5 Training Changes I Have Made – Half Marathon

This past summer on a bit of a whim, I signed up for another half marathon.  It had been about 2 years since my first one and I was ready to get back in the saddle.   I went to a conference for work and they really stressed being your best self both professionally and personally. I started reflecting on things that made me happy and decided to just go for it and sign up for another race. I really like having a goal, running itself makes me happy and this pushes me to do it when life might otherwise get in the way. Something that helped me pull the trigger is that the race was literally 5 minutes from my house.  And a wonderful surprise was Eric, my husband, decided to do it with me!  He has run in the past, frequently doing a local 4 on the 4th race (crazy hilly and always super-hot) but this would be his first half marathon.  After the race, I realized some key differences between my training for my last race and this one.


 

Terrain Choices

Last time I did a lot of my short runs either on the road, on the treadmill, or in a local park. I really hated the treadmill, it was just so boring and I never felt like I got a good run out of it. I much preferred getting outside and going on the road. It’s much more stimulating and you can’t beat fresh air.

This time around, I did my weekly runs at a local track. Starting in the summer vs. the winter means I was able to run everything outside which is amazing. I know that running in circles too much may not be the best but it has helped me to run at a much steadier pace.

Using my Nike Plus Tracker/Running app, I could see that previously, I would start and finish really strong but have a very significant dip in my pace for the middle. Or I wouldn’t push myself and have a ton of energy left at the end. I started timing my laps on my phone so I could see if there were any big changes lap to lap and address it right away. I think that running on the track has helped me establish a natural pace that I can now use when I am on a trail or the road.


Scoping out the Race Course

In addition to running on the track, every week I went down to the state park where the race was to get my long runs in. I had a map of the course and ran it from the starting point. It is so valuable to be able to know exactly where the hills are (even though they are minor) in addition to the mile markers. Something that is interesting about this course is it goes through multiple different types of terrain. It starts in the park and you run on dirt paths through campgrounds and picnic areas. Then you have a section of well groomed trail in the woods, which is totally shaded (sweet!). After that you pop out on the roads in Madison for the majority of the middle miles. Being able to check this out and run it consistently has given me the chance to get a feel for the conditions including the wind, sun, elevation and smells (low tide – its real). For my last race, it was in Annapolis so I never got the chance to check it out before race day.


Running Without Headphones

Track photo
Not listening to music gives Eric plenty of time to steal my phone and take random pictures of me.

When I was reading through the rules for the race, headphones are specifically banned so I have been training without them. Which seemed crazy to me at first! How was I going to stay motivated? In Maryland I would listen to music and podcasts on my long runs to help pass the time. I really thought it was going to be a struggle to go without any kind of music. Now that I’m running without them, I think headphones may have been holding me back. Once I got going, I would just putz along to get the mileage in without focusing on my form, pace or how I felt. I had a pretty short stride and was probably running hunched just because I wasn’t paying attention. Now I am really feeling the run. I can check in more easily and if I can dig deeper, I do. If I notice poor form or some strain, I can adjust. I no longer need to be distracted while I run. Obviously after a while, my mind will wander (perhaps writing the outline for a blog post…) but I can snap myself in and out as needed. This has allowed me to keep a more consistent pace but also challenge myself and now I am going much faster. Much of my long runs had an average pace around 12:00 min/mile, some even slower. Now I am consistently in the 10:00’s. I don’t feel like I am training any harder, but rather, I am getting more out of each workout so I am progressing.

 

Having a Buddy

For my first race, Melissa of EatontheRun peer pressured encouraged me to sign up because she was racing. I then got my friend Erica to join as well. Even though there were a bunch of us running together, we all had different paces and locations – Erica was living about 7 hours away from me at the time. So the vast majority of my training was solo.

Having Eric running with me was a big change.  Not only does this help with motivation during the run (we get competitive with each other) but it makes it much easier to stick to our schedule. We plan our evenings around our workouts. Being on the same page Eric and Wendymakes things so much easier so there isn’t any FOMO – we can plan fun things for our rest days together.

Being afraid of missing things did get me in trouble last time. I got lax about following my training schedule in the final couple of weeks and ended up missing a lot of runs. My internship was wrapping up, friends were getting married/graduating and I was trying to prepare for life post internship in the real world. This time, I had Eric to really anchor me into the schedule.
Making a Time Goal

Last time all I wanted to do was finish. I wanted to run the whole thing and didn’t care how long it took. I ended up walking really only around the aid stations because I can’t handle drinking/eating while running. So I was happy with that.

This time, I decided to make a real concrete goal. Having a benchmark makes it easier to determine what a reasonable goal is. So this time, I set out to finish in less than 2 hours and 30 minutes which breaks down to about an 11:30 average pace.

Recap

Well the race went really well. It was a bit chilly and started a bit late but it was a beautiful course and we had nice weather.  We did miss our goal by about 2 minutes, but it was still better than my last one by 15!  I am really happy with how it went, especially because we only trained for 9 weeks and Eric was brand new to this distance.

Post Half

It was a great race and after a little hiatus, we signed up for another one this April! We are already so much faster starting out so I’m expecting some significant PRs in our future.

 

How has your training evolved over time?

 


All of this is based off of my personal experience as I don’t have any formal training to instruct others. If you are working towards a fitness goal, just be mindful of what tactics seem to work and if anything has changed since you started. Being adaptable is a great way to get the most out of you training and in general, your life.

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FitBit: a Bit of an Obsession

Back in December, I decided to treat myself to a gadget.  I had a bit of income from a retail job that I worked while I was RD Job hunting, and I hadn’t done something for myself in a while.  My friend Emily, who works on her feet all day, and I decided to go for it and get ourselves FitBit Zips.  We had heard great things from reviews and friends (*cough* Melissa) and wanted to see how active we really were during the day.  She got pink and I, of course, got lime green.  Well its been a little over 6 months now and I have to say, I’m still excited about it.

Basics:

  • The zip is a pedometer that can hook onto your pants or undergarments
  • It tracks your steps, distance, and calories burned-including calories from basic body functions
  • It syncs with your computer so you can see trends

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I wear this thing every day, occasionally missing it on the weekends.  When I first started it showed me that I was not as active as I thought.  I was on my feet for my job, but was really only walking 3000-4000 steps a day (goal 10,000).  Knowing his prevented me from over eating.  Now that I have activity built into my day and I am meeting my fitness goals, it makes it easier to eat appropriately.

More on the website:

  • You can track your food intake and it will calculate your needs for weight loss, gain or maintenace
  • You can manually enter activities not picked up like swimming or yoga
  • You can enter in your sleep for more complete wellness
  • You can compete with encourage your friends and other FitBit users!

Fit Bit Dashboard

Since starting my own FitBit journey, I have purchased them for Eric and my mom, and I know others are probably sick of me singing its praises.  But that’s not going to change anytime soon! I have found that having some accountability has made me much more willing to engage in both structured exercise and more activities of daily living.  If I’m reading on a couch and I’m thirsty, I’m more likely to actually get up and get water, rather than just sucking it up.  If a friend needs help moving something, I’ll lend a hand more readily.  I now see everything as an opportunity for steps.  I don’t think it has gotten truly obsessive, but it has made me more aware of activity opportunities.  A neat feature is that you can earn badges.  These can be a personal best for steps in a day or total miles over your lifetime.  Recently, I got this beauty:

Fit Bit BadgeAnd I am totally ready to walk 500 more. And wind up at your door… You can’t NOT sing that song. Right?  Overall, my Zip is very easy to use, is secured snugly and I love that it syncs, allowing me to see every step I’ve made over the past 6 months.  If you want a boost to get you going or to monitor your already active lifestyle, I say go for it.  They are about $60.00-$70.00 but you do get a lot out of it and it will last you ages.  Happy stepping!

Do you already use any other fitness tracking gadgets?

 

Trick-or-Trot

Happy Halloween! This is one of my favorite holidays.  It combines outrageously festive dress and candy.  Now I may be an RD, but I still love candy.  In addition to the regular activities, my father and I decided to try something new for the both of us: running a 5K.  You may be wondering, wait a sec, you did a Half-Marathon, surely this is nothing new.  The fact is that my first race was 4 miles, and from there I have done a 10K, Half-Marathon and another 4 miler, but I completely skipped what is usually the first step in racing. 

With all of my longer races, my dad was really proud of me and said he was pushing himself a little harder in his workouts.  He is a gym regular and has routinely done 2 miles on the treadmill a couple days each week.  As a challenge, I thought it would be fun to up it to 3.1, and he was totally on board.  We trained separately, but came together this past weekend for the first annual “Trick-or-Trot”, a fundraiser for the Daisy Ingraham Elementary School PTO in Westbrook, CT.

 

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It was a very fanciful race with a costume contest, face painting, a bouncy house and a lot of children running alongside their parents.  I wore an old Native American costume over my running gear to get into the spirit.  My favorite group was a family of super heroes including a Batgirl mother/daughter pair, a Captain America father and a Buzz Light-year son.  The kids were pushed in strollers and would jump out and run a segment when the motivation struck.  It was so great to see parents getting their kids excited about exercise!

Wonder Woman pushing her child’s stroller.IMG_0246

It was a beautiful run that took us down along the beach.

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The last 0.1 miles of the race was uphill (isn’t that the way) and my dad was able to speed away from me for a strong finish.  I kicked it into gear and finished 3 seconds behind him.  Dad 34:45, Wendy 34:48.  Not too shabby considering I was at a wedding the night before!

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Unintentional Rocky Costume.IMG_0251

Proud finishers.IMG_0253

We both had a great time and I see more races in our future.  Maybe I can make myself a new Half-Marathon buddy.  (Melissa rubbed off on me). 

If you are a runner or an aspiring runner, I would highly recommend doing a 5K with a friend.  Having a race date will keep you focused on your goal and doing it with a buddy will make the day of a lot more enjoyable.  You can soak up the events associated with the race and catch up with each other. 

Who do you like to run with, and do you encourage others to race with you?

Race Reeeeecap!!!!!

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I did it! I have officially run my first half-marathon!!!!!!!  And I did it at a 12:35 pace, which makes me very happy.  I know that I’m no speed demon, but my goal was just to do it and have fun. MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

I still don’t think it has truly hit me that I ran 13.1 miles and that’s not a normal thing to do.  But I am really proud of myself.  This was the loftiest goal that I have ever set.  Now that I have done it, I’m ready to sign up for another one and set a new PR.  Even though there were some tough parts, crossing the finish erases all of that.  Sort of like childbirth, Smile

But without further ado, I present Wendy’s First Half: ZOOMA Annapolis!


We all woke up bright and early at 5am for a 7am start.  Sounds excessively early, but then you remember it has been 85-95 degrees all week and are incredibly grateful.  Fortunately, Kelly set our alarm as a Ke$ha song, so we started the day pumped.

Zooma 1 Collage

The start was at the Navy Stadium and there were about 1,000 runners so it was pretty packed.  We had a little fun with a photo shoot before things got serious.  Melissa and my friend Emily were our spectators and cheering section, so a special shout out to them.20130601_062159Kelly, Me, and Erica

Once it got closer to 7, we started to assemble.  They had pacers in the crowd holding signs for different times: 1:30, 1:40, 2:00 etc.  This is where Kelly, Erica and I parted ways because we all had different paces.  I found the 2:30 pacer, which was my reach goal (that I decided on in that moment lol) and got mentally ready. I had my iPod, my phone and a Gu in a little runners pouch.  I didn’t actually test the pouch out ahead of time, so I went on faith that it would work well. Thankfully it was just fine. Phew!

We had our tracking chips in the bibs, which I thought was really cool because you don’t have to worry about a little chip falling off of your shoe.  At this point, I was just ready to go and then we were off!

Zooma 2 Collage

The course was beautiful.  We went through the historic section down by the water, and then across the bridge.  The heat was pretty brutal, especially in the beginning because we were in direct sun.  After that, the course became much shadier and I could feel myself picking up the pace and pushing harder.

Around mile 4, there was a group that had some signs that were such a morale boost.  If you ever watch a race, just make a funny sign and you will make everyone’s day.

Zooma 3 CollageWorst Parade Ever, You trained longer than Kim Kardashian’s Marriage, In Our Minds, You’re all Kenyans

Fueling and hydration are so important so I took my first Gu at mile 4.  Then, thinking it was water, I accidently grabbed a cup of raisins at mile 5. But I figured it couldn’t hurt to get a little extra sugar in me.  I stopped at every water station and got 2 cups, one water, one Cytomax.  Then I just grabbed whatever was on the course so another Gu at mile 9 and a couple pretzels about a mile later.  DO NOT EAT PRETZELS IF YOU DON’T HAVE WATER WITH YOU! My mouth was so dry. Thankfully I wasn’t too far from a water station.

It was pretty funny because at one point, I didn’t feel sweaty anymore so I just thought, “ Wow, it must have cooled off/I’m used to the heat.” WRONG.  I was totally drenched but when your in a constant state of ‘glistening’, you stop noticing.  Another reminder to keep hydrating.

They had sporadic mile markers with inspirational quotes on them which was pretty cool.  My preference would to have them at every mile because not seeing any between mile 9 and 12  was a mental struggle.

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Towards the end, there were a lot spectators cheering us on with music and high fives.  I knew I was in good shape when I was able to bust a move to the Beyoncé blasting.  If you cant dance to Beyoncé, that’s when you KNOW your in trouble.  It was tough, but the crowd kept me going and I was able to pick up my pace for the last mile and finish strong!

The finish line was fun because they announced your name as you crossed. After I got some water in me we hit the expo!  I picked up my swag, including my necklace, yoga mat, water bottle and first timer medal.  Races are great. Where else do people give you high fives and snacks, yell compliments at you and then give you presents?

Zooma 5 Collage

Aaaaand then we hit the wine. Barefoot Wine was a sponsor and we HAD to sample each type.  It would have been a waste otherwise!  Combined with the heat and exhaustion, things got pretty silly, pretty fast.  But it was all in good fun and then we headed back to the hotel and grabbed some Thai for lunch.

Zooma 6 Collage

Overall, it was an awesome day.  I am so happy that I did this and my friends were right there with me.  I have a feeling I may sign up for another one in the next couple of weeks…

What was your first race like?

Packet Pick Up and Expo

On Friday, Melissa and I drove into Annapolis for our packet pickup at the Lowes Hotel.  We were also grabbing Kelly and Erica’s packets because they weren’t getting in from new Jersey and Massachusetts (respectively) until later in the evening.  The packets were so cute, and everything was in Chevron which gave it an extra pinch of adorable.  Melissa is crazy about Chevron, so its only fitting that she talked me into this race. SmileIMG_1309[1]

We then poked around the expo where I picked up a cute non-slip headband.  I had been meaning to get one for a while but couldn’t find one I liked, but when I saw orange zebra print, I had to get it.  Animal prints were the signature of my Greek family in ΑΦΩ and my race tank was orange.  Stars aligned! 

Honest Tea was a sponsor of the race and they held a Mocktail Party with their products.  They had some really cute creations and I got the Light Foot Lemon-Limey which was fizzy and refreshing.  I think I’m going to pick some up for the summer.  Honest Tea Collage

Melissa was a Zooma Ambassador along with some other food and fitness bloggers so they all got together to catch up.

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Anne of Fannetastic Food (second from left) came to one of our class days back in the fall to talk about blogging and has since passed her RD exam and has started her own private practice, which is very exciting! I love that she just dove right in to her own business.  Anne then introduced me to Theodora of Losing Weight in the City and Tina of Carrots ‘N’ Cake.  This was particularly cool because Carrots ‘N’ Cake was the first food blog I ever read and I have followed her since my sophomore year of college.  She is part of the reason I got into nutrition and switched my major from Marketing.  Her blog also inspired me to make The Baier Necessities.  Needless to say, I was extremely pumped to meet her!

Tina and I

She, and everyone else, was so nice and funny, it was a really great experience to meet them all in person.

After the expo Melissa and I strolled through the city.  Annapolis is so cute and has some awesome food.  We grabbed dinner at Fado, an Irish pub, then got some ice cream down by the water.  We needed to fuel up!

Annapolis Collage

We rented a room at the O’Callaghan hotel for the night and Kelly, Erica and Emily met us there in the evening.  The hotel was in walking distance of the start so we could relax and not have to worry about being late for our 7am start!  Race recap to come next, get ready!

What has been your favorite city to run through?

Race Weekend is Here!

I mentioned a while back that I signed up for my first half marathon, ZOOMA Annapolis.  And then I never really mentioned it again….bad blogger!  Between training and my clinical rotations, I got a little lax with my posts.  But after 3 months of training, the day is finally here and I could not be more excited.  I want to thank everyone who has helped me along.  Eric has been very supportive, always pushing me to do better.  Erica who has been training alongside me yet from a distance.  And Melissa who has had constant words of encouragement, motivation and advice along the way.  She also got me some sweet training swag including Gu to try outs  an iPod arm band and a Nike + bracelet that tracks your mileage.  All of this has been SO helpful and has made this a really great experience.

For training, I also got some awesome new shoes from Asics which now have about 200 miles on them (wow!).Shoes

Last night I hung out at Melissa’s where we watched Spirit of the Marathon, which followed elites and amatures training and completing the Chicago marathon.  It was so motivating!  I wanted to go out and run right away.  Now I just need to hold onto this energy for another 36 hours and I’ll be all set!  If you are doing any long distance race/endurance event, you NEED to watch this movie.

Spirit of the Marathon

I took an note from the movie and laid out everything I could need for the day of and then packed it all.  All in all, I have spandex shorts, a sports bra, tank top, socks, shoes, hat, running belt, Gu, Nike + bracelet and sensor.  Who says you only need shoes to run? 

Running Gear

My good friend Erica is running it with me so she is driving down for Mass with our other friend Emily (I have had so many visitors lately, it makes me feel VERY popular).  We are getting a hotel room in Annapolis so we don’t have to worry about driving in the morning.  I promise I will give a great race recap to make up for the lack of training coverage.  Wish me luck!

Soundtrack to My Workouts

When exercising, music can be so important.  It can get you pumped and keep you motivated.  For my cross training/weight lifting workouts, I need music.  Below is a sample of some the songs I love.

Song Artist Year
Blue Eiffel 65 1999
Boom Boom Boom VengaBoys 1999
Dani California Red Hot Chili Peppers 2006
Dirty Little Secret All-American Rejects 2005
Every Time We Touch Cascada 2005
Float On Modest Mouse 2005
Faster Third Eye Blind 2001
Here It Goes Again Ok Go 2006
I’m Too Sexy Right Said Fred 1992
It’s Tricky Run DMC 1986
My Sharona The Knack 1979
Dragostea Din Tei (Numa Numa) O-Zone 2004
Tangerine Speedo Caviar 2000
Tubthumping Chumbawumba 1997
369 Cupid 2006

Music Collage

As you can see, my taste in music is pretty much songs that were popular during my high school years, or even earlier.  There is something about the 90’s and early 2000’s that I really like.  It was before everything got really rappy with super strong beats.  I  also have positive associations with most of these songs so it works for me.  When making your song selections, remember: you are the only one listening to it.  In addition to these, I also have a bunch of S Club 7 and music from my dance team (Indian/African/Latin).  Not the most current choices, but I like them.

Do what works for you.  And if your on the prowl for new music, do a swap with friends.  About 90% of these songs came from my friend Erica.

Now what about long runs?  When running for 40+ minutes, music can get a little boring.  I do multiple long runs per week, and with training for my half marathon, they are only going to get longer.  I just know I’ll get sick of my music. For this, I listen to podcasts.

If you’re unfamiliar with podcasts, you can download them to you iPod/iPhone to listen whenever.  They range in topics so there is something out there for everyone.  Here are three of my favorites.

Stuff Mom Never Told You

This one has 2 hosts, Cristen and Caroline, and they put out 2 episodes per week, between 20-40 minutes long.  They generally focus on women’s issues, but not in a über feminist way.  Topics range from history of nail polish and corsets, to attraction and dating, to equality in the US and other countries.  They are very light hearted and use humor in each podcast.  They also do a lot of research on each topic, using very credible studies to support themselves.   Highly recommended.

 

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Stuff you Should Know is from the same website as Stuff Mom Never Told You.  It is hosted by Chuck and Josh and they take on pretty much any topic under the sun.  These tend to be a bit longer, closer to 40 minutes each.  They are also very funny and have great research.  This was the first podcast I got into, and that was about 3 years ago.  Some episodes are How Vampires Work, Is Stockholm Syndrome Real?, How Book Banning Works and How Diamonds Work.  Again, a huge range of topics so you are bound to find something that peaks your interest.

 

Wait Wait

This podcast is actually a radio program on NPR.  It’s a news game show where they talk about the weeks’ news with a panel of comedians.  They also have people call in and answer questions.  They tend to highlight some of the funnier things that have happened during the week and put a positive spin on some of the more serious issues in politics.  Very funny, if your into political humor.

 

 

There are a ton of options out there for both music and podcasts, so just pick something that motivates you and you can’t go wrong.

What do you listen to during workouts?

ZOOMA Half Marathon

It is official – I am going to run my first half marathon! 

Lucy Suprised

This has been in the works for a while now, but last night my friend Erica and I officially signed up.  Running has become a big part of my life over the past year or so.  After I ran my first race, I knew that I was hooked.  It was such a fun environment to be in and I wanted more!  I looked around and contemplated a 10K or doing some more short races, but I decided that I wanted something a little more ambitious and just went for it.  Over Christmas break, I proposed the idea to Erica and she was totally gung-ho so that just sealed the deal.

lets do this

Zooma

I heard about the ZOOMA Half in Annapolis from Melissa, who is an ambassador for the race.  She made the point that for my first race, it should be an amazing one, and that ZOOMA definitely fit the bill. 

  • The course is right on the water and is very scenic
  • Its in early June so the weather should be pretty mild
  • It comes with a sweet swag bag (yoga mat, water bottle and custom necklace)
  • It’s a party!

Party? you may think skeptically.  How could running for over 2 hours be a party?  It looks like ZOOMA does their very best to make it as fun as possible.  After the race, there is an expo with shopping and massages, yoga classes, and wine.  If that isn’t motivation to finish, I don’t know what is!

In order to prepare for the race, I made myself a training schedule.  I got this off of the Hal Higdon’s website, Novice 1.  It was only for 12 weeks so I doubled up a few to stretch it out to June.  Zooma Training Schedule

To make sure I wasn’t going to wimp out, I completed the first week before I signed up.  I found that having this schedule makes it so much easier to workout. When I check the schedule, I just know what I have to do, and I do it.  Mentally, this thing is gold.

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I will periodically post updates on how I’m doing and any tips I may learn along the way!

 

What are your long term running goals?

 

My Running History to Date

Growing up, running was one of the most stressful things in my life.  I hated it.  In elementary school, I definitely cried over having to run the mile.  Things slowly got better when I started doing organized sports in high school, but it was something that I endured rather than enjoyed and I thought people who ‘ran for pleasure’ were lying to themselves.  How could you love to do something that hurt and wore you down?

After high school, I started to form a sort of admiration for runners.  It was something that I was terrible at, so I saw them as supreme athletes, someone to admire for their athletic prowess.  I tried to start running a little in college, and it never really took off.  I got up to doing 2.5 miles on the treadmill, but that was exhausting and I never sustained it.  This past summer, Eric encouraged me to give it another try.  He was definitely a better runner than I was and brought me along on his runs.  When I got indignant and insisted on stopping, he would push me to go a little further, and showered me with positive encouragement.  After going on runs pretty regularly, I built up my stamina to doing 3 miles.  The distance was an achievement in itself, but do you want to know the biggest change?  I liked it.  It was no longer something that I did because I knew it was good for me.  After a run, I had that high people talked about.  And it was awesome. 

At this point, I still wouldn’t have classified myself as a runner, but I felt I could hold my own when talking about it.  While adjusting to life in Maryland, I took a bit of a break.  I was used to running outside on trails, and this area was completely unfamiliar.  I didn’t know if it was safe or what routes I could use.  After about a month and half, I found my bearings and started up again.  I got to the point where if I missed a day, I actually missed it.  Now I really had the urge to enter a race.  I felt confident enough to do one.  I was consistently running about a 5k so I knew that I wouldn’t embarrass myself if I entered.  Thanks to Melissa, I found the Rudolph Run, sponsored by Bullseye Running. It was a 4 mile race through the state park near my home.  It was a 2 mile loop done twice or in a relay.  Originally, Melissa and I were going to do it together, but she got sick that weekend.  Undeterred, I still went.  And I am do happy that I did.

Rudolph 2

That’s right, I ran my first race.  On December 15th, I ran 4 miles in 46 minutes and 22 seconds through the woods with a bunch of other people. It was so much fun, and now, I finally feel like a runner.  It was such a great experience.  There were spectators lining the course at points, cheering you on, even if you were a complete stranger.  (TIP: Wear a shirt that has some identifying mark.  I was known as “Uconn”, so I kept hearing things like, “You got it Uconn!”, “Looking good Uconn.” A little encouragement goes a long way)

Rudolph

My goal was to finish in under 50 minutes because I had actually never run a full 4 miles before.  I figure if they expect marathoners to run 6 more miles than they trained for, the extra fraction of a mile couldn’t be too tough.  Overall, I had an incredible experience and I would strongly encourage anyone who is interested in entering a race to do so.  There is such a comradely among runners and you may meet some really nice people while achieving personal bests.

Do you run? What’s your story?