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In the aftermath of Blogocalypse, I’ve gotten so caught up in catching up that I haven’t even told you about the coolest thing that’s happened lately:
On October 5, I ran my 4th half marathon! It was also the one year anniversary, almost to the day, of my first half marathon. The Jacksonville Marine Corps Half Marathon is known for being hot (in Florida, early October is still summer), and this year was no different. But the route is beautiful – it starts near the entrance of the Jaguar’s Everbank Stadium, crosses the St. Johns River (TWO bridges), and winds through one of our historic districts. The crowd is big, with about 30,000 spectators and volunteers. And at the finish line, runners are greeted and given their medals by uniformed Marines.
My first half marathon was rough. It was hot. Really hot. And somewhere within the first few miles, I rubbed up terribly painful blisters on both heels. By the time I got to the finish line, it was a struggle to limp, let alone run. (Don’t let my photo fool you – I was miserable.)
I was tired, in a lot of pain, and convinced that I couldn’t possibly run twice as far.
I’ve learned a lot since then. I’ve found better running shoes (for me), learned the importance of wearing proper socks, and discovered the magical powers of anti-chafing products & sports tape. I use compression sleeves for recovery and have a love-hate relationship with my foam roller. I’ve experimented with lots of different kinds of foods, fuels, and supplements, and I know what combination works best for me. And most importantly, I’ve learned that I CAN run twice as far as a half marathon. And I’m going to do it again.