Two weeks ago I ran my first half-marathon in 2 hours 1min 53sec (see earlier post to get more background)! We started in Prospect Park in Brooklyn and ended in Coney Island. It felt great mentally and physically to accomplish such a long run. As a beginner runner, I tried to read up on all the tips & tricks. Now, after finishing my first race I’d love to share some of my thoughts:
- Dress appropriately: I was sure to check the weather the night before. I went with some Nike dri-fit capris & tank. It was a bit chilly in the morning, but by mile 2 I was perfect.
- Start slow: This was a harder rule for me to follow, but I had my good friend Erika to keep me in check. You automatically want to run fast, but it’s best to start slow and build your speed. You can always sprint at the end.
- Hydrate: I’m constantly forcing myself to hydrate. I’m not one of those people that drink lots of water, but I’ve been getting much better at it! Throughout the race, you’ll find stations of water and Gatorade. Be sure to take advantage of them! Some people think that it will take time off their numbers, but in the end it really helps! Your body will thank you for it. I had my first Gatorade at mile 4 and then pretty much continued to do so every other mile.
- Music: My running mix really got me through the run—from Jay Z’s Empire State of Mind to Passion Pit’s Sleepyhead and MGMT’s Kids, I was able to motivate with music!
- Accessories: What did I really need? To be honest aside from my iPod, the only other items I carried in my pants were tarte’s 24/7 lip sheer and Powerbar gel to take at mile 6. Other than that I checked everything else I had with me.
- Support system: For this race, I was lucky to run with Erika and my husband Greg was there to cheer us on. I’m also constantly asking my dear friend Jay for advice, too.
As for challenges I personally faced during my run—waking up at 5am for a 7am race! Other than that I had some soreness, but ice and some advil did the trick. Next up: NYC marathon in October!!