My fourth half-marathon….BEST one EVER!

{Stacy} Back to TX to run the Fort Worth Run Like a Cheetah half marathon again with sister.  This year I really wanted to place in my age division and did some real training.  Again, I followed no real training plan but I incorporated speed work, which I had never done in the past and also just added more distance to my long runs.

Woke up at 4am (4 hours pre-race) to eat 2 blueberry waffles, banana and Gatorade.  I then went back to bed and woke up 2 hours later to eat Puffins cereal with almond milk and 2 glasses of electrolyte water.  I was now properly fueled and ready to race!

This race is straight out and straight back.  At the turn around I was feeling GREAT.  As I was passing runners going the opposite direction (that hadn’t hit the turnaround yet) they were yelling out my place: Sister runs by in the opposite directions and says “Stac you’re the 5th female!!”; I crank it up a bit and then I hear “you’re the 4th female!!”, crank it up some more and really get in the zone.  Finished 3rd overall female and first in my age division coming in at 1:34:18. I was BEYOND excited.  Sister Lindsay also achieved a new PR of 1:54:25.  

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After this race Lindsay and I were on such a running high that we decided to start our Instagram account: @Run.Sister.Run.  We had no idea how inspiring the IG running community was and our passion for running became much deeper. We absolutely love reading about your journeys, sharing our very different journeys and hope you guys enjoy our experiences that we share with you!

My third half-marathon…some REAL progression

My third half-marathon was the Grand Island half marathon and was part of the “Buffalo News Series” races so it’s a bit more competitive.  I knew I had to be around 1:40:00 if I even wanted a chance to place.  I did a lot more running than I did for my first 2 half marathons but still followed no kind of training plan and still had a lot to learn.  Around mile 4 I was STARVING; clearly I did not carb load properly.  I did incorporate the use of GU energy gel, which I did us in my practice runs after making the mistake of experimenting with energy gels on race day during my previous half marathon; this approach turned out much better this time around!

I finished the race in 1:42:20, once again finishing 4th in my age division.  I was much happier with this performance than with my first half marathon experiences because I actually put some real effort into this one, which led to some real progression. I wasn’t nearly as sore as I was after my first 2 half marathons and felt very accomplished after this one.  

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I was now fully hooked and wanted to run another one so I decided I would head to TX again in the fall for another shot and hopefully another PR.  Stay tuned…

Head on over to my next half marathon blog!

My second half marathon…I “thought” I trained well

{Stacy}  My second half marathon I took off to TX to visit sister and run in the Fort Worth Run Like a Cheetah half marathon. I trained slightly more than my first experience but didn’t follow any kind of plan and really just winged it.  This half marathon really wasn’t too memorable because once I again I didn’t really feel accomplished at the end of it knowing I could have done better had I trained properly.

Starting to catch onto the theme here?  I really didn’t know how to train properly and had a lot of rough learning experiences. During this race I decided to start using Clif shot blocks, which was a HUGE mistake because it left me with major GI issues after the race.  Now I thoroughly understand the Golden Rule of NOTHING NEW ON RACE DAY!  After the race I just felt like pure garbage.  I was beyond sore (once again from not training properly) and had a major stomach ache so I couldn’t enjoy post-race activities, which consisted of tacos and margs with sister!

I finished the race in 1:48:24. I finished 4th in my age group and was pretty disappointed because I wanted to place.   I didn’t deserve to place though and deep down I knew that I didn’t deserve it. However, this race started to give me some real motivation to become a better, more disciplined runner and run to my fullest potential that I knew I had within me.

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My first half marathon…an epic fail

{Stacy} It was a couple days before my first half marathon on a Wednesday, so I set out to see how far I could actually run at one time because I had not trained at all for this race.  It was after work and about 85 degrees with high humidity.  I barely got to 5 miles before quitting and then text my friend Rachel telling her I would never be able to run the race, which was on Saturday.

Saturday morning came and I shuffled off to the race with zero motivation, got about halfway there (already running very late) and realized I had forgotten my bib.  I turned around to go home and get it and then got dropped off right at the start line just minutes before the race was about to start.  

Off I go…staying around the 11 minute pacer and after about ¾ of a mile decided to speed up.  Mile 4 felt GREAT, mile 6 almost cried because this was the furthest distance I ever ran to date at one given time and still felt amazing.  Mile 10…wanted to cry, give up and wondering why the heck I didn’t train for it?!!  I made it to the finish, not feeling very accomplished due to my lack of training.  I finished the race at 2:07:29.  

I felt completely unaccomplished at the completion of the race mainly because my legs were absolutely trashed and I knew I had the potential in me to do so much better than I did.  Little did I know that this race is where it all began…Looking back, this race gave me the motivation to want to be better and gave me the inspiration that I could in fact be a long distance runner, so big shout out to my best friend Rachel…I would have never thought that I could be a long distance runner if she didn’t encourage me to do this race so THANK YOU!

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Side note: Our team name was “We Run for Brunch” and it was this group of girls that motivated me to run my first half marathon, which little did I know would lead to my passion and obsession with running!