Saturday, January 29, 2011

Carlsbad Half Marathon - Lucky #13

Carlsbad Half Marathon runners
Well, I did it.  Was it pretty?  No.  Was it my fastest time?  Sadly, no.  I did cross the finish line though.  I felt great and was happy not to lose my lunch in the garbage can on the other side of the finish line.

So what was it?  A half marathon!!  Half marathons are a sexy distance for any level of runner.  It's not as grueling as a full marathon (26.2 miles) but a little heftier than say a 5K.  Both are great races but I'll take my 13.1 miles any day.

The weather was perfect - a sunny, warm 70 degrees in Carlsbad.  There were roughly 10,000 runners and in the half marathon it looks like there were almost twice as many women running as there were men!  A shocking statistic!

I'm very excited because my daughter's 2nd grade teacher approached me the other day and asked if we could start training together for her first half marathon.  I immediately said yes and gave her my top 3 things to do before beginning endurance running.  Here is the list (for those of you toying with the idea):

1.  Get a general physical and have yourself evaluated for really good running shoes at the local running store.  (okay, that's really a two-for but they truly are the top priority!)

2.  Make a workout playlist.  I use my iPod religiously while working out and swear by my playlists.  I've gotten my music so dialed in that I have a warm-up section, a cardio section, and then my absolute favorite songs b/c by about mile 9 or 10, you just need something to get you through to the finish line.

3. Lastly, you need an easy-to-follow training plan.  I've used Marathon Rookie's training calendar in the past.  There's also a good one on Runner's World, although they do the dreaded 800 repeats.  Ugh!  That's where you warm up for 2 miles, then run half mile at a 5K pace, then cool down for a 100 meters and then do it again.  You repeat this, hence the name, up to 8 times and then cool down for 2 miles.  I could only tolerate about 2 when I started doing them.  I hate to admit it but these really do improve your times.  Which, thankfully, is not really a beginning runner's focus.

Other than those 3 things, you need a good sports bra, running shorts, a dri-fit style shirt and socks.  You're good to go and go and go!

We're getting ready for the Surf City Half marathon on Super Bowl sunday.  I have been wanting to do this race for a while.  After 13 half marathons, I'm really just doing it for the awesome medal you get!  The medal for Surf City is AWESOME!!  I'll show you...

Could these be any cooler???
So, while we're sitting, definitely not standing, drinking beer, and eating delicious game day food, I won't feel as guilty.  I've already burned 1300+ calories!  Happy running!

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