This is not, as many of you know, my first half marathon. In fact, last year my friend and I ran a full, and that was the plan for this year as well, until the universe told us otherwise. So, my running partner and I decided we would try to beat our personal best times. (Maybe that is tip#0, that it is ok to realize something isn't in the cards, but you can still do awesome things!) Mind you, I am not a fast runner, but I was definitely proud of us both for running our fastest halves yet!
This is us at about mile 6. Sadly, we had a bit of a rough start. We were supposed to meet up 20 minutes before the race near the start, and we both got screwed up. Thankfully, we found each other somehow in the 8,000 or so people who were at the Eugene Marathon!!
So tip #1 - make sure to really meet your partner early!! I think because this was our 5th big run together, we were somewhat complacent. I thought I'd know which roads they'd close, but those changed, and my friend accidentally told me the wrong street to meet. (Not that it mattered, since I was late!)
After that, I'd love to say it was smooth sailing, but it was not....leading me to tip #2 - really watch your diet before the run. I was pretty good about carbo-loading, but I think I ate something that didn't quite work for me, leading to a few unexpected bathroom breaks. Another thing that I really should know better, but was being bad about!
But, eventually things evened out and the running went well. Tip #3 - choose a really big (as in lot's of people) run for your first half or full! It is so much fun and so invigorating. Having tons of people to run with (and run past....hehe) and having tons of people cheering you on is fantastic. It make for a much more enjoyable run, even when you want to die! We have done a couple half marathons where the crowd was much smaller, and while still good, nothing like the big runs!
And that brings me to tip #4 - have someone there to cheer you on right at the end! My hubby and some of our friends were there right before the finish, which totally gave me the energy to sprint as hard as I could over the finish line!
My running partners' partner got this awesome shot of me sprinting the end. (I think the first thing I said to my running partner is that I hoped someone got a shot of me sprinting! hehe)
We did it! So happy!
Finally, tip #5 - have people there for you at the end to take pics and tell stories of the run to. And then go get lunch with everyone!