Thursday, February 27, 2014

7 Things I'm Learning on the Way to a Half Marathon

Linking up with Emily Freeman to share a few things I learned in February
...also linking to The Month That Was (@ Creative Home Keeper).

7 Things I Learned in February
(While Training for a Half-Marathon)

1) Mittens are the way to go. When  temperatures drop below freezing, gloves do not cut it. I've heard it said that gloves are like putting 10 individual popsicles in their own wrappers.  Yes! Mittens let fingers share body heat and keep hands warmer. 

2) Whether I am hungry or not, I must eat immediately after a long run.  I learned this the hard way.  After one of my first long runs (8 miles), I didn't feel hungry.  In fact, I felt slightly nauseous so I waited before grabbing a snack.  By the time, I decided to eat, I was shaky and weak, plus I was sluggish and run down the rest of the day.  I didn't feel "normal" again until almost 24 hours later.   Now I know to eat right away to begin replacing my body's glycogen (energy) stores.

3) Nutrition mid-run isn't a bad idea either.  I know it's important to fuel your body if you are going to be running for longer than an hour, but I didn't like the idea of taking in the artificial nutrients of sports gels or chews. I experimented with a few options and settled on carrying pitted dates with me when I do my long runs.  They look like giant raisins. I love them because they are sweeter and chewier than raisins but less sticky, if that makes any sense at all.

4) While we're on the topic of food, training for a half marathon makes me hungry.  I look forward to every single meal.  I literally go to bed thinking about what I'm going to eat when I get up.  I've always eaten breakfast out of necessity, not desire...until now.

5) Music motivates me for speed runs.  Podcasts keep me occupied on long runs.

6) Running with a partner makes time go by quickly. Brian has no interest in running long, but he does run a mile about 3 times a week. Whenever we can coordinate it, I run my first mile with him before continuing on alone.  It's amazing how fast that first mile passes.  I wish I had a running partner to stick with me for longer mileage. 

7)  I curl the toes on my left foot when I run.  I catch myself doing it out of habit, but I pay for it later.  So far...3 blood blisters and 1 black toenail.  I'll spare you the photo for that one!


  1. Oh, blood blisters and a black toenail do not sound like fun! And I've always preferred mittens. My parents gave me a pair of fuzzy fleece lined mittens years ago and they are still my favorite.

    On a more serious note, it's definitely important to replace your energy stores after your long runs. My sister-in-law ended up in the hospital a few years ago after running a marathon because her sodium levels dropped dangerously low.

    1. My feet definitely have not felt as bad as they looked. A bit of soreness, yes, but more gross than anything. :-)

  2. I have started listening to podcasts when I'm out for a walk. It's a great time to squeeze them in!

  3. Way to go on training for a half!! I love running...and the half had become one of my favorite races!!!

  4. I think your analogy on mittens is perfect! I can't believe that I have never thought of that before, but it makes so much more sense to keep your fingers together for warmth! :) Love your 7 lessons, thanks for linking up with me this month. I hope to see you again next month!


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