All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go….run my first half marathon!

If you haven’t already heard, I’m running my first half marathon this Sunday tomorrow! It’s the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon here in Dublin.

This is rather a big milestone for me in terms of races. The longest race I’ve done so far is 10k so a half marathon is a big step upwards! My bags are packed, my fuel bag and my post-race bag that is. So I think…I’m ready to go!

But how am I really feeling about it? 

I feel as ready as I can be! This is my 15th race so I have a good pre-race routine sorted. I’m also planning on running this as a training run so I’m not going to all out race it. That is helping with the nerves I think! The only thing I don’t feel ready with is the route. I’ve studied the map and am familiar with the area but I haven’t run these streets so it will all be new!

My longest training run so far was 12 miles so I do feel the distance is very doable. That run was a very slow run due to hills and an unfamiliar route. It helps to know that I could have run that 12 miles faster than I did.

I am definitely looking forward to it! It helps that Rock ‘n Roll Dublin has been really great at interacting with people on twitter.

This race, which I signed up for in March before I even started marathon training, is going to help me determine what kind of marathon I’m going to run and how my training is coming along. Of course, as always, I’m hoping for the best while planning for the worst! 😛

Congrats on the addition to your family! For fuel on long runs I’ve been experimenting with different kinds. Gels, energy bars, jelly shots.  I haven’t been too excited about any of these because I really prefer whole, non-processed foods. I generally don’t eat anything I haven’t cooked or made myself.  I haven’t tried homemade energy bars yet so for my race I will have to stick with the stuff I’ve already tried.

I have found that I prefer an energy bar to a gel, mostly because I feel better when I get to chew something. It feels more substantial. Having said that, I do like the High5 Isogel packs as they are pre-mixed with water and so are easier to drink on the run. They were the first fuel I ever tried on a run and I’m lucky they agreed with me 😀

For tomorrow my fuelling strategy is this :

3 hours before the race I’ll have a bowl of overnight oats (1/2 cup oatmeal, 1/2 natural yoghurt, 1/2 milk, combine and leave in fridge overnight. In the morning, serve with sweetener of choice).

30 minutes before the race I’ll have a banana.

For the race itself I’m bringing with me a Clif bar chopped in half, some Clif Shot Bloks and some High5 Isogel.  I’ve practiced taking these fuels on my long runs so I know they’ll all be useful. (I only use the caffeine free versions, this is a little limiting in terms of fuel choices but I can’t have caffeine so I make do!)

Now, on my long runs so far I haven’t needed anything more than one isogel so I’m really not expecting to eat all that during the half! I’m bringing it so I have a choice on the day and also to keep my belt pouch filled so it doesn’t go flat and bouncy on me! The belt fits me better when it’s full!

I will also have my hand held water bottle with me so I don’t have to rely on water stations. I’ll also have water in my bag for afterwards, I learned that lesson the hard way!

Nervous? Yes! This is a milestone for me and I really want to do it well. My goal is to finish in 3 hours but to start slow and work from there. I’m nervous that I’ll either run it too fast or that I won’t run it fast enough! This is my first race with a cut off time and I know that I’m pretty set to finish well before then but there’s always that nagging self-doubt that I’ll end up on the bus at the back. I really, really don’t want that!

Excited? Definitely! Despite my time goal and my reliance on this race to inform my marathon training, I’m really excited to run this race and test myself, my discipline and my training. No one else is putting this pressure on me so I’ve been listening to everyone who has said to enjoy it and in letting go of some of the pressure I do feel more excited now then I was a month ago. I also love the concept of the live music at each mile. I think it’s a fun way to help pass the time! I stopped listening to music on my runs a long time ago so this will be a real treat!

Looking forward to it? Absolutely. Can I just be running already?!

Thank you guys for the great questions!

I want to give a big shout out to Ash and Danny of RunLogic for their help, encouragement and support in the run up to this race. You’ve been great at answering my questions and allowing me to be myself. I love that you encourage runners of all abilities, from the super-fast to the slow-n-steady. This has been a great help to me as I train for this race (and the marathon).

So, today and this evening I’m taking it very easy. Feet up and making sure to drink my water and eat my carbs. My gear is washed and ready to go. I’ll get an early night and hope I sleep well. I’ll be up at 5.30 in the morning to have my breakfast as the race start is 8.30am!

So wish me luck in the comments below! I don’t have anyone to cheer me on the course but your comments and tweets are just as encouraging! Thank you to everyone who has tweeted me so far! It means more to me than I can could possibly say!

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2 responses to “All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go….run my first half marathon!

  1. You are going to be absolutely fine, you sound so well prepared. Go and have a blast and I look forward to the race report!! Good luck!!

  2. Wish I lived a bit closer, I would have come and cheered you on! Hope it goes well and looking forward to the race report. Would be particularly interested in when you chose to eat /refuel and why and how well it works. Have a great run, you should be very proud to have reached this stage in your training

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