Yesterday I ran the Deseret News Half Marathon that I had been training for this past little while. It definitely was a challenging race for me I’m not going to lie. Fun but Challenging. My time was 1:54:40 which is quiet a bit slower than I was hoping for. The course was set to go down Immigration Canyon in Salt Lake City, UT and then past “This is the place Heritage Park”, then running up by the University of Utah and finally leading into the 24th of July Parade route. The last 3 miles or so were on the parade route which was lined with hundreds of people. It was really fun and a great motivation to keep pushing strong to the end. The crowds of people were cheering and waving signs, kids lined up along the sides giving the runners high fives and misting us with water. Such a fun experience and great way to end a race. The Run had a total ascent of 146.08 ft and a maximum elevation of 5,946.72 ft. It was an overall descent run with only a few problems for me that I knew better but still didn’t do. (Frustrating) I like to learn from my mistakes and hopefully I can share some tips that will help you also.

Things I did Wrong that I need to Fix for next Race:

1. Be aware of any running problems you have and know how to prevent (or try to prevent) them during the race.

For example I have bad hip and knee joints and am very turned out due to dancing my whole life. Because of this I usually start to get hip and knee pain and the end of my long runs. Training has definitely helped and also being aware of the surface I’m running on. At the start of this Half Marathon we were descending down a canyon that had quiet a few switch backs. At each switch back the road would dip either to the left or the right depending on which side it was on. This took a toll on my joints way earlier than I was prepared for. Tip: If ever in a situation like this try to find the ground that is most level and make your way to that area to run. This was hard to achieve for me because it being at the start of the race the road was still packed with runners where I was doing a lot of weaving in and out trying to get ahead of slower runners.

2. Have good Running Shoes.

I made two not so smart decisions in this race and this was one of them. I knew my running shoes were starting to run out and had to many miles put on them. But with lack of time and (not wanting to tell the Hubby I needed new shoes right after Miss S big Birthday party haha) I put off getting new ones. Big mistake by me. This is another reason I had hip and knee pain during the race. Tip: Learn from me and always make sure you have good running shoes while training and especially before a race. Here is a previous post about finding the perfect shoe for you LINK.

3. Don’t Try anything New on Race Day. 

The Biggest Mistake I made during this race landed me sick for over 6 hours after the race. UGH! I knowing better used a drink during the race that I had never had before. (Gasping sounds Added here) I was feeling very sluggish the morning of the race being that I had to wake up at 3:15am and had been out all night the night before at a neighborhood party. I decided to bring with me and try this new all natural energy drink. I thought I would be fine being that it was all natural and should give me the extra boost that I needed. My running friend and I run with a water bottle so we filled it up with this mixture to use during the race. (worst idea ever!) I felt like I was dragging at the start of the race so I kept sipping and drinking this drink hopping it would help give me a boost but it did the opposite. My stomach started churning and cramping around mile 6 and was killing till the end. I luckily didn’t stop and just pushed through but it was not much fun I’ll tell ya. Right at the end of the race I had to run to the bathroom and lets just say (for lack of TMI) I was very sick for the next 6+ hours. I then got very dehydrated from lack of being able to keep fluids in me. All and All not a fun experience. When I got home I researched why this could have happened to me and the answer is Caffeine. Caffeine can cause sever diarrhea in runners if you are not used to it. Me being the person who has not drank anything but water or homemade smoothies in years could not handle the caffeine in the energy drink. (Once again I don’t know why I thought to use this drink). Tip: Do not try new things out on the day of the race. This applies to drinks or food but also to clothes and shoes. You do not want to be experimenting with something new during your race and end up having a bad experience like me.

Even with the few bad hiccups along the way I did enjoy this race and had a fun time. It was nice to be doing something for me and accomplishing a goal. Next time hopefully I will be smarter and learn from my mistakes.