Friday, March 22, 2013

Post-Race Thoughts

I've had a few people ask "Will you do a half marathon again?"

If you'd asked me at mile 11 - the answer would've been "I don't even want to keep doing this one, let alone another one!"

But now?  The answer is yes.  My body recovered really well from the race.  My mind knows I can do it.  (Check out my race recap here!)

There were a few things that I think were key to my post-race recovery.
1. Fuel - I drank a carton of chocolate milk, a bottle of water, and had a banana almost immediately after the race.  I'd also focused on adding extra carbs to my meals all week before and really hydrating the day before the race.  I used a full gel at mile 5 and a half of one at mile 10 - I like the Honey Stinger brand because they are organic and are honey based.  I never felt unfueled during or after the race.

2.  Stretching - The gear check line was REALLY long.  It was organized, but with 30,000 runners - it was bound to be long.  This actually was a blessing I think.  I spent the entire time (over 30 minutes) I stood in line doing stretches. 

3.  Foam Rolling - I hate and love my roller.  It's painful, but it works so well!!  I rolled at the hotel when we got back, and then a few more times when I got home.

4. Ginger - Sounds weird, I know.  I've hardly taken any Advil my whole training.  I took 2 when I got back to the hotel, and 2 on Sunday, and 2 on Monday.  That's it.  I used to take 4 every 3 hours when I had pain.  But, I've been reading/hearing about how Advil can actually mess with your stomach and inhibit your body's own natural healing, so I tried to curb my intake.  One thing that was recommended several places was the use of ginger.  I buy unsulphured ginger in a pouch at the store.  I ate it immediately after the race, and I ate it almost every day the week leading up to the race.  I pretty much eat that when I'd normally take Advil.

5. KT tape - This stuff is awesome!  I had both knees, my right hip flexor, my right foot, and my right hip taped.  You can't feel it at all and it really helps.  I noticed a huge difference in my knee pain especially.

There are a few things I think I'd change next time around though:
1. Train on routes with a few hills during long runs.  With the exception of the hill at mile 6, this was a fairly flat course.  However, a few hills in my long runs will help me tackle these better.  I did hills on my short runs, but it's different when you're 8 miles in.

2. Take my headphones.  I can always take them off and tuck them in my Spibelt.  It would've been nice to have my music during some of the tough miles.

3. Sign up for a faster corral.  We all entered "3:00" as our finish time when we signed up for this race.  We had no idea how long it would take us, so we erred on the longer side. We ended up in teh second to last corral and had to pass a lot of walkers. I think if we'd put in 2:30, we'd have been in an earlier corral and it would've prevented us from having to pass so many people.  I think that slowed us down and added extra mileage to our already long race.

And, because I'm crazy...I signed up for RNR USA 2014.  Yes, I know it's a full year away - but at a discounted price of $75, it was too good to pass up! 


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