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Learn : Half Marathon Story  

Running Background:

I consider myself a beginner runner and I primarily run for fitness. I decided to run a half marathon to achieve a goal. Also to train and get/stay in shape.

Training:

I trained for 5 1/2 months loosely based on an online program for beginners. During my training I averaged 16+ miles per week. Best advice- Don't set a time goal for your first race. The object is to finish and gain experience for next time..

Race Day:

The 2010 Okoboji Half Marathon was not quite what I expected. It was a day of high heat and humidity (plus 100 heat index at the finish). I felt great through the first 10 miles and then suddenly hit what I thought was "the wall". Little did I know that I was suffering from dehydration and heat exhaustion. I finished (after walking half of the last 2 miles), but later had to be hospitalized. I was pumped with 3 liters of fluids to get my blood pressure back up. I was having a great run up until that time.

Recovery:

My recovery was terrible; hospitalized for heat exhaustion and pumped with three liters of fluid. However my muscles and joints felt surprising good afterwards.

Running Gear Recommendations:

Runner's Watch
Ironman to time workouts. Very helpful.
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Running Shorts
Way more comfortable than gym shorts and briefs!
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ASICS Running Shoes
Don't go cheap on the shoes. Your feet will thank you.
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Tips/Words of Encouragement:

To someone thinking about running a half marathon I would say really, the hardest part is just starting. Get started and you will feel so much better mentally. Also, have a plan. Make it part of your daily/weekly routine. Set a time to workout. Use a calendar to record your workouts so you can be reminded of your progress. Having a running partner is also helpful. Also, vary your workout routines. Find different routes of varying degrees of difficulty. Now that I have finished my first half marathon, I can't wait to get started on training for my next!

Plans to Run Another:

I plan to run another half marathon because of the great feeling of being in shape, accomplishing a goal, and achieving something that not many people my age have done. For my next half marathon, I won't run in the hottest part of the summer. Stick with spring and fall runs.

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