Now that I've done six half marathons and am gearing up to try-try again for a full in the winter, I find myself reflecting on those previous races. They've definitely taught me a lot.
Half #1: Naples Daily News 2011
|The pain in my face is real. I stupidly ran this because I'd paid, even though I had no business running it.
Half #2: the St. Pete Women's 2012
|Training well with my partner really helped us PR this race!
Half #3: Naples Daily News 2013
|Kelsey and her oldest daughter cheer me on at the finish.
There was a light and dark side to my lessons with my second attempt at the NDN, and I think this one was the biggest learning experience for me. While I did learn to take failure in stride (my time was 2:37, and coming off my PR that was hard to swallow), I also learned that I need some time off between big races. This race had me convinced that January was a bad race month for me in general. I raced this half totally burned out, and it showed. I learned that rest and recuperation are key.
Half #4: Fort Myers Beach 2013
|Lesson learned: stay positive!
Half #5: Suncoast 2014
|I wonder if Mom knew she was going to be matching me when she went with her purple vest!
Half #6: Paradise Coast 2014
|Could this starting-line photo be any more perfect?
One of the best things about running is how much it teaches us about ourselves and our abilities. With these lessons under my belt, I feel ready to tackle my first marathon in November. I know now that I must (and more importantly, CAN) do the training; control what I can and let go of what I can't; and stay positive and mentally tough.
(Detailed race recaps can be found under the "My Races" tab at the top of the page.)
What have you learned from your previous races?
What is your favorite distance to race?
Have you ever had a race that was just ROUGH, but taught you a lesson?