink some of the water i brought (i can't actually drink while i'm running - just sip and spit it out). once i got there, i did just that! i wasn't sure how the sport beans were going to go down since i'm not used to fueling in the middle of the run, but these tasted SO good! i have no idea why since normally i'm not a huge candy person, but these definitely gave me that little bit of extra energy for the second half of my run.
i felt great from miles 4-6, and then my legs and my hip joints started to complain a little (i've had minimal problems with them, but every once in awhile the hip pain flares up, especially on longer runs). right then i really appreciated the playlist i took the time to make! i actually considered running 8 miles since i wanted to hear all the songs on it, but decided not to push it too far today.
i finished 7.14 miles in 1:05:58 (average pace 9:14/mile!!)
i'm going to work on creating an actual half marathon training plan this week so that i can set a date of when i'm actually going to run it - since chances are, i probably won't be able to find a race that works for me. i'm going to share my plan once i finish making it, so stay tuned!
have you ever run a half marathon before? any tips for someone who's never run one?
favorite fuel for long runs?