I did it!
I ran my first half marathon! I ran the Moe's better half-marathon in San Marcos, Texas on Sunday. 13 miles of rolling country roads in 2 hours and 28 minutes. It was a nice run, and a nice course...rolling hills, only one really steep up hill in mile three. Once i got past mile three, it was pretty much smooth sailing until the lat mile.. that's when I started to feel like it was hitting the "wall" and running out of steam. But, I ran the whole thing! I never did stop and walk.
Here is what I learned, in preparation for the next long run I participate in, or (gulp) a full marathon next year.
1. No drinking the week before the race. I drank two glasses of wine with dinner on Friday night. I had no other alcoholic beverages for the week prior to the race. I don't think the two glasses I had really hurt me, but I won't repeat that for the next race.
2. Eat oatmeal for breakfast that morning. I did this, and it turned out to be the perfect breakfast for this runner.
3. Bring a banana and have it handy to eat during the run if you need it. I meant to bring one, and I forgot as I was going out the door (in my defense, I got up at five on the morning of the race!). I would have definitely eaten the banana at the start of mile 12 if I'd had it. I think the extreme fatigue I was experiencing at that point meant that I needed to eat. I will definitely bring a banana if I run a marathon... there's no way I could do that without some kind of snack... banana... protein bar, something.
4. Make sure you go to the bathroom, one and two, before the race. I kind of forgot about "two" in my keyed up state before the race. About mile 6, I realized I had to go. No bathrooms until about mile 8... not fun to run when you have to go!
5. Drink detox and laxative tea regularly for the week prior to the race, to help with number 4. I did not do this, and I wish I had. I will next time.
6. Shoes... wear better, newer ones next time! I realized about two weeks before the race that I probably needed new shoes... but everyone knows that you never debut new shoes on the day of the race. I especially can't do that, because even running shoes are likely to cause blisters for me until I break them in. that's right, I have to break in running shoes! I should have bought new shoes about six weeks before the race, so that they would be properly broken in, but in good shape, by the time race day came. Instead, I wore the shoes I had, which were far past their prime, and now my knees really ache, which I am sure is due to the fact that my shoes weren't tip top.
7. Get plenty of sleep the night before the race. I went to bed at 9:30 on Saturday. Before I went to bed, I took a long, hot Epsom salt bath. It really helped relax me so I could fall asleep.
There a some other races this spring.. that Capitol 10,000, and the Texas Round Up. I think I'll run both of them... might as well, they are both ten K races, which means that they are half the distance I ran on Sunday. That, I can do.