Before I get started, you should know that I ran this half marathon last year. It was my second half marathon and I was just convinced I was going to get a PR…even though I knew nothing about the course. To summarize, I was so frustrated by mile 5 that I almost turned around and walked back to the start. I didn’t care about a DNF at that point. I also called my mom in tears because I was so frustrated that I was running much slower than I wanted to and the hills were giving me issues. Also my legs were KILLING me. It wasn’t a great experience and I vowed never to do the race again.
Fast forward to the end of last year when I signed up for the race again (LOL). I basically knew that I needed to redeem myself – I had to tackle that course again and have a much better experience.
The weather was very strange for June – 95% humidity but only around 65 degrees. Plus it was overcast, a little rainy and windy. Luckily it didn’t rain during the race but we did get the occasional wind gusts. Side note – I feel like I banked some good weather karma after running in a monsoon during Rock’n’Roll DC in March. After dealing with crazy weather the past two weekends, I was very happy to run in cooler temperatures. The race takes place in Fairfield, CT which is about a 25 minute drive from my house. After we parked, we took a school bus to Jennings Beach for the start of the race. That ride only took about 7-10 minutes. After arriving at the beach, I found the tents for bib and t-shirt pickup. I still had about 40 minutes before the 8:15 start time so my parents and I decided to take a few photos.
|Praying before the race 🙂|
|Hanging out before the race. Representing #WeRunSocial|
|Because I’m a dork and still use the “peace” sign|
|Right before leaving for the start line|
|Bib pickup – No lines! 🙂|
|T-Shirt pickup over in the tent to the right|
For this race, the men and women have the same start time but different start areas. Both men and women merge around mile 1. I think the reasoning behind this is to make the start less cramped and crowded. Throughout the race the course did seem a little congested in some areas but then it would open up. Miles 1-3 were pretty good but the first hill came right before mile 3 and then another small hill between miles 3-4. Miles 4-5 were pretty flat, then another hill between miles 5-6. Miles 6-9 were glorious – nice and flat and great scenery. Between miles 8-9 we saw a raccoon in the grass. I think he must have been crazy because he literally just stared at all the runners as we ran by. It was almost like he was pissed that we were running in his neighborhood lol. Miles 9-10 had 2 more nice sized hills but the great thing was that there were no more hills after mile 10! Smooth sailing with flat terrain until the end!
I’m more than happy to report that although I didn’t get a PR, I beat last year’s course time by 30 minutes. I ran the entire half marathon, no walk breaks, not even to power up the hills. I felt good after crossing the finish line but I’m definitely feeling sore today! That runner’s high only lasted a few hours.
|Actually this could be why
I ran without stopping…
|Crossing the finish line!|
|In true old lady style, rubbing my hip
once I stopped running (haha)
I really thought about the difference between this year’s race vs. last year’s race and why I performed much better this year.
- I’m in better shape this year. I’ve completed more half-marathons and my endurance is much better.
- Running races with hills. This year I’ve done several races in Central Park which probably helped me a lot for this race.
- No carb loading the night before. In lieu of pasta, I opted for seafood and salad as my night-before-the-race-dinner. I felt lighter which was good.
- Hydration. I didn’t have any hydration with me during the race last year. This year I used my Nathan handheld filled with water and Nuun. I didn’t have to stop at any water stations.
- Sneakers. Last year I ran in my Asics GT-1000. This year I opted to use my Mizuno Wave Inspire 10 sneakers. I think that Asics sneakers work better for my shorter runs and Mizuno for my longer runs.
- Yoga. On Saturday I took a 2 hour yoga and posture class and I felt amazing! So stretched and relaxed.
- KT Tape. I’ve been using KT Tape for a few months for all my aches and pains – especially my ankle and knee. This really helps when running longer distances
- Epsom Salt. On Saturday I took a bath with Epsom salt to help with any soreness. I have also started using Morton’s Epsom Salt lotion this year and it’s been a lifesaver!
- Music. I spent a lot of time revamping my running playlist a few weeks ago and it’s amazing. Honestly, my playlist is FIRE!
- Clothing. Last year I wore regular socks and running shorts that were not comfortable. This year I work my Pro Compression low trainer socks and a great pair of Under Armour Compression capri running pants. Yesterday was actually my first time wearing the pants (I know, a big non-no!) but luckily they were awesome!
- #WeRunSocial. I wore my #WeRunSocial t-shirt. This shirt may have magical powers – just saying.
|In mid chew – enjoying watermelon. I <3 food!|
|Shells from the beach and the awesome medal!|
|I actually like this race shirt – cool color!|