I ran my first half-marathon in May 2013 and loved it. The course was beautiful and interesting, hills weren’t very common and everyone was awesome and in a great mood. So I decided to do another one in November. Enter the Raleigh City of Oaks Rex Healthcare Half Marathon.
I was really excited about this race because it would be in my home state, and only about 30 minutes away from my home, but I can’t say that enjoyed running it The course was super hilly and just wasn’t that pretty. The race was really well organized, although it was hard to find mile-markers and the drinks they were serving on the course contained milk products-which weren’t really going to do it for me.
I ended up buying a waist strap that has a pouch and a place for two small water bottles. I filled one up with Gatorade (I tried to find an organic, nonsynthetic options, but struggled there), and the other with water. I put my Shot Bloks in the pouch along with some bandaids and my keys, and I was ready to roll. I’m really glad I made this purchase because my hand didn’t cramp up from holding a water bottle, and it was much easier to eat food while running because I had some place to hold the water bottle other than in my hand.
The post-race food was also sort of strange, but did a really cool job show-casing some local food like Krispy Kreme and Great Harvest Bread. I inhaled a donut and a banana but turned down the chicken noodle soup and the Papa Johns pizza; my body just wasn’t going to be able to deal with it.
I think for now I’m going to be taking a break from half-marathons (until at least next spring), and I’m going to work on getting stronger so that I don’t hate the hill as much. I have a 10k race coming up too, on Thanksgiving (my whole family is going to be doing it) so I’ll still have to stay in shape for that!