Running a half marathon can be so satisfying and fun (but still definitely tiring!) with the right mindset!
This is what I did this past weekend: ran a half marathon with less than a weeks' notice. Don't necessarily recommend this, but several thoughts and lessons helped me have a successful day, so I thought I'd share.
Disclaimer: it's not like I went from couch to half marathon in a week. I have been steadily training and increasing my mileage since the fall, but by no means was I training specifically for this race (in actuality, I was training for a mile race!)
But the nice folks of Personal Running Solutions (PRS) out of Jacksonville asked me if I'd run on their womens team to try and help them win the team division of the Shark Bite Half Marathon in New Smyrna Beach. I'm a sucker for a team activity and NSB is a groovy place, so we packed up and took a little road trip!
While I couldn't squeeze in any extra fitness in the week leading up to the race, I focused on things I could control: I slept relatively well (I've struggled with insomnia for years, but I really focused on at least "resting in bed" for at least 8.5 hours/night), I ate well, hydrated a bit obsessively, invested in some GU Gels, took a day off from running on Friday, worked a little extra so I could enjoy the weekend fully, and just generally was nice to myself and didn't worry about being undertrained.
During the race, here are some of the thoughts that I focused on that served me well:
"Stay calm and relaxed"
"I'm learning how to do this well"
"The first 10 miles are a formality"
"I can run a great 5k while tired"
"I'm well hydrated, so whatever I can get at the water stops is just a bonus"
"everything is a tail wind
That's it! Those worked well for me and kept my mind free from drama.
Highly recommend this race. Great organization, beautiful course (there are two causeways and several turns, so it's not a really fast course), great time of year, awesome medals and hats and tshirts and fun post race party!