This past few months has been a learning matter for me, both from experiences and mistakes.
January 12th was my 2nd half marathon, 4 weeks following my first half. It was the Disney World Half which I ran with my best friend and my old roomate. We took it easy and stood in long lines for photos and finished at over 3 hours. We had fun - this is runDisney and you have to enjoy every magical moment, which we did. We followed the race with a day long of eating and drinking at Epcot, which I felt helped us greatly since we weren't laying around. Plus it gave us plenty of photo ops with our medals (psst - for all the runDisney first timers, make sure you wear your medals into the park).
After months and months of training, I followed the race weekend with a week long cruise in the Bahamas.
Lesson #1: I always try to give a gift back to myself after a race. Go on a cruise, spa day, theme park, shopping spree - whatever you prefer. You spent a lot of time and effort to get where you are. You are owed some self pampering. I personally prefer any race that involves going to Epcot afterwards - you can do recovery walks through Epcot, one world and one drink at a time.
One thing I learned from these past few months is not to overdo it. When I say overdo it - I am talking signing up for 5 half marathons in 3 months. It made me feel that running was more of a job than a hobby and took the excitement away from something I truly love.
Lesson #2: This many races in such a short amount of time will cause injury or in my case, completely burn you out. Even after the last run, it took me two weeks to find the joy of running again. Make goals for you - not goals for your medal collection. I am the pot calling the kettle black here as I just signed up for runDisney's Dopey Challenge 2014.
Lesson #3: Take a trip for a race. New Orleans Rock n Roll Half was an amazing experience and I look forward to the Rock n Roll Savannah Half in November (PS - that is my next scheduled race & I have a discount code for it - WINESAV). I am sure I will find something between here and then but there is a sigh of relief not to have something coming up in two weeks. Speaking of photo opportunities....I wouldn't have this if it weren't for the RNR NOLA.
Lesson #4: Learn from me - do not take too much time off between runs and if you need a break from distance running, incorporate yoga, cardio, strength/core into your training. I made a huge mistake and took weeks off in between my multiple races. I literally went 1/2 marathon two weeks off, 1/2 marathon two weeks off, 1/2 marathon 3 weeks off....you get it. It took me until Easter Sunday to feel the urge to work out again. When we ran, 3.1 was very difficult. I felt as though I threw all of my training away.