Tuesday, November 5, 2013


I wanted to share a recent experience that's been a goal of mine for a few years now, and the journey it took to get there: running a half marathon! I'd say for three years now, it's always been one of my goals for the new year. This summer, while in Gulf Shores, Alabama with my family, my sister-in-law, Jen, and I decided to just pick one and sign up. So we did.

We signed up for the Little River Canyon Half Marathon, an extremely scenic, very hilly course in Fort Payne, Alabama. The race took place partially on the grounds of a national park and was right in the middle of the government shutdown. Luckily, we were still able to run.

Andrew snapped this beautiful photo while we were running. It really was a scenic race!
It was a tiny race (150 runners) and a woman in a rocking chair wrote down our times as we crossed the finish line. It was nice, though—part of the run reminded us of Hershel's farm on the Walking Dead and there were lots of dogs and farmhouses on the route. The race benefited environmental education in Alabama, which was perfect since my sister-in-law is an environmental educator in Alabama!

Plus, we got these really cool salamander finisher's medals.
We're not sure what our official time was, because the race doesn't seem to have posted them and I didn't hear what the little lady called out to me as we crossed the finish line, but I don't believe it was very fast.

 This is what we looked like before the race:

And this is what we looked like after:
Terrible picture but it makes me laugh.
We used this plan to train, but I don't think I'll use it again. It was quite intense, with two 11 milers and two 10 mile runs. I skipped a few long runs and a few of the mid-week longer runs. I think next time, I'll find a slightly less intense plan, if that does exist.

Training in the heat of the summer was also not idea. Andrew hid water bottles for me along my route, and I did one of the 10-mile runs on the dreadmill. For our 12-mile run, Jen came into town which was a huge help.

I will definitely be running another half, most likely in February when Oxford hosts the Oxford Run for Hope Half Marathon. Does anyone have any tips or a training plan recommendation? Or, advice for training for a race in cold weather? They are much needed!