Sheryl Jesin

Fitness, food, family, fun and more!

Lessons learned from a half marathon

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It’s been a month since my half-marathon.  Sometimes I still can’t believe that not only did I run 21km, but that I also found time to train properly for it.  I’ve been trying to keep up with my running, but I find that it’s not the same without a race looming in the future to motivate me to get out there.  I bought a new pair of shoes which got me running right after I bought them, but their lure is waning.

I’ve been experimenting with other forms of exercise, and went to my first Zumba class, which was a lot of fun.  It was a great cardio workout and I liked that it could be as high or low impact as you want.  I’ve also gone to a few free classes at my local Lululemon.  I’ve enjoyed their BOGA class – 1/2hr boot camp and 1/2hr yoga.  I realized by going to these classes that I have really increased my fitness level astronomically in the past year through running.  The Zumba class and the BOGA class were quite easy for me and I felt so happy about that!

I miss the burn and the feeling of exhaustion that I felt after my half marathon.  I miss the sense of accomplishment that I felt after the race and that I felt after my long training runs.  It’s hard to find time to go out for long runs.  I am definitely going to sign up for another half marathon in the fall.  I know that I can increase my speed and lower my time dramatically.

My half marathon was an amazing experience, and I learned a number of lessons that I would like to share with you.  They are as follows:

  1. Chafing happens – I always read on other blogs that runners experience chafing during long runs.  I never experienced this during my training and thought that I was immune to this problem.  However, at about mile 11 my armpits started to burn from my shirt rubbing against my skin.  The pain was real and I did my best to not think about.  Mind over matter, right?  However, for future races I will be using BodyGlide.  There is no need to experience the pain of chafing.  The burn in my legs at mile 11 was pain enough.
  2. Refueling after a race is not optional – I knew that I needed to eat after the race and packed up a few things for Jake to bring down to the finish line.  This included a scoop of Vega One and some water and a shaker cup, and some ShaSha Buckwheat snacks.    However, with all the excitement in finishing the race, I neglected to eat either of these things.  I had a banana, a couple slices of orange and that was it.  I didn’t even drink water until I got home a couple hours later.   This was a terrible idea.  I had a splitting headache for the remainder of the day after the race, and I attribute this to not drinking and eating properly right after the race.
  3. Employ babysitters post race – the only thing harder than running a half marathon is taking care of little kids after running a half marathon.  Jake had a full morning taking care of the boys, and bringing them down to the finish line, and was understandably done with them once we got home.  In hindsight I should have asked the grandparents to come over and watch the boys in the afternoon so that I could have a nap and veg out for the rest of the day.  Instead, I ran around with them outside, and did other things that did not aid in my recovery.  This did not help with my splitting headache.
  4. Start out A BIT faster – I wish that I had started out faster.  I was so worried about beginning too fast and burning out that I ended up running with people who were….slow.  This slowed me down.  For example, there was a girl near me wearing long yoga pants, a sweater, a very unsupportive bra, and her long hair was loose.  I didn’t get it.  It was so hot out.  Needless to say, she wasn’t very speedy.  I have no idea how she finished 13.1 miles like that.  I wish I had run with people who were faster (and dressed properly), so that I would have been motivated to go faster.

Have you run any races?  Have you learned any lessons from them?

4 thoughts on “Lessons learned from a half marathon

  1. I recently did the Great Manchester 10k, my first ever event. Next time, I will go slightly faster – like you, I was worried about burning out. Half marathon is one of my goals this year so it was interesting reading your experiences.

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