On Sunday I ran my first half marathon race. It was the Marine Corps Historic Half in Fredericksburg, VA. The downtown area was absolutely beautiful and had some gorgeous houses. There was also a decent bit of shade. The course itself was hilly, making me very grateful for training in Harrisonburg. The last 2 miles of the race were almost entirely uphill in the sun. I just kept telling myself “This is why you run Port Republic!!” But other than those 2 miles, the course hills were short little bursts, flat road, or going downhill a good portion. I CRUISED through this race. I ran a 2:09 – my goal was a 2:30!!! I’ve never run a long run that fast before. While I did use my iPod, which I definitely think helped, I also just felt great. I was well prepared, mentally focused, and I had gotten a lot of sleep the night 2 nights before the race (which is the most important night). ALSO, these ladies giving out jello shots at mile 5 were awesome!!! Seeing my mama at mile 7 and mile 12 was also a big motivation booster 🙂 I used my Honey Stingers chews, only drank water at the stations, and stopped to use the bathroom once (which I lucked out and there was NO line so it hardly affected my time) – and all of this was pretty similar to my marathon. NO INJURIES!!
I’m still not sure how I feel about using my iPod. I think it helped me so much during the last 2 miles, I danced around with my arms and sang along and tried to ignore the grueling incline. However, some people still think it’s cheating. I don’t anymore, it helps me focus and block out the pain or my surroundings. I was much less claustrophobic during the smaller portions of the road. I think I’m going to have to stick with it. But that means making sure I run to music with a good tempo to help set my pace and also switching up my playlist a lot so I don’t get bored. On shorter runs I’ll probably still run solo because it’s a good time to be with my thoughts.
Yesterday I did strength training and cardio. Today I did more training but I took a killer yoga II class with my old personal trainer. I loved it and need to try to get to classes more consistently here. My balance is great and certain parts of my body are flexible, but other parts are not and I think improving on that would really help my running.
New Race/Goal!! I’m thinking the Tough Mudder in Austin in October…
Mileage – Strength Training, Yoga
QOD – In running, it doesn’t matter whether you come in first, in the middle of the pack, or last. You can say ‘I have finished.’ There is a lot of satisfaction in that.