Lessons From My First Half-Marathon of the Year

Susan celebrates with her family after conquering the NYC Half!

In addition to the More/Fitness Half-Marathon, I’ve also been training for the NYC Half-Marathon. The race took place this past weekend on Sunday. All along I’ve been a bit worried about running two half-marathons back to back. Would this lead to injury? Burnout? I sought the advice of Troy Jacobson, who designed the training guide that appeared in the February issue of FITNESS, and he suggested I taper a little earlier and not run really hard in the first race, then take a few days off to recover.

So I did not to go full force for the NYC Half, but instead treated as a practice run. I decided to ignore the clock and the speed of those around me despite my strong competitive streak. I just focused on having fun, and I did just that! I had a great time and finished in a better time than I had expected. All of my training paid off!

I was very fortunate for beautiful weather, no pain, no bathroom stops, cramping etc. (all things I’ve been worrying about because every other half-marathon I’ve done has included illness, heat waves and monsoons)!  Since we’re now just two short weeks away from the More/Fitness Half-Marathon, I thought I’d share a few tips that helped make my first big organized run this season better and hopefully will help you:

  1. Wear layers that you can get rid of along the way since it’s really cold waiting for the race to start.
  2. Top off your outfit with sunglasses and/or a hat and sunscreen. You don’t realize how strong the sun is even when it’s cold.
  3. Make sure to hydrate along the way. I found that alternating between Gatorade and water at every station works best for me.
  4. Write your emergency contact info on the back of your bib.
  5. Before the race, designate where you will meet friends and family once you’re done running. It’s a mob scene at the finish line!

Any season runners out there have tips to add?