I started running in 2008. But 2011 was the first year that I ever even considered running a Half Marathon and I did 5 that year! Yes, I got hooked.
A strained Achilles delayed my training for #3 (so I walked half the race.)
4th – Fall Foliage HM (No photographer) – 2:32:50
My first one was my most enjoyable and my 5th one, the least. In fact, the 5th one left me wanting an immediate do over! Unfortunately, after the 5th, I broke my ankle, then had a stress fracture so Half Marathon #6 came 16 months later in 2013 and I was just glad to finish.
Half Marathon #7 was supposed to be the one where I would be seriously training and hopefully get a PR. Then I broke my foot. With a late start to my training and my weekly miles not what I would have liked, again this half marathon was just “I’ll be happy to finish.”
Finally, there was Half Marathon #8. Injury-free for the whole training but I trained during an awfully cold, snowy winter. Nevertheless even running in monsoon rains, I managed to PR.
So ideally, if I stay healthy, I’d like to run two half marathons a year.
Why Do I run Half Marathons:
- It is hard and it gives you tremendous satisfaction when you finish.
- You get a medal.
- It motivates you to get out the door and run several times each week.
- It makes you increase your miles.
- It gives you an excuse to plan a vacation around a race.
- You don’t have to be fast.
- It really is doable (Anyone can! Some even are walker friendly.)
- The training isn’t as time-consuming as for a marathon.
How Will I Choose My Next Half Marathons:
- Not too expensive. I run a lot of races and do not want to spend more than $100 on one.
- I want a medal. 13.1 miles is a big deal to me.
- Run one with someone else I know, if possible. It is more fun with a friend running partner or spectator.
- Stay local or use frequent flier miles and visit a friend. Again, I don’t want to spend too much money.
- Not too hilly.
- Pretty scenery.
- I do not want to repeat a race. There are too many exciting races out there to choose from.
- Not too small and not too large. (I don’t want to run alone but I don’t want deal with crowds and congestion.)
I haven’t decided on a Fall one yet. Maybe the Hogsback Half Marathon in Conn. on 9/27/14. It is hilly but I have a friend who lives nearby. I am thinking of possibly the West Palm Beach Half Marathon in Fla. on 1/17/15 because I have several friends that live near there.
Here are some of my Half Marathon Tips:
- Get good running shoes
- Learn to fuel (try different kinds and stick with what works on race day)
- Hydrate – it may not be important on short runs but it is on long ones – use the water stops during the race
- Increase your long runs gradually – I usually add one mile each week and stop at 12 – your adrenaline on race day will get you through the last mile
- However, don’t cheat on long runs – some people can run 8 or 10 mile & are able to do 13 – I wouldn’t recommend it
- Don’t forget to taper – you don’t want to have tired legs for that important day
- Dress appropriately – that is for 20 degrees cooler than at the start (so bring throwaway clothing)
- Wear a GPS when training and for the race – it helps you keep track of time, distance and most importantly pace
- Start out slow – it will pay off during the second half – you’ll want to be able to run across that finish line and smile!
- Don’t be embarrassed to take walk breaks – it’s better than hitting a wall at mile 10 or getting injured and having a DNF
- Enjoy the experience. Soak up the atmosphere. It is supposed to be fun!
- If possible, take pictures or buy a race photo – you’ll won’t regret having a visual reminder of the experience
Click HERE to read an article about women running half marathons.
Happy Running! Do you run Half Marathons? Do like them? How do you choose the one to run?