Monday, April 11, 2016

What I REALLY didn't know about racing....

 
 A few years ago I wrote a post on what was truly my very first race.

It was the Lehigh Valley Half Marathon and boy o'boy did I come along way since then. I don't just mean in my times, I mean in the whole way I approach a race.  But in my defense, I was not involved in any running groups, really didn't have any runner friends, and was not on social media. So how was I suppose to know?

Lets take a look.

* I didn't train like I should have. I consistently ran a 5 mile loop around my neighborhood. I was pretty good at that and thought "heck, what's another 8 miles"? I think my longest run was only 7.5 miles.

* I didn't know about "training plans"  or GU ( or any other training fuel).

* I didn't have a pre-race ritual and ate whatever my friend brought me for breakfast before the race.

* I wore socks, a tank top, and sports bra all made of cotton. And get this, I wore fleece sweat pants! Yea, that seems like a stupid idea but I didn't know any better at the time.
 
* During the race I didn't take any nutrition or even stop for water.
 
* I didn't run with my ipod. I would not even think about running a race today without my ipod.
 
* I ran the whole time during the race, I thought if I stopped at all, I wouldn't be able to continue running. 
 
* I didn't take any pictures during the race and I didn't even get a Finisher's picture with my medal.
 
 I finished the race in 2:04 for my first half marathon. Even though I wore fleece and cotton, I was comfortable the entire time and fortunately had no chafing or blisters.
 
 Afterwards, I felt good, and proud of my accomplishment, but didn't think I would want to do it ever again!  And now here I am 9 years later and have several half marathons, full marathons, and even an Ultra under my belt, my running belt that is. Something I never even knew existed back then!  -L
 
If you'd like to read the first post I wrote about the Lehigh Half Marathon you can read that HERE.
 
We are linking up with the gals from TOTR.

72 comments:

  1. It's always a learning curve, isn't it. Although, I can't imagine not stopping for water!

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    1. I was afraid if I'd stop, I would not start again.

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  2. Running is definitely one of those sports where most of us have made mistakes at one point or another. The funny thing is that most of us can look back on some of those choices that we made in the beginning and wonder how we could have ever thought like that! I too always thought that in order to be a runner that you couldn't walk at all. Thank goodness that I stumbled upon Jeff Galloway's run-walk method, because I'm not sure that I would be the runner that I am today without utilizing that method.

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    1. Yes. It just makes you laugh to think back at the things you once did. Had I known Jeff Galloway method back then I may have used it.

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  3. Haha! Ignorance is bliss sometimes! It's so funny the things we do when we don't know better.

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  4. Girl, for my first marathon (which was only my second race ever) I wore a cotton zip up hoodie the entire time!!! It rained the whole race and it was soaked lol.

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    1. I wore cotten gloves last wk at the AC race and it rained the whole time. You would think I'd known better....haha.

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  5. I can't believe you did so well without good training! You are gifted :-))) I wore cotton to my first race too.

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    1. Thanks. Back then I didn't even know if that time was good or not. I did beat my friend so I was happy about that...ha.

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  6. Sometimes the less planning I do the better I do it! Running has a definite learning curve though

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    1. I agree. That's why I don't like to look at the course beforehand. I don't want to know what's coming.

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  7. It's always fun to look back and see what you did not knowing all the things you know now. I'm impressed that you were able to do so well with only running up to 7.5 miles before the race and not drinking any water during the race!

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    1. Thanks. I had no idea there were actual training plans out there.

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  8. Its funny to look back at my first race ... its like EVERYTHING you could do wrong, I did it. I think that's the case for most people. Its all about live & learning :)

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  9. I love looking back to see how far ive come! Running truly is a journey! You did awesome for your first half!!

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    1. Thanks. Now looking back I guess I did, considering all the things I did wrong.

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  10. You still had pretty good time for your first Half! Natural born runner! If it helps any, I trained for my first half marathon, and came in at 2:06, so your running helped you, even if it didn't feel like it!

    I did 10 5Ks before figuring out the "no cotton" rule... sweated my face off at those runs!

    I learned more in the last 6 months of reading blogs, than I did of 6 months of reading Runner's World, some of those thing I learned here! So thank you for sharing!

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    1. Your welcome. It wasn't until I was running with my group that I said I had this huge blister on my foot and they asked well what socks are you running in. Lesson learned!

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  11. Wow its always nice to see how we grow as a run

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    1. Yea it is. I wouldn't imagine wearing what I wore back then now.

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  12. ha! This is great :) You had a really great first half time. It is so funny what we learn as we go.
    I wouldn't stop on any runs when I first started running because I could not get restarted lol and I never drank, ever, not on training runs. LOL amazing we survived right! ;)

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    1. I know right! That's why I didn't want to stop. Afraid that I would not start back up again.

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  13. Funny! I've been running and racing for several years (over 50 half marathons and a dozen marathons) and it wasn't until about 4 years ago that I started running with an ipod. Can't believe it took me so long! lol! And I ran my first marathon and first several half marathons training by myself. I wouldn't think of going at it without my running group these days. We live and learn, don't we?!?!

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    1. Yes we do. During my first half I thought I would be preoccupied singing with my music. That's hey I didn't want to run with it. But now I feel like it gives me the motivation I need to keep going.

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  14. Great list and I could echo pretty much every single item you listed here as one of my own! It's amazing how much we learn as runners over time, yes? My biggest one was not fueling or hydrating at all during long runs or races. I don't know how I ever made it through without passing out!

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    1. Same here.I still have to remind myself about hydrating. I never think I need it, until it's too late.

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  15. That's hilarious. Did you die in those fleece pants?! It's so funny the knowledge I take for granted now... it's good to look back and remember what you wished you'd know way back when so you can help other newbies!

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    1. The surprising thing was no. I actual was very comfortable...haha.Don't ask me how.

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  16. I had people I could turn to for advice, but I wore a lot of cotton in high school and college, and had blisters on my feet almost every week. I really wonder how runners did it "back then." They didn't have the tech fabrics or Garmins, or anything, but they did a lot.

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    1. Yeah its hard to think that they managed back then. Now that we have access to all this.

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  17. My husbands first race he literally STOPPED and drank water at the aid station, like complete stop on the side of the road. I was dying! He just didn't know!

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    1. I have stopped but I always go to the side which is off the course and around only people handing out the water. I guess if he didn't know he didn't think anything of it.

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    1. Well back then I didn't have a camera phone.

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  19. I have to laugh when I look back at my first half marathon. I just did my normal runs and threw a couple of long ones in there. This particular half was super hilly and I didn't train for hills. Still, I finished in 2:02. I think I was just naive.

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    1. I never ran hills so I was happy that there was hardly any on this course. I lucked out there.

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  20. I finished my first half in 2:04 too! Was disappointed at the time because I had be hoping for a sub-2, but looking back my time was pretty good considering all the mistakes I made!

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    1. That's great! I didn't even have a time in mind that I wanted to finish in. At that time crossing the finish line was my only goal.

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  21. LOL!!! I "trained" for my first half without a Garmin, and used a route that I GPS'd with my car for mileage. My finish was 2:19, hehe!

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    1. Well thats one way of knowing your distance:)

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  22. I definitely didn't train for my first race as I should have! It took me a couple years of running 5ks to figure out that training is different than just running.

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    1. I should have started w 5k. I do not think I even had done any before I thought running a half was a good idea.

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  23. I feel the same way about my first race, a 5K. I knew nothing about running and didn't know any other runners. I wondered why all the other runners at the race seemed to know each other!

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    1. Clearly I knew nothing during this race. Live and learn.

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  24. I love that your training consisted of 5 miles for your first half. Hilarious looking back, isn't it? But you KILLED it anyway!

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    1. Thanks. Yeah I guess I did. Back then I didn't know if I did good or not I was just happy to have finished.

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  25. funny the things we learned! I never ran more than 9 miles before i ran my first half but that is better than your 5 mile loop!LOL!

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    1. Yes it is. I guess I should have put a little more effort into my trying for that race.

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  26. oh starting out! i definitely did not train correctly for my first race! I mostly worked out on the elliptical and dont think I ran on the rode. the week before I did 13 miles on the treadmill (6 there) and the rest of the elliptical and that was the start of IT band issues. I was overtrained-now I am much better!

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    1. I definitely was not over trained for this race....lol.

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  27. Fleece sweatpants that is so funny but they didn't even bother you! This was such a fun post topic! I do think we could take more from this and that is you simply wanted to do something and you did it! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Glad your enjoyed the post.When I set my mind to do something, I find a way to reach my goal.

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  28. One thing I love about running races, besides all the fun is there is always something to learn from and take away from them to improve or make things better for us in the future!
    That is funny about the sweats. I knew a gal who lived in Boston and her first marathon was the Boston Marathon and she wore a cotton shirt, LOL Granted she wasn't as lucky as you, she lost half her skin she said, but on the plus side it didn't hamper her race too much, she still finished near 3:20. But has never worn a cotton shirt in a marathon since, LOL

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    1. Wow! 3:30 is an awesome time while dealing w all the chafing from her cotton shirt.

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  29. Well, just add on an hour to the time, lose the cotton, well, no, actually, I did train pretty well for my first half. I knew about GUs and honeystinger waffles and followed a training plan and it was my coldest half ever -- still, 5 years later -- so no worries about chafing (although I do sometimes chafe even in the cold -- it's so frickin' random!).

    I like to read, so I always educate myself about a hobby. But of course there's always more to learn. LOTS more! And I keep learning!

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    1. I am always learning new things too. Luckily I never have that problem w chafing.

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  30. I used to run in cotton too! We have definitely come a long way since then!

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  31. I'm amazed at how far running apparel has come in the past 9-10 years! I also ran my first marathon in cotton stuff! *ouch* #didn'tknowbetter :)

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    1. Yep, neither did I. But I didn't have any bad experiences either when I didn't know any better.

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  32. I often wonder were we would be without social media, training plans, specialized clothes....back in the day folks just put on sneakers and ran and won races.
    I am thankful for the advances though.

    Tamieka@ fitballingrunningmom

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    1. Yes, same here. Makes it alot easier to want to continue to run.

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  33. I ran my first full marathon with no hydration and no fuel during any training or the marathon. I have no idea how I survived. Young and lucky I guess.

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  34. So fun to look back! I wore cotton as well in my first half and did not fuel either. You still did awesome considering all these things. :)

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  35. Wow, what a great story! My first race was a 10K that I did not train for. I had never run more than one mile at a time and I figured I would wing it.
    It is hard to imagine running a half marathon in fleece sweatpants with no stops for water, but that is awesome!!

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  36. Wow! It's amazing how you didn't stop for anything on this race. I did the same thing for my 1st 10K, I didn't stop because I didn't know how to drink water while running. But that was nothing compared to a half. I did the LV 1/2 in 2014. Are you going to do it again?

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  37. Oh, the things we don't know beforehand! I was such a noob as well, didn't have any runner friends, and new nothing at all. Seemed like a cheap 'habit' when I started, and oh boy, if I counted up all the money I've spent on races and gear - eeks! haha.

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  38. My first race was an 8k. I thought that meant 4 miles. In reality it was closer to 5 and I went out super fast. Yeah, that was awesome.

    We learn so much with each race...

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  39. I thought if I stopped, it meant I didn't really "run" a half marathon. My goal my entire training was to not stop or walk. I achieved that goal, but I've learned so much then.

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.