Woo hoo! We made it! Chris and I ran the half marathon last Saturday in the 2017 Akron Marathon this past weekend. We both ran around the times we had hoped for. Chris finished under three hours (way to go Chris!) and I finished around two hours and 35 minutes.
I’m so proud of us for achieving this goal. The race was tremendous fun though harder than I was expecting.
Think about a place that is about ten miles from your house. Now, add three more miles to that. That’s how far we ran.
It was hot!!! We knew that the forecast was for a hot day and received multiple cautionary emails from the race organizers. Fortunately the race started at 7:00 AM so it was pleasant enough when we started but it had warmed up into the 80s by the time we finished. The heat drains your strength when running.
Here’s a few thoughts on what we did right and what we could improve. Well, at least I can.
What we did right:
- We created a plan early on. The race was at the end of September. We started researching training plans and discussed what we were going to do starting in January. We knew what we had run in the previous year so we weren’t complete newbies but we knew that this was going to require more from us than what we had done in the past. We planned our training and discussed some possible races we wanted to do over the summer.
- Chris has a history of some injuries. In particular, her Achilles tendon has caused her problems in the past. She performed lots of stretching and physical therapy exercises to keep her Achilles healthy. We both continued to use weights at the gym so we did our cross training. I think that helps a lot.
- We ran races with increasing length over the summer which forced us to train for longer distances. We ran a 5K early on and then bumped up to a 10K in July. We wanted to run a 10 mile race in August but couldn’t find one that worked for us. There aren’t many 10 mile races in the area. So, we planned our own 10 mile run.
We also knew that we wanted to run a local 5K over Labor Day weekend, so only a few weeks before the race. It wasn’t part of our plan, distance wise, so we said, “we’ll run it for speed.”
- We stayed in touch on how we were doing. We logged our time on Strava and participated in challenges on Fitbit. As we began to do longer runs, we began to run together more often.
- We thought about shoes, clothes, and supplies. Chris replaced her shoes late in the summer but made sure to do so in time to break them in before the race. I showed her the water belt I had received last Christmas.
- We did our research. We talked to runners and trainers. We read websites. We listened to running podcasts. We shared what we learned with each other. This doesn’t help you actually run but it gave us good ideas on how to train and to think about timing and recovery.
So, we spent a long time preparing for this race and we did it. It’s really amazing to me. When I start thinking about how long 13 miles is, I’m amazed. My next post will be what I want to do differently going forwards.