|The 2015 More Fitness Women's Half Marathon in Central Park|
|Race participant Beth McCombs is ready to roll.|
A Woman's Only Race the More Fitness Women's Half Marathon is one of the largest races of its kind and builds on "Girl Power" with a positive spirit of support. Yes, there were women who are there for the business at hand but there are also women who are recovering from injury or illness, trying this for the first time and those who are looking to get into shape.
|Coming up on Mile 1!|
|The lead runner passed us to cheers and hoots.|
The Central Park Route as you can see from the above video snippet is a beautiful one as it allows you focus on doing your own race without traffic and other unwanted distractions. The trees did not have a lot of leaves on them and so allowed the most sunshine possible for the race. There were also hydration tables and lots of fantastic volunteers who kept cheering us on. Some were holding funny signs saying "You Got This!" and "Ryan Gosling is Waiting at the Finish Line!" It was just like a breath of fresh air and a second wind seeing them out there.
|The Finish Line! The Journey was just as much fun as the Destination.|
|The Final Stretch: Some walked, some ran.|
All the same everyone gathered at the Central Park Band Shell for some great music and dancing. Everyone who came over that finish line had something to cheer about. Completing a goal and perhaps encouraging someone else along the way makes this a worthwhile challenge on so many levels.
|Happy friends who came over the finish line together!|
|Race Essentials: Hytail Hat, THINK Tank & Hoka One One Vanquish|
Road Shoes & Socks: I would also wear running shoes about 1/2 size larger than usual. Even though I wore RejuvaHealth Socks (which helped a lot), my toes did swell some. It happens when I skate for long periods too so go a half size up. In this race, I wore Hoka One One's super-light Vanquish Road Shoes which did not disappoint.
|One of my sponsors, Mariel Heather, owner of THINK apparel.|
Sunblock for face and lips: I applied sunblock before taking off and kept a 30 SPF tube of Australian Gold Lip Balm with me and reapplied it during the route. I also wore my Hytail Pony Tail Hat which helped keep the sun off my face. It kept my hair out of the way as well.
|My training table protein shakes, vitamins & energy supplements|
Fuel for the Race & After: Having to rise at 4:05 am to make my connection into NYC didn't leave me much time for a hearty breakfast. So I had an Organic Protein Shake and was on my way. I didn't use any energy supplements or fuel bars for this race. Just water and a little Gatorade from the water tables once I was on the course. Once I came over the finish line, the volunteers offered us bagels and fresh apples. I didn't eat them but got some more water and fixed myself a Raw Protein Energy Shake to recover. That night, I took some Rainbow Light calcium citrate and Gaia Turmeric Supreme to ease any lactic acid build up and inflammation. It helped because the next day I was back on my feet running around!
The Wrap: I would definitely recommend doing a half-marathon like this. Very well organized by the NYRR Club and even televised on NBC, you will find so many people rooting for you to finish! The only drawback to races like these as they often require you to pick up your race numbers & route a day or two before. You could have a family member pick it up for you or do it yourself if you are already staying in NYC.
I would recommend working your way up to a half-marathon by entering a 5 or 10K first though. That way you can get an idea on how to pace yourself and calculate your approximate finishing time.
NEXT UP: I'm signed up again for the Rapha Women's 100 Cycling Sportive on July 26th, 2015. I'll also be celebrating Bike Month (May) and Bike to Work Week so stay tuned to more fitness fun at XTreme XTraining.