This past weekend, I ran the Capitola Half Marathon in Santa Cruz, California. I totally lucked out – the weather was gorgeous. It was sunny, but cool, the breeze coming off of the ocean was perfect. Everything just really worked out. And I SHATTERED my PR (personal record). I was extremely ecstatic two years ago when I finally ran a half marathon in 2 hours and 12 minutes and 40 seconds. My goal was 2 hours and 15 minutes. I had decided to unofficially retire from half marathon running as I kept injuring myself while training.
They call it the Surfer’s Path
Running by the beach boardwalk
But a couple of my girlfriends talked me into running another and I decided, why not? I decided not to care about my time, to train at a reasonable pace and just have fun. And I ran fast! I finished this half marathon in 2 hours and 4 minutes and 50 seconds! I felt like a gazillion bucks. Like my own hero. And it was all from relaxing and having more fun.
Tips for Rocking a Half Marathon (or any race)
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!!
- You should always be drinking lots of agua of course, but while training for any sort of race or fitness event, you need to drink even more to make up for the loss of fluid you are experiencing. This is especially important the day before a race. Knock back an extra 4+ glasses of water the day before a race in preparation for all of those electrolytes you’ll lose.
Diva Half Marathon 2014
- Running lots will help prepare you for the race, but varied exercise will help your game overall. I enjoy running, strength training (weight lifting), walking, dancing, pilates and boot camps. I noticed a HUGE difference in my running speed when I started boot camp – it really helped my endurance and got me running faster. Don’t forget to vary your running plan by running some hills and doing interval training.
Jumping mini hurdles is fun… really! haha ;p
Find an Accountability Buddy
- My friends and I signed up for the half marathon together and kept tabs on each other and our training plans and encouraged each other to keep going. It really helped keep me motivated. Group runs are great too!
Santa Cruz Half Marathon 2013
Figure out a Training Plan that Works for You
- When I started training for my first half marathon, I wasn’t aware that pre-preared training programs existed. You can just google training plans for races and see what is out there. I actually started by looking at the date of the half marathon and worked backwards. So for this race I ran 13.1 miles on Sunday, the week before I ran 11 miles, the week before I ran 9 miles, etc. I also threw in a couple of shorter during the week (ranging from 2-4 miles). I don’t taper – it’s just not for me. Everyone is different, find what’s best for you =)
Hamilton Marathon 2011
Eat More Food!!
- When you run more, you burn more calories and need to take in more calories to make up for it. Don’t be scared of carbs – they fuel you (but they aren’t all created equally). The day of your race, don’t forget to make up for all of the lost calories you burn while running.
I run for the chocolate…
Get a Good Playlist
- I find I run better when I have some good tunes on. A few songs from my playlist this past race were: Seven One Eight by Fannypack (oh yea!), Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justin Timberlake, Going the Distance by Cake, Hall of Fame by the Script, Run the World (Girls) from Beyoncé, Tubthumping by Chumbawamba and I Would Walk 500 Miles by the Proclaimers.
Spring Forward 10km 2014
And last, but not least:
- Remember the reason you started running. There is a good chance it wasn’t to be competitive or to push yourself too hard. It was to have fun or incorporate something different into your fitness routine. I didn’t have any goals for this run and I felt it took all of the pressure off and I had no expectations. Running for fun is where it’s at 😉
Endur 5km 2010 (my first race ever!)
Do you like running????
Capitola Half Marathon 2016
As a side note – I am not where I would like to be with my body. I’m still not feeling comfortable in my skin – it feels like a battle most days. BUT running this race while feeling like I’m bigger, made me realize I don’t have to be thin to be strong & kickass!