After not running a half marathon in a couple of years, I was reminded of a few things and learned a few new lessons. So, I though I would share what I learned during the Weinstrasse Halbmarathon (half marathon).
- Weinstrasse Halbmarathon is an excellent race! It was well organized, picturesque and had a fun atmosphere. It also had the cleanest port-a-potties I’ve ever seen at an event!
- Train. Run when you are supposed to run. Run when it’s raining, too cold, too hot, too windy, too whatever. On race day you’re going to have to run no matter what so you may as well prepare your body for it. Sometimes you get really lucky and experience all of those in the same race.
- Do NOT drink any “mystery drinks.” Why anyone would drink something carbonated while running 13.1 or 26.2 miles is beyond me but apparently people do. I downed a huge gulp of a sparkling “fitness drink” at the second water station. Not a good idea.
- It is nearly impossible not to wiggle when the wiggle wiggle wiggle song comes on (Kate and I both failed at this… can’t be done)
- Smartwool socks might be the best thing ever invented for runners. They are worth the investment.
- Sometimes “shuffle” mode on your ipod brings nice surprises that can totally change your mindset. Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’ came on just as I neared the top of a hill and Cake’s cover of I Will Survive came on just as my knee was about to give out at the 20km marker (a half marathon is 21km). It was so perfect that I couldn’t help but smile. That brings me to my next lesson…
- Smile! If you are running a race, you have a lot to be thankful for and a lot to smile about. Ryan is always reminding me that just the physical act of smiling can improve your mood and it does!
- The race atmosphere can help push you through when you think you can’t run anymore. Smile, wave, whoot back at the people cheering you on. They made the effort to come out. Show them some love! It makes for a much happier time.
- Ryan is an awesome cheerleader/motivator. Of course I didn’t just learn this but I love being reminded. He texted be from the beer tent a couple of times and knowing he would be at the finish line really helped me avoid flagging down the medic van when I thought my knee was done.
- You can finish and you won’t be last… probably. I doubted myself a few times but I put my head and my heart into and just did it.
- Even if you are last, who cares?? You still did something most people will never even attempt and you ran faster than anyone who didn’t try. Plus, you still get the race bling no matter what place you come in so wear it proudly