So last Saturday I ran the Utah Valley half marathon. It starts in Provo canyon and ends in downtown Provo. It was downhill for several miles, so I'm sure that had some effect on my time. I did run the whole way, and finished in under 3 hours, which was my goal. In the half marathon I did last year I had some sickness/pain issues and had to walk a few miles, but this time luckily nothing like that happened. I was not in as good of shape this year. My time was 2:57, compared to 3:15 last year. For those of you who don't run, 3 hours to run 13 miles is beyond slow. Out of 2500 people that finished, I think I came in at around 2250. I think I could finish in 2.5 hours if I spent more time training. I only ran 3x a week this time (should be 4x) and my short runs were too short. I trained for 3 months, but before that I had not run at all for 4 months. I also weigh 20 lbs more than I did last year. But similar to last year, I got sick for a few weeks in the month before the race and did not run during that time.
Someday I might do a marathon if I had a plenty of time to train (like when all my kids are in school someday and I spend 4-6 months training). I know this time I could not have run even another yard beyond 13.1 miles, so running double that would take a lot more preparation. I know now that pushing your body physically is as much mental as it is physical. The last 2 miles were especially hard on me, and even though my body didn't realize when I had crossed the finish line, my mind did know I could feel my body shutting down even as I crossed the line. The longest I'd ever run before the race was 10 miles, and I was running a lot slower than I did in the race.
Activity/food journal: The night before the race I was exhausted but could not sleep. I eventually took some sleep meds in desperation and got maybe 2 hours of sleep max. Then I was up at 3 am to catch a bus up the canyon. I ate some cheerios before leaving and didn't have any digestive problems. During the race, I ate some orange wedges at several aid stations and 1/2 banana toward the end. I also had GU around mile 6. That stuff is so weird. I also had a lot of water and a little powerade, especially in the second half. I don't think I drank any less this race than last. I had one bathroom stop halfway through the race. After the race I ate/drank whatever was at the finish line, walked around and stretched/cooled down, and then walked home (about 1.5 miles) where I took a cold shower and later put ice on my knees in the afternoon.
For next time: don't cheat on the short runs in training. Make sure to eat something during the race, it helps. Sleep more before the race- go to bed a couple hours early.