Bull City Race Fest Half-Marathon!

It's been quite a weekend! Yesterday I finished my third half-marathon! 

Look at me go

For those who have never run in a half marathon, it takes a lot more planning and preparing than you would think (well, if you do it right and don't want to injure yourself)! It's been a long couple of months training for this one! I definitely had to cut back on the other types of exercise I usually do so that I could focus more of my time (and definitely energy) to running and preparing for the race.

I didn't follow a specific training program (there are quite a few out there!), but like most people, it took me about 2.5 months to train for my half. Each week I had 2 mid-length runs (2-6 miles) and a "long run". My "long run" started at 6 miles and I added a mile to my "long run" every week. Most people work up to 10-13 miles for their last long run before the race. I went up to 12. I cut alcohol from my diet 2 weeks before the race, and tried to eat less processed food and more nutrient dense foods instead (so potatoes instead of potato chips etc.).  I was really nervous about this race! It was going to be in a lot colder weather than what I was prepared for. The forecast was set for 37 degrees at our race start time. I was also feeling under the weather Friday (just 2 days before) and was unsure of whether or not my immune system could handle the race with the temperature and early start (7:30 am in Durham). I don't think I could have gotten myself to run this race without all of the support I had from my friends this week!

I was surprised Friday morning by one of my running aficionado friends! Lauren is training for her FULL- marathon in November, and totally understood my anxiety for the race. She sent me encouraging texts all week, and surprised me with a pre-race present! Home-made granola. The perfect pre-race snack :) I'll have to ask her for the recipe so I can post it. But it was delicious, with hints of cinnamon brown sugar and raisins. 

Plus the sweetest card. 

I was so grateful my friend Caroline signed up for the race as well. We went to the race expo together the day before, picked up our race packets and planned to carpool to the race on Sunday.

Alex was also so supportive throughout my training. We went on some runs together when I visited his family in Toronto! Because we were on vacation, and there to relax and spend time with his family, I didn't want to peel myself away from them to train for this race. But when he wanted to accompany me, and reminded me I had a race to train for, it became fun :) 

Running in Toronto

Saturday night we went to my favorite sandwich for some pre-race carbs too. 

The morning of the race rolled around quickly, and I was awake and excited despite the 34 degrees outside. I just piled on layers of clothes and went for it! Caroline and I arrived in plenty of time, stretched and then we were off! 

 pre-race pic

pre-race pic

The course was really hilly and challenging, and I couldn't feel my fingers the whole time. Honestly, it was painful. But I couldn't let myself down, and I had a whole support system invested in this race. I just kept telling myself, "this is what you've been training for all this time! You can't give up now. Plus it's way too cold to stop moving". I did it! All 13.1 miles are run and in the books. And I had a great welcoming committee waiting for me at the finish. 

Pretty cool medal too! 

After the race Alex and I met my mom, sister and her boyfriend Spencer for lunch at The Root Cellar. One of my favorites! It was one of the most rewarding and fulfilling Sundays I can remember. Okay I'm off to stretch and teach a Pure Barre class! 

Go have some fun and stay warm!

Hannah