Wellness Wednesday: Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half-Marathon Recap

Guest Writer: Xina

Virginia Beach

These days, it seems like everyone and her sister is doing a half marathon. In recent years, half-marathons have become America’s fastest growing race distance.  Additionally, it has the highest percentage of women of any U.S. road distance – 57% of its competitors are women. While there may be many reasons for this latest trend, I think one of the main ones is that setting a 13.1- mile goal is a manageable challenge – one that doesn’t seem out of reach. So, why do people graduate to the running 26.2 miles? Well, that answer is for another post.

I’m often asked why I run half-marathons? The answer is simple – I love the training runs. I have the best time with some of my running buddies while we are out there sweating it out in the hot sun and pounding away on the trails on Saturday mornings. While I run shorter distances throughout the week, Saturdays are my days for meeting up with friends and running for as long as time will allow.

During Labor Day weekend, I ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half-Marathon, which was my fifth half-marathon. I had been training for the race since May.

Here are some tips on how to make your half-marathon the best experience:

  1. Run for a reason. Before your friends convince you to run a race, make sure you are doing it for yourself and not for them. Running is truly a personal experience. This year I had the goal of getting back into running shape. Meaning it was time to make some serious changes in my eating and workout experience in order to gain the most out of my runs. It’s important to make sure you have a personal reason and motivation to run or else your commitment may wane.
  2. Allow plenty of time to train. Plan to train for at least 3-4 months for a race. You need to give yourself enough time to train for even if you are an experienced runner. Remember, I said that I started training in May so I could be prepared by Labor Day weekend.
  3. Don’t run alone. Find running partners, friends, or a team. Training is better with running buddies. My running buddies keep me accountable when I lack the motivation to run. They will also be there to keep you excited, share experiences and high-five you on race day and afterwards. Also, let’s not forget those Facebook and Instagram posts. I love seeing posts from my running friends. It gives me a high.
  4. Plan in between runs. I scheduled a 10-miler and 5K before my half marathon. They gave me a gauge on how well I was training for the half marathon and kept me focused while I was preparing for the half.
  5. Look for a race after you complete the half. Before I completed Virginia Beach, I was already planning for my next race. I am thinking about running the Charleston full marathon in January. Now the challenge is that I DON’T like to run when it is cold. However, the goal is to look for a race after you achieve the one you are currently training for. This will keep the motivation going even after you complete your goal.

I am always chasing a new personal best when I train for a race. It could be a faster running time, completing healthy goals or learning new ways to improve my runs. Whatever the goal is the best part about the race: CROSSING THE FINISH LINE. Now, that is worth it in the end.

{At the start of the race.}

Virginia Beach 2

{Running buddies}

Virginia Beach 1

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