FAQ 34: My Half Marathon Questions

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on October 1, 2009

Good morning! Happy office day ;)

I had a lot of questions and emails after my half marathon race recap, so I thought I would save some time and make a post out of them.

Let’s get to it!

264. Kirstie asks, “Hi Angela, I’m not sure if you mentioned this or not, but I was wondering what you ate for breakfast before your half and what time you ate it at. I am always struggling with how much fuel I need for races and training runs and what time I should eat. Thanks for your help!”

I guess I must have been in a big excited haze the morning of my half because I completely forgot to take a picture of what I ate.

Breakfast time: 4:45am (2 hours 45 mins before gun time)

I started with a pre-made green monster from the night before. I put it in a sealed drink container in the fridge overnight.

The GM was made up of the following: 1 cup hemp milk, 1 T chia seeds, 1/2 cup water, 5 sprigs dandelion (cooked), 2 kale leaves (cooked), 1 banana, 1 teaspoon maca powder, 1 squirt Kyolic garlic extract, 5 ice cubes.

After my GM, I had a small bowl of Nature’s Path Flax Plus cereal (maybe 1/2 cup) plus 1/2 cup Almond Breeze. I crumbled a Run Glo Bar over top of the cereal.

For hydration, I had about 3 cups of Sencha green tea. In the car I had some Swamp Water (Amazing Grass + H20 + Ice).

After I ate, I was a bit worried that I had too much and would cramp up, but it was actually the perfect amount. Eating almost 3 hours prior to the race was essential for my body to have enough time to digest. I was not hungry or full feeling for the race. It actually worked so well that I will probably have this exact same breakfast for my next race!

265. Karen asks, “Did you drink the full cup at the water stations? Or do you just take a sip or two and toss it. I see so many people just take a sip. I seem to be the only one who drinks the entire amount!”

I actually noticed this same thing with people not taking much. For my half (and my races before the half), I drank at least 75% of the cup. I stick to Gatorade as I find it gives me a great boost. The only time during the race when I did not drink almost the full cup was the last water station when my bladder was bursting with discomfort!! lol.

I always thought that drinking so much fluids during a race would give me cramps, but I didn’t get cramps once. It was almost as if my body just sucked up the fluids instantly!

266. T asks, “Hey Ange! Congrats on your race. I’m dying to know how your moleskin held up for the half. Did you notice any new blisters or irritation from your chest strap like you worried would happen?”

My moleskin trick held up really well. If you are wondering what my moleskin trick is just visit this post for an explanation. It stayed on for the entire race. However, I did get 3 small blisters from the half. It was nothing major and I didn’t feel them at all during the run. Only when I removed the moleskin did I notice them (and they were gone by Tuesday).

As for chafing, I did get some chafing in a new spot! I was careful to put some Vaseline under my heart rate monitor (in the centre of my chest strap) and also on the side of the strap under my arm where I had problems previously. However, I actually ended up getting some chafing just underneath my chest area. I didn’t even notice I had it until I hit the shower and it hurt and stung for a bit when the water touched it.

267. Paula asks, “Was it not so frustrating to see a red km marker approaching sooner than expected, and then realize it was the sign you’d already passed earlier, but were seeing from the back?! Argh.  Happened over and over again. Great recap. Glad to have found your blog.”

Yes it was frustrating! I forgot to explain that the course was an ‘out and back’ loop. So when we were running out we would pass these big red signs telling us how many km we had run. Well, on the way back, you still see the signs on the other side and it looks like you are coming up to the next km marker, but it was in fact just a sign from the other direction. This fooled me a couple of times and I remember saying to myself, “Nooooooooooooo”. ;)

I felt like I was in a desert and was seeing a water fountain that turned out to be a prickly cactus.

268. Jillian asks, “Hi Angela, I just wanted to email you and tell you that you have inspired me to sign up for a half next year. Congrats for bouncing back from your injury so strongly. I have a question for you. I’m wondering how sore you were after the race and how long did it last? I am just trying to gauge what I am in for next year! Thanks again, J”

Congrats on signing up for a half! Immediately after I crossed the finish line, I felt pain. Nothing out of the ordinary thankfully. I just felt very stiff and like my muscles were very angry with me. They were like, ‘What the hell was THAT all about?!’

I had to walk very slowly back to the car. I wasn’t worried about it though because I know what is normal pain (ache, stiffness, etc) and what is not normal pain (sharp). I was very sore all day long and it was very uncomfortable. I made sure to stretch and take a bath. I also took an Ibuprofen in the evening (with dinner) to help reduce inflammation.

I was not very sore on Monday and then my soreness came back with a vengeance on Tuesday for some reason! I guess it is fairly common to have soreness 2-3 days later. I also didn’t stretch on Monday and I should have!

269. Beth asks, ‘Hi Angela. I’m curious as to when you are going to get back into running after your half. I struggled with burnout after my half and I didn’t want to run for 1 week.’

I took 3 glorious days off exercise (Mon-Tues-Wed) and I now feel like I am ready to exercise again today (Thursday). I really enjoyed my days off this week. I was so lazy and I loved every minute of it!!!

My muscles now feel like they are healed and I am started to get anxious to exercise again, so I know that I am now properly rested. As for running, I might try an easy 2-3 mile run today and see how that goes. If I have any discomfort, I will just stick to walking.

270. Heather asks, “You mentioned that you were a bit sore for the first few kms. Do you think this was because you didn’t run much the week prior and you were stiff?”

It might have been that, but I doubt it because when I ran 2 miles on Saturday I felt fine. I think it was actually a result of my nerves. I was anxious and when I am anxious I tense up a bit and my muscles get stiff. Once I consciously started to shake out my arms and focus on running ‘loose’, I found that the soreness and stiffness was reduced (albeit with help from my endorphins!).

271. Amanda asks, “I’m dying to know if you signed up for your next race!”

I am currently thinking about running the Goodlife Toronto Half Marathon on October 18th. It is a quick turnaround so I need to think about it more. Details will follow in the next day with my decision and my training plan.


Still no race photos up yet! I am dying to see my ‘I-feel-like-I’m-in-labour’ facial expressions. ;)

Enjoy your day!


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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Megan @ Megzz Wins At Life October 1, 2009 at 9:58 am

A lot of these where questions I was wondering but never asked so thanks for the post Angela! You are so inspiring!


Jessica @ How Sweet It Is October 1, 2009 at 10:00 am

Lovin’ the answers! You are really inspiring me to start to run and I hope to do a half marathon eventually!


Sarah @ The Foodie Diaries October 1, 2009 at 10:09 am

Thanks for this, Angela! I’m always curious about longer distance running because I’ve never run more than 6mi. I currently have a hip injury–and I’m letting that heal properly–but eventually I’d like to get back into running. I hope!


Mellissa October 1, 2009 at 10:23 am

I think this info is great- the more info people have the more prepared they might feel to run a half marathon.


CJ (Project55) October 1, 2009 at 10:28 am

Love your posts and can’t wait to see if you sign up for another race!

Still waiting for my photos too – they said they’d post them on Wednesday!! Argh

– CJ


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 1, 2009 at 10:36 am

I know I don’t get what is taking so long! lol.


Courtney October 1, 2009 at 10:31 am

Oh boy, the official photos from my triathlon were posted…there were a few great ones, and then one really bad one!!! Oh well, just gotta laugh at it..I look like I’m really working hard to run up a hill! I actually liked the swimsuit pics better than the running pics!!!

Adventures in Tri-ing


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 1, 2009 at 10:36 am

I don’t think any race pics are ‘bad’…they are are telling their own story! I love seeing the ones where people are fighting the race. It is inspiring!


skinnyrunner October 1, 2009 at 11:05 am

great post! i love reading answers to peoples’ questions. your race photos will look great!


Tracey @ TropicalHappiness October 1, 2009 at 11:06 am

What a great Q&A session about the half! CONGRATS! I’ve been reading for little while, but I haven’t posted much. I am just coming out of my *posting shell* (Lol!) so I wanted to say hello!

I have a question for you about your green monsters… do you cook your spinach? Any reason why? I have made frozen smoothies for years & years… Mostly mine are just strawberries, a banana, maybe an orange or a splash of OJ, a peach, a handful of baby spinach and ice. Mine come out a murky greenish brown color. I’m sure it’s because of all of the colors in the fruit and it still tastes delicious… but just thought I’d ask.


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 1, 2009 at 11:22 am

I started to cook all of my greens because it makes them more bioavailable (nutrients get absorbed better, like calcium). I cook them in a glass dish in the microwave for 3 mins. Make sure you add lots of ice or it will be warm.


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 1, 2009 at 11:23 am

Oh and I meant to say HELLO and thanks for commenting! :)


Leah @ L4L October 1, 2009 at 11:15 am

Thanks for posting these! This is great! I love seeing people’s insight on races!


Amy October 1, 2009 at 11:18 am

Hey there!! Great answers!

Just wanted to ask you if you’ve had your shoes professionally fit for you? IMO, you shouldn’t be getting blisters. I’ve *knock on wood* never had a blister before training for long distances.

And a note on vaseline; it tends to stain your clothes, so becareful about that. BodyGlide works excellent and isn’t greasy either.

I don’t mean to sound snooty, just thought I’d pass the info along! :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 1, 2009 at 11:24 am

Yea Ive had shoes fit professionally and I have custom orthotics. I think it has something to do with my leg being longer than the other.

I didn’t notice any staining, but thanks for the tip! I have Body Glide but I couldn’t find it the morning of so I just used Vaseline.


rhodeygirl October 1, 2009 at 11:36 am

I had a few of these questions too. I guess I would add, do people REALLY throw their shirts on the ground and leave them?? Maybe you didn’t see that because it wasn’t cold, but when I tried to run the half marathon last year I saw shirts all over the ground! I thought it was nuts.


Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) October 1, 2009 at 11:57 am

Angela, I am just wondering if the Green Monsters taste the same when you make them the night before?

Also, I received a special package in the mail the other day!!! MY GLO BARS!!! I tried the “Awake” one first, and it was excellent!!


Katie October 1, 2009 at 12:03 pm

I really appreciated this! I’m thinking about signing up for the Denver 1/2 next year, and the information you’ve shared about your experience has been very helpful :)


Leah @ Simply Fabulous October 1, 2009 at 12:36 pm

I took a few days off of exercise too and I LOVED every minute of it too hehe. Have you been sore at all??


Jenn Eats Nutritiously Now October 1, 2009 at 2:59 pm

I can’t wait to see your race pictures!


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