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Learn : Half Marathon Story  

Running Background:

marathon photoI consider myself an intermediate runner and I primarily run for fitness. I decided to run this half marathon because I ran it last year. The course has a great view of the mountains, and it is a good way to kick off the 4th of July.

Training:

I didn't follow a training plan. Over the past two months, I've just been running for 30 minutes, at least 3 times a week. I figured I could push myself through the half marathon if I ran the flat and downhill sections, and walked fast on the uphill sections.

Race Day:

The 2008 Lander Half Marathon was what I expected.

The race went well. I decided to try a new method for me - running, with spurts of walking. Because I had never done this before in a race, I wasn't sure what to expect. My plan was to run the sections of the course that were flat and downhill, and walk the uphill sections as fast as I could. The technique worked well, and I would definitely try it again. I was able to finish the race only about 15 minutes slower than my normal half-marathon race times, and I had a lot more energy and felt better after the race. As I would walk fast uphill, the other runners would pass me, but as I reached the top of the hill and began to run down the hill, I was recovered and was able to pass those people, and a couple more. I hadn't been training to run a half-marathon distance, but rather just keeping up my fitness level by running at least three times a week for 30 minutes. I would try this technique again in future races.

The course starts off in downtown, and proceeds for about a mile before you take a left onto the road that loops around back into town. It has stunning views of the Wind River Mountains. The course is paved the entire way, but traffic is not frequent. Most of the vehicles that drove by were out supporting the runners and cheering people on.

I carried my own water during this run, and I was glad that I did. Even though the race started at 6:30 AM, it warmed up quite quickly, and it was nice to get a drink as I needed it.

The race ends where the race started, and there were a lot of people at the finish line cheering on the runners. It was a nice race and I plan to run it again in the future.

Recovery:

My recovery wasn't bad. My legs were sore, but it didn't help that I sat in a car for a few hours after the race. It probably would have been better if I spent the day moving and walking around.

Running Gear Recommendations:

Camelbak
One that holds about 32 ounces of fluid was perfect for this distance. It wasn't bulky or heavy, but provided enough fluids for a warm, sunny day race.
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Tips/Words of Encouragement:

If you want to do a race, but don't feel prepared enough to run it, consider running and walking fast. You do have to change your expectations for the race, and take a different approach. Probably not the method you want to use if you are ultra-competitive.

Plans to Run Another:

I'm planning to run more half marathons because I like the feeling of accomplishment you get when finishing a race. It makes you want to keep running for the next event that comes up.

For my next half marathon, I would wear a different pair of shoes. At about mile 10, my toes were starting to rub. I hadn't noticed it on my training runs, because I hadn't run more than about 10 miles at one time in those shoes.

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