Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I'm Going to Run a Half Marathon!

one of the things on my summer bucket list: run a half marathon.

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?


  1. You could totally run your own half marathon, it still counts! I ran Disney and it was hard! But totally an awesome feeling :) The tip I would have is build up mileage slowly, and just have fun with it! Congrats on your 7 miler!

  2. What a great goal! How do you carry the beans when you run?

  3. Congrats! I will be thinking of you with those runs! I am a huge half marathon fan, I have run a ton. they are my favorite distance.

  4. Ahhh awesome run!! You'll be at half marathon distances in NO time! :)

  5. Crunchy nut butters are the best! The funnest thing on your list sounds like the yoga on the beach :)

  6. Awesome! I am so excited to see your training plan and follow your half marathon journey. How exciting!! I know you will do a fantastic job no matter where or when you run or if it is a race or not.

    I have run 7 half marathons and I am confident in saying it is my favorite distance to train for and run. You're doing all the right things with hydrating and fueling, which is important even if you don't think you need it. And, your pace is definitely something to admire (I run 13 minute miles)!

    Keep up the great work and enjoy the summer - running and with your other goals too!