So, Dane and I ran a half marathon this weekend. I know, it sounds totally crazy and that’s because IT IS. Ever since Dane ran the Honolulu Marathon two years ago, he’s been encouraging me to run a race and really push my fitness to the next level. That’s all good and fine, but I’ll be totally honest — the thought of running in any sort of competition scared the pants off me. Outside? Fine. On a treadmill? Great. With 10,000 other people? Holy Shit, no thank you.
I knew the only way I would ever get it done was if the trigger was pulled for me, so when Dane announced we were signed up for The Hapalua, I wasted no time shitting my pants preparing. I will admit, the fact that he agreed to be by my side was actually really inspiring. Dane’s fitness is light years ahead of mine, so when he promised to not leave me behind and encourage me every step of the way — I felt really good.
As soon as we picked up our race packets, it started to settle in that we were really doing this. When we woke up at the crack of dawn on Sunday my palms were already sweating.
|Garmin Forerunner 235, c/o Garmin|
And when the gun went off at the starting line, my stomach fell into my ankles.
But….we did it!
I figured since this was my first race ever (I know, I know…no pressure at all), I would share what I learned in 13.1 miles.
1. KT Tape will change your life. I was skeptical about pushing myself for 13 miles of pavement pounding, because Dane and I both suffer from knee issues that date back to high school sports injuries. When a friend of ours recommended we get taped prior to the race, I was all about it. Turns out, they were right! I didn’t have shooting pain or pressure like I normally do and neither did Dane. #WINNING
2. Having a buddy is perfect. At mile 7, I was feeling like toast. The sun was getting to the level of crispy and my hip flexor felt like it was going to pop right out of my skin. Thankfully, Dane was right beside me, as promised, to push me through all of that.
3. Miles 8-12 were all entirely uphill and I wasn’t prepared for that. I had done incline running, but not to the capacity of what is otherwise known as the Diamondhead circle of pain. We had kicked ass up to that point, so I didn’t beat myself up about walking when I felt sore.
4. Plan your race day outfit! I practiced running a couple times in the outfit I wanted to wear and I’m so happy I did. I felt comfortable, no tags were being annoying and I knew how my sweat would wick. This seems like a great time to give UnderArmour’s underwear design team a huge shout out, because their workout underwear is FREAKING AMAZING.
Everything I wore can be found here:
5. Chub rub is real. I specifically wore longer shorts, but at mile 12, I could practically hear my thighs clapping for me. I applied BodyGlide prior to the race, but it had all sweated off by the time I was near the finish. Next time I’ll bring it with me.
6. Speaking of bringing things with us, Dane and I both used RooSport Pouches and they were amazing! We met the owners a couple years ago and Dane has used his, but this was my first real use. I LOVE IT. If you’re a runner or marathoner, I highly suggest them.
7. Lots of people have lots of opinions on sneakers, but Nike changed the game for Dane and I. We love our Nike Free Runs with Happy Feet insoles.They’re lightweight, support our arches and come in tons of fun colors!
8. The entire time I was running, the only thing I could think about was my pre-planned post race meal — a giant tray of shredded rotisserie chicken on top of french fries with honey mustard. I think this is what drove me for 90% of the race. #realtalk
9. Because this was my first race, I took the advice of several fellow runners (shoutout to Sarah & Jen & Mallory & Lexi here — you ladies are THE BEST) to not set the bar too high. So I didn’t. My only goal was to finish and cross the line holding Dane’s hand. Mission = Accomplished.
10. Finishing is finishing. Our final time was 3 hours and 19 minutes and I am DAMN PROUD of that! I sweated my ass off, burned my muscles (and 1800 calories) and felt a huge sense of accomplishment when we crossed that finish line hand in hand.
11. Take all the things! Free water, free Gatorade, free energy packets, free Vaseline, free sunscreen sprays, free donuts, free shave ice, free bananas, free hugs — TAKE IT ALL PEOPLE! And those people giving out free high fives and smiles along the course are the real MVPs! I can’t tell you how many times I saw someone cheering with a sign and it totally put a spring in my step! I think my favorite sign was: MAKE THIS HILL YOUR BITCH!
12. The fifth place female finisher of our race rocked this thing in 1 hour and 5 minutes. She is my hero.
13. You can do anything you put your mind to. Seriously. I know that sounds cliche, but it is SO TRUE. So much of running a half marathon is mental that if your mind is in a positive place, your feet and body will be, too.
13.1. I sort of cursed Dane for pushing me to do this, because I was afraid. But I think that might be what I love most about him — he knew I could do this and wanted me to prove it to myself. I’m forever grateful for a partner who supports me in all that I do AND pushes me to do crazy things like wake up at 3AM and run 13+ miles 😉
Are you a runner? Have you ever participated in a half marathon?