I am 10 days away from running my planned 1st half marathon; however, I sit here sporting my newly acquired 6 Tunnels to Hoover Dam Half Marathon Medal. That’s right!! I friggin’ did it, WE did it and my wife is AMAZING! AH-MAN! I don’t think I have every been so proud of an individual accomplishment in my life other than being handed an Eagle, Globe, and Anchor and being called a Marine for the first time. On second thought, I guess if you’ve seen my youngest son you would say I did that by myself, but he’s a bit off his rocker sometimes so I’ll gladly allow my wife to take credit for the episodes of craziness that spews from his pores. However, I digress! Below are a few pictures from our race!

Here are my must haves when you decide to partake in a race of your own!

  • Wear Sunscreen! – My wife brought sunscreen but I simply forgot to apply it. We arrived at the race site at 630am and there was a slight overcast so perhaps I subconsciously thought I didn’t need it, but mile 7 reminded me tht I live in the desert where the sun can fry an egg on the sidewalk better yet my un-sunscreened face behind my hooded running garmet.
  • If you are going to use a “GOO” Taste it FIRST! – On the way to race I decided to buy some “GOO” which is a nutritional gel that increases blood glucose levels; which is important during long distance running and even more important when the intraweb says buy it. So I did, and at mile 9 I decided to shoot it down the hatch which was a big mistake. I literally almost passed out from the foamy, bitter, yet uberly sweet, thick concoction from this tiny white and green pouch. I could not get the taste out of my mouth for the remainder of the race. Later I found that there are all types of Goo, GU, and even Sport Beans (jelly beans). I beg you please test all products out beforehand because I do not want to find you passed out on the trail while I’m runing. I am pretty sure it would mess up my pace!
  • A Running Belt is a Must! – I was not into the running belt thing until the morning of the race; when I bought the goo, I got a wild hair up my butt and purchased a cheap one. My wife had been sporting the stylish; if you run, goofy if you don’t water toting belt all running season. I; on the other hand, was anti runners fanny pack! However, during this race it came in handy; a virtual life saver of sorts! For starters, it held my car key, goo (yuckie!!), and cliff bar with ease. It also held two 10 oz bottles of water that was definitely a life saver since I literally stopped sweating after mile 5. To top it all off my armband that secured my phone/radio player snapped and the feeling of a huge phone swinging in your pocket for 10 miles sucks. So I was able to throw it in the pouch and keep it pushing.
  • Get a GAIT analysis and purchase shoes accordingly! My very first run of the season I ran in New Balance Minimus shoes; which are some of my favorite training shoes in the world but not to run long distance. After the first mile I literally felt as if every step I took the pavement was uppercutting me in the bottom of the foot all the way to the knees. Soon after I went to a Red Rock Running Company in Las Vegas (find a local running store) and reieved a GAIT (a person’s manner of walking, stepping, or running) analysis and found that 1) I had minor pronation and needed a medium support shoe and 2) running shoes needs cushion; at least for me.

My first half marathon was amazing! I hope yours is as wonderful as mine! And if you have already ran a half marathon; What are some items or tips that would enhance the running experience? Please comment below!