There were definitely some things I wish I had known before I participated in this event. Things I learned from doing a half marathon, and walking it. So I thought I'd share!
1 | Even if you are walking you need to train. We did two "training" walks prior to the half marathon, the longest of which being about 7 miles, with lots of stops. I wish I would have taken preparing for this event much more seriously. If we had walked regularly leading up to it I think I would have been in a lot better shape during and after. Yes, just for walking!
2 | Bring your own snacks. That goo they give you is disgusting.
3 | Be prepared to be at the end of the pack. Or not in the pack at all. This was probably the toughest part for me. As such a competitive person it was difficult for me to feel like I was in last place. In reality we weren't, there were still other half marathoners behind us. But at several points in the race it seemed we were the only ones on the course. My mom kept bringing it up and I tried not to let it phase me. What was important was our goal to finish, not that we would finish in front of people.
4 | You will be sore. I don't care who you are, walking 13.1 miles is a lot of miles. Ok, maybe it's just if you are a desk sitter like me. The farther we got in the race the more I could feel it. In my feet of course, but also in my hips, thighs and lower back. I'm so glad Erin told me to use Vaseline on my feet, I was able to keep it to just one blister!
5 | At some point you will want to quit. For me it was between miles 8 and 9 when we walked right past where my mom's car was parked. I mean it was right there. And I was hurting all over. It would be so easy to just... quit.
6 | Having a race buddy is important. Maybe it's different if you are running it, but having someone to talk to and motivate me the whole race through was key. I'm lucky it was with my mom, who I can easily have 3 hour conversations with anyway.
7 | You're going to want to soak it all in, quietly. You see the finish line. You finally cross the finish line. And then there's the "holy crap we did it" moment. You surreal-y put on your medal and walk haphazardly through the finish festival. I don't think I gave myself nearly enough credit. I should have hugged my mom and shouted to the mountain tops "I DID IT!" But I didn't. I just let it soak in, let that smile spread across my face, and finally let my body collapse into the grass.
We finished our first half marathon at 3 hours and 34 minutes. Smashing my goal of less than 4 hours. Will I do it again? Maybe. Run it next time? HAHAHAHAHA...
But really, maybe someday.
Have you done a half marathon? What takeaways did you find? Any tips for my next one?