I learn from my mistakes and there is no teacher quite like experience. I ran the North Olympic Discovery Half Marathon from Sequim to Port Angeles in June and I used every training tip I knew to make it count. These are my favs.
I didn’t just run. My training involved early morning CrossFit WODs that included shorter runs, Olympic lifts, tons of squats and super lame attempts at pullups because--without muscle there’s no power.
I ran a lot. Obviously, running is a big part of training. I hit my shorter runs (5-9) miles early in the week and ran the equivalent of a half marathon (13-14 miles) every Friday, for a month, leading up to race day. Race day was essentially my normal, weekly 13.1 mile run.
I was well hydrated. After enduring the effects of dehydration twice (I’ll spare you the graphic details), I was as militant about water and electrolyte replacement as I was about mileage. My goal was half my body weight in ounces of water each day leading up to the race—plus an extra 40 ounces. (That’s the size of my water jug). During the race I slowed at every rest stop for water breaks. It hurt to trade time for hydration—but once you’ve felt your body’s wrath for running dry, you’ll NEVER do it again.
Kick the low carb lifestyle to the curb at least for a couple days. Carbs are quick energy and if you want to avoid hitting that proverbial wall at mile 10, eat a pasta dinner the night before. I did and it was awesome. A couple gummy bears saved me during the race too, providing just enough of a sugar rush to help me finish well—no expensive gels needed.
Celebrate the finish. After regaining brain power (it happened a lot more quickly than before, due to the training tips mentioned above) I did my best to soak up the fun by cheering other finishers, eating the post-race banquet of popsicles and orange slices, getting a massage and sipping my cold beer at the finish line. The best part though, was seeing the excitement and admiration from my husband and children. If mama can do it--you can too.
Of course, this race revealed new weaknesses that need strengthening and that's the wonder of it all. There is always room for growth and the opportunity for improvement for the next challenge.
Dionne is a certified Ideal Protein coach who lost 25 pounds following the protocol way back when. Since then she's learned to cook healthier meals (and actually eat them), get a daily dose of iron in the form barbells and kettle bells and is usually training to improve her time in an upcoming half marathon.