In little over 34 hours I will be crossing the starting line of my first ever half marathon. It’s Friday night and instead of being out with my friends on the town, I’m home drinking water and planning for Sunday’s Manchester Half Marathon. Here’s the kit I’ve prepared:
During my training runs I wore vest tops mostly, but after a 15km run a couple of weeks ago my arm had been rubbing against the side of my chest and I’m not sure if it was simply skin on skin contact or whether my inner arm had been catching my bra but the chaffing became painful with every stride. After that I decided to try a t-shirt but I only had 1 technical t-shirt. It didn’t cause any problems so I’ve bought a new technical T for Sunday’s race. I love bright colours so this one really caught my eye and I figured it would help my friends and family spot me amongst the thousands of runners.
There’d be a problem if I didn’t wear this! I have around 5 different sports bra’s though and although they are all the Shock Absorbers the different styles offer different levels of support. The last long run I did was great until I got home and jumped in the shower to find my bra had rubbed a patch of skin in the centre of my chest, it made bra wearing quite painful for a few days so this is a huge decision! Honestly I’ve opted for the most reliable one, even if it is the oldest!
I’ve ran in long running tights before but I do prefer shorts when covering longer distances as it helps to keep my temperature down. Even if it’s raining I quite like the feeling of freedom shorts provide, as long as it’s not too cold. The weather for Sunday is predicted to be around 19 degrees so I need to think about not getting too warm. The lighter the shorts the better in my opinion but again over longer distances I’ve had shorts ride up between my thighs so my 2-in-1 shorts have become my ‘go to’ pair. They are getting a bit worn now though so I’ve bought some more for this race. I know this breaks the number 1 race kit rule of wearing new kit but I’ve tested them over a really short run this evening and they feel ok so I’ll just keep my fingers crossed.
Since getting my Flipbelt I’ve never been out for a run without it. You can wear these around your waist or hips, I wear mine underneath my top around my waist. You simply slide all of your bits and bobs into it, flip it over and away you go. It keeps my phone snug in the small of my back and I clip my key into it too. Then there’s still room for gels or even a Flipbelt water bottle but I don’t have one of those, yet.
I’ll tie my hair up but this just stops those pesky flyaway bits from tickling my face.
My running glasses have interchangeable lenses so I’ll decide tomorrow which ones to use, it will either be black or orange though to prevent me from squinting the whole time.
Ideally the race organisers would prefer for runners not to wear earphones, and until a couple of months ago I wouldn’t consider it. But since I’ve been out running for much longer the music has helped to keep me entertained and I’ve now got used to it. The other good thing about earphones is I can’t hear my own puffing and panting which give me a false sense of coping and more confidence.
I don’t know how important other people think that socks are but I have a specific pair in mind for Sunday. My Bridgedale trainer socks are padded in all of the right places and whenever I’ve worn these socks I’ve come home blister free. Alright I haven’t worn these ones for every race, and I’m not naïve enough to think that I can run the whole thing blister-free, but I live in hope and put my trust in these.
If it isn’t tracked did you even run? I’ve got a Tom Tom Spark watch which I’ll be wearing on the day. I know the race is officially chip timed but I’m going to need to keep an eye on my pace. I’m feeling the pressure of completing the race in a specific time but I’m so conscious of not going out too quickly and struggling to make it back. Lots of people are reminding me that the finishing time is irrelevant but the majority of them are not runners… Only other runners truly know the pressures of splits.
Obviously, right? Right. But I was in a quandary about this as my Asics have been good to me but they’ve also taken a battering and now have a fair few miles in them, so many that I think really I could have done with some new ones but by the time I gave them enough thought it was too close to race day to wear any new ones in. I’ve also been experiencing numbness on the outside of my left shin and into my foot on odd runs and I’m not sure if it’s down to my trainers. I do however have a another pair of trainers, they are Gola running trainers that I won through a blogger comp a few months ago. I’ve worn them a few times and they’ve been great every time, but the longest distance I’ve covered in them in any one run is 10km so I’m reluctant to wear them on Sunday but they are much roomier in the toe are. The jury’s still out.
Of late my knee has been behaving itself and I’ve been running without any tape at all. Then on Monday I had a horrendous run, everything seemed to be going wrong right from the start and then my knee started hurting at around 4km. I stopped, sacked it off as a bad job and walked home whilst catching up on the phone with my BFF. Although I ran a successful 5km on Wednesday I feel like I should prepare well and tape my knee up for the half just in case.
I’ve filled in all of the important information on the back of my race number now, I hope it wont be required but it’s better to be safe than sorry. I’ve got my safety pins ready too and I think that completes my kit prep.
What’s your must have piece of kit? Do you think I’m prepared for my first Half Marathon? I’d love to hear your thoughts below.