You heard me.. 13.1 miles in the trails! Let's remember I'm the girl who:
1. hated running
2. found out how much I actually liked it (and wrote about how to make it easier)
3. has only run 12 miles once ever before in the trails (and none over 6 on pavement)
So this was an exciting challenge! My boss asked my sister and I if we would like to run with her and we said yeah! And that was it! There are people who run 100 mile trail runs.. 100 miles! Also 50 miles.. and then 13 miles.. and 6 miles. It's up to you how far you can and will take yourself. For me, 13 miles is a huge accomplishment! It goes to show what you put your mind to you can conquer! And it's such a goooood feeling.
I want to share some tips I learned from running a half marathon in the trails
(meaning through dirt, mud, rocks, leaves, logs, up part of a mountain and down, puddles, streams, bridges, etc).
1. PREPARE + TRAIN
Going out and running a half marathon without any training or proper equipment is not the best idea. For weeks leading up to the race my sister and I went on different runs throughout the week. Including some on a local cross country course to get used to running on dirt, leaves, twigs, and over logs.
They say if you can run half of it, you can run the full thing!
We talked to other people who have run the trails and what they recommended wearing and bringing with us. Below is a list of what we took along with us! Trail Shoes and Smart Wool Socks are a must! If your feet aren't happy.. you won't be happy. :) We were sure to fuel up before (protein bagel + PB), coffee, and other goods. Also, lots of water! Especially coconut water which replenishes your electrolytes. So good for your body!
2. KEEP YOUR EYES AHEAD OF YOU + ON THE PRIZE
TWO major places to look. Ahead of you and mentally on the finish line.
If you're not looking ahead of you, you'll fall right on your face. I'll admit I tripped quiet a few times but I never fell. Your mind starts wandering, trying not to think of what you're doing, and it's easy to step wrong. Out there there's mud, puddles, streams, twigs, logs, slippery rocks, bridges, etc that you have to watch out for! So eyes ahead of you at all times!
And also keep your eyes on the finish line (in your head)!
Half the battle here is a mental one. After mile 6 and 7 (the normal mileage I'm used to going) my body was tired. My legs were starting to hurt. But you can't just walk out of the woods! You have to push through and keep going.
Remembering WHY I did this and thinking positively were key here. Just keep going. The last 4-5 miles were killer, but so worth it in the end!
3. HAVE FUN
My goal here was simple: complete the race.
No one made me sign up for, train, and run this. So remembering to have fun is a big tip!
Have you ever thought about running a marathon whether it be on pavement or in the trails? Or have you run a half marathon? Comment below and let me know what your favorite thing about it was!
I will tell you that I can run the trails a lot "easier" than I can on pavement! Something about running on dirt and leaves is easier on the joints. And there's a lot more to focus on instead of blacktop ahead of you!
So if you're wondering if a trail half marathon is for you.. I definitely recommend looking into it!