1) Always ALWAYS be prepared for rain. Double, triple, quadruple check the weather (even though that doesn’t do much good apparently) I had my rain gear set aside when I was packing everything last week, and I left it behind. It was rough this morning finding ziplock baggies to protect my iPod and camera and etc. I was also COLD this am, which was ZERO fun. 2) Get to the race earlier than early. It said online that we were supposed to be there by 6:15, but because of the rain, I kind of took my time because I didn’t want to stand out in the rain any longer than I had to. No matter how many times I use the bathroom before I leave, I always have to go again before I get in line for the race. And, I can always count on waiting in line for at least 15 minutes to do so. Lastly, plan for traffic.
3) Do more research on the terrain. I checked and re-checked the course route, and when I talked to people, no one told me it was going to be hilly. Well, it was. VERY hilly. And I didn’t train at all on or for hills. Seriously, the hills kicked my butt, and my quads.
4) Opt for races that go in non-circular routes. I did not enjoy going up a route, and then backtracking the same way. It was hard to focus when people were passing me, and then I was passing people. It is more fun to travel different ways, and not pass by the same thing more than once. Variety is the spice of running!
5)Run with less crap. After I put on my shoes, clothes, HRM, Garmin, iPod, Camelback, visor, carry my camera in my SPI belt, and put by Luna Moons in my pocket, I have a ton of crap weighing me down. It is hard for me to NOT run with any of this stuff because I feel I need it. Without the Garmin and HRM, I wouldn’t know my pace/time. Without my iPod, there would be no Britney rock out sessions to keep me trucking along. Without my visor, I wouldn’t have been able to see with the rain going in my eyes. I guess I could have done without the camera, but that didn’t weigh me down much. The Camelback was heavy, but I can’t NOT have water with me at all times. Its another mental thing. I don’t drink much water when I run, but I need it there. Some people were running with nothing today. No water, no music, no hat, NOTHING. How do they do it?
6) Run with a friend! It was fun planning everything with the bride and talking about our different training runs was awesome. It was fun to have her family down there supporting me, and mine was down there supporting her as well. Here are a few pictures of the bride and I hanging out post race:
7) Tie pony tail in braid when running in the rain. Why did no one tell me this? My hair was a literal rat’s nest when I finished. I had to shampoo and condition my hair 5 times to get it all de-tangled! It was definitely a hot mess! NOT cute!
8) Travel with a solid support group.Knowing my boyf and mom were at the finish line made me feel really awesome. I am so thankful that they came down to Annapolis to see me complete my first Half Marathon. It was also great to have the bride and her family cheer me on too. Thanks everyone for your support!
9) Enjoy cupcakes post run! Definitely a necessity!
10) Post run, throw on your Recovery Socks, sit back, relax and take a nap. This all should be done while watching multiple discs of Sex and the City! At least, that’s how I spent my day!
Thank you everyone in the blog world. It makes me feel so good when I get a message of support from all my readers! It has been wonderful to share my running experiences with you! You all are amazing!