Fitness

Island to Island Half Marathon

On Saturday I completed my second half marathon! I ran my first half in Hershey, PA during my senior year in college. It was a little hilly, but very scenic and a great first experience. I was hooked after that, and have done many other races since then!

I picked up my race packet on Friday afternoon in Ocean City. It was a gorgeous day out!

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Once I got my shirt that came with the race, picked up my race packet, and saw all of the other runners doing the same, I was much more excited and ready to go.

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Since I knew my 3:45am wake-up call would come early, I made sure I had everything ready the night before. Ok, let’s be honest- even if I wasn’t getting up until 10, I still would have had things ready the night before … it’s the teacher in me=)

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Can you tell I like UnderAmour??

The Island to Island Half Marathon began bright and early this morning (Enter that 3:45am wake-up call here!)

Just so excited to be up this early!

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My knee has been bothering me lately, so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to wear the elastic support in the picture above. While I was waiting for the race to begin, I was SO cold that I exchanged my knee brace for my shin compression sleeves because I thought those might help to warm me up. (Yes, I’m a wimp in the cold!) #Race day decisions

 

Runners parked at the Inlet in Ocean City, then took buses to Assateague Island. Running is so mental, but the whole time I was on the bus, all I could think was – THIS is what I’m about to run?? This is going to take me the next five hours!

 

Naturally, with my personality, I arrived super early. Once I was at Assateague where the race would begin, I had some extra time. What to do?? Wait in the super long line of runners to use the bathroom, of course! Before longer races, I’m always nervous that I won’t have time to use the bathroom before I start. And who wants to stop in the middle of a race for that?? Luckily, I made it to the front of the line well before the start. I then checked my bag of all the extra clothes I thought I needed to bring (the volunteers probably thought I was checking clothes for 4 other runners- nope, just me).

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It was FREEZING outside, wet from all the rain earlier, and windy, before the race started. Since I was wearing shorts and a short sleeved shirt, I kept my sweatshirt on. The rule of thumb for running outside is to dress like it is 20 degrees warmer out, but I was too cold to think about how I would feel after running a few miles… so I kept it on!

 

I realized this was not one of my better decisions when I reached mile 2. By the time I was at mile 4, I couldn’t take it anymore and stopped for 10 seconds to rip it off like a crazy person and tie it around my waist for the remainder of the run. It was the best decision to stop and take it off- I felt so much more energized after that. The view was beautiful along the way! Why yes, I did take this picture while I was running. Talent, right?!

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By this time, it was starting to warm up outside and was turning into another gorgeous day. My pace fluctuated around 9:00/mile for the first half. After I got to mile 8, I’m not sure what happened, but running was all of a sudden really hard. I was losing my motivation, kept slowing down, and was honestly ready to be done.  I had to make a consistent effort to fill my mind with positive thoughts, which was hard because several times there were way more negative thoughts and complaints going through my head than encouraging ones. I had to believe that I wasn’t going to let myself quit – that I was strong enough, that I could do this. It was such a beautiful day; I just wasn’t feeling it though. I think a lot of that can be contributed to my lack of training beforehand. Since I twisted my ankle, had shin splints, and knee pain, all since January – I definitely hadn’t run as much as I wanted to before the race. I completed one long run of 14 miles two weeks ago, but that was the only longer run one I did.

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I’m not going to pretend it was an easy race, or tell you it was no big deal for me to run 13.1 miles. It was hard … really hard. The official times aren’t posted on the race website yet, but my Garmin watch had a time of around 2:07. I wanted a PR of 2 hours, but I wasn’t able to train enough for this race, so that didn’t happen. But I’m choosing to stay positive and remember that the important thing is that I kept pushing through, and I finished. It felt so good when I finally crossed that finish line!

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My friends from the gym ran the 5K in Ocean City, so had to wait forever until I was done, but they were so encouraging and supportive!

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Enjoying some drinks afterwards to celebrate! Random running info: I am never very hungry right after a long run, or even later that day; the next day, though, I am ready to eat everything in sight! All runner’s respond differently to long runs and what they crave afterwards – I guess mine just needs a little time to process what I just did and recover!

The majority of my day today was spent at the hospital, waiting for my cousin and her husband to have their baby. It’s a girl, and we couldn’t be happier for them! She is so, so precious. It was definitely a busy weekend, but a great one!

 

Question of the Day

  • What did you do this weekend?
  • Have you ever felt unmotivated during a race? How did you deal with it?
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