Everything Not to Do Before a Half Marathon

When I signed up for it, I thought it was a great idea.

I did 2 half marathons in 2015, and I thought I would just continue the pace for 2016. So when The Love Run came up on my radar, I thought it would be a great challenge. Plus, my company was sponsoring the race and had a team. I even offered to captain our team through our marketing department.

It was all good.

And then, life happened. I sort of got derailed at the end of January and into February. There was a lot going on in my professional life and it was affecting my sleep (staying up late and getting up early for training runs do not mix!)

I sort of resigned to not doing the run. After all, my last “training” run was a 5-miler about 3 weeks before the half. Not really prepared in the running department there. But then I was reminded I was a captain… on a team… they needed someone at the tent… And I thought, “Well, if I am going to be there anyway maybe I should just run it and see what happens.”

Okay, fine, plenty of people pull this stunt. Plenty of people who are in way better shape than me pull this stunt and do fine. What’s the worst that could happen?

Concurrently to these plans, I had plans of my own – for a gym in my basement. The day before the race, excited about new equipment and new gym flooring I’d just put down, I decided to weight lift. For the first time in about 2 years.

In hindsight, it was not a great decision.

So, race day came. It was cold and windy and it was just, like, not what you picture when you are running a half marathon in April.

philly love run

They say you should never try things for the first time on race day, and I was going to learn this the hard way.

1. I ran holding a giant iPhone 6s Plus.

I got this new iPhone a couple of weeks ago, and still hadn’t found a good armband to hold it. I carried it the whole way and it sucked.

2. I filled my water bottles with something new.

I think it was some sort of energy drink you drink before you work out, or something. In retrospect, it was not a great idea to try this…(see below).

3. I ate a lemon GU.

Sure, it tasted okay… but combined with #2 above, I don’t think it did well for my body. Around mile 8 I was sort of having some stomach distress. Not pleasant.

4. Did I mention that I lifted weights for the first time in years the day before I was running a half marathon for which I was not trained?

This was just dumb. I don’t know what I was thinking. My mile 8 my hamstrings were on fire and I was like “Hmm, I wonder why my hamstrings are hurting? Oh, snap! It must have been those deadlifts I did the day before after not having done deadlifts for three years. Yeah, maybe that was it.

5. I wore a new bra.

Three words: Lots of chafing.

So, I set no PRs, but I did finish it. I mean, it was ugly, but I finished it. I literally could not walk for about 3 days after. I mean, it wasn’t a “hurt so good” kind of pain, it was a “I really effed up my body” kind of pain.

But hey, at least I get to wear the tee shirt.

philly love run 2

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