In January I had the brilliant idea to run a Half Marathon every month in 2016. I had worked hard to reach this level of fitness and I wanted to maintain it. Looking back I realize how far I have come since the day 3 years ago when I first laced up my running shoes and huffed and puffed my way through that first session of Couch to 5k. Those one minute intervals were the hardest part of my journey and I don’t ever want to go back there again. If any of you are considering the Couch to 5k , I encourage you to stick with it. It doesn’t get harder, it gets easier.
This Half-Marathon-Every-Month has been a wonderful opportunity to experiment with fuel/ hydration. There have been some huge fails in the fueling department but I finally figured out what works for me. Looking back I realize how naïve I was in January but I learned from my mistakes and am stronger because of it.
If you have never tried Vega products I encourage you to do so. I didn’t discover Vega until halfway through the year and I assure you that they are magic. The Vega Pre-Workout energizer keeps me going like the Energizer Bunny. I also use the Vega Electrolyte Hydrator during my run , and the Recovery Accelerator after the run. These products are plant based ( not important to me) and Clean. (important to me ) I have tried other products with chemicals and junk, and they do not agree with my digestive system.
My fuel of choice during a run is Maynard’s Swedish Berries. You are not going to find that product in your local Running Supply store. I have experimented with gels, tablets, gummies, etc and after a lot of hit-and-miss I have decided to stick with candy. And this particular candy always gives me good results so it has become part of my regular fuel strategy.
The two things that I need to work on are Hydration and Rest. Especially the Rest. Maybe that will be my focus for 2017. .. Sleep More.
Not all of my HM runs this year were 21.1km. Several of them were longer as I trained for an October Marathon. Two of my HM’s were Races, one was a Marathon ( or does that count as 2 back to back HM’s? ) , two were casual runs with a buddy, one was a fun group run and the rest were done solo with just me and my thoughts for company. I really like the long solo runs as they allow me to sync body and soul. Achieving Zen on the trail is the best feeling ever.
My HM times range from 2:24:46 to 2:57:43. That is a huge variance and the differences can be attributed to hydration, fuel, rest, and weather. My runs with a friend have been longer because her pace is slower and we take a lot of walk breaks, but that allows us to spend more time together, right?. My slowest run was done on ice / slush with the friend. My second slowest run was done in hot humid weather. My fastest HM was during my Marathon.
I really like the 21.1km distance and will probably continue to run it at least once month. Why? Because I can!
This is a picture from the Fundy International Half Marathon, undeniably the prettiest HM that I have run this year.