This is the first time in six years, other than when I was pregnant, that I'm not training for a race. Honestly, even when I was pregnant, I had races on the brain and training in my mind. But at this moment, my calendar is empty and although it's liberating, it feels weird.
So when I received an email from the Newport Liberty Half Marathon offering me a free entry, I jumped at the chance to race it! The race will be held on September 20th, and in it's 22nd year, is a USATF certified course that interweaves with the Hudson River Waterfront Walkway from Newport to Liberty State Park. With views of Lower Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty and the Verrazano, it sounds like a spectacular opportunity and I so wanted to participate. But then I looked at the calendar and realized with only seven weeks to train, and being not at all in racing shape at the moment, it would be stupid for me to sign up. The last time I ran a half marathon without enough training, I blew out my knee and had to walk much of the race. Seven weeks + full time ericasara.com work + taking care of a 8 month old = not possible to be ready in time. A total bummer but now this race is on my "to do" list for sure!
|Beautiful views along the Newport Liberty Half Marathon course. I can't wait to race it one day!|
Although I had to turn down the entry, the awesome folks at the Newport Half offered me an entry to giveaway and, given that I love making runners happy, I asked if I could throw a custom engraved necklace into the mix. They agreed. In addition to race entry, the winner will receive a custom engraved ESD necklace. The necklace includes 2 sterling silver tags on a sterling chain. The first tag is engraved with 13.1 on the front and the race logo, date, and your finishing time (if you'd like) on the back. The second tag is engraved with the mantra, word or name of your choice.a Rafflecopter giveaway
Now that you're planning on racing a half in a few weeks, some tips might help, right?
- Hopefully you already have a strong base. This race is a great way to get that half in before some of the fall marathons like MCM or NYCM.
- Stick to your plan! No matter how great you feel, stick to the mileage you have on your schedule and don't add that extra mile or two just because you want to. Those extra miles can add up and cause unnecessary strain. The goal is to get to the start line healthy & happy. Remember that!
- Eat right. Just because you're running all the miles doesn't mean you can eat all the food. I ran my best races when I was eating vegan and raw because my digestion was in tune and I had insane energy. I'm not saying go vegan, raw or follow any other specific diet. But make sure to get the fuel you need to sustain your workouts as well as your normal daily activity. A cupcake here and there is fine and delicious, but a cupcake every day just because you're in training might not be the best idea.
- Test your race day fuel BEFORE your race. Nothing new on race day, so test out all those GUs, Chomps, and UCAN during your training runs. This includes specific flavors and caffeine levels. Your stomach doesn't need any surprises on race day!
- Have fun! Unless running is your job and winning is how you pay the bills, remember this is supposed to be fun. So try to enjoy your runs, even the long ones that might seem daunting as you head out. They are nothing you can't handle...
- Which brings me to my favorite tip: have a mantra! "I can handle this", "One mile at a time", "Hills are my b*tch"... whatever gets you and keeps you going when you need it the most. And when those fail and you feel like you can't keep going, take a deep breathe and count to 100. It'll take your mind off the pain and chances are, by the time you get to 100, you'll have run past that wall and forgotten the pain.
Ok, what are you waiting for? Enter the giveaway and get training. Happy running!