The worst miles for me in a half marathon are 8 to10. When I start thinking things like…why the hell do I do this? I hate racing. I hate the sun. I hate her. I hate running. I hate that tree. I hate that squirrel. I hate this road.…I know that I’m between miles 8 and 10. Once I get past mile 10, I have my second wind and you couldn’t stop me if you tried. But, boy do I mentally struggle hrough miles 8, 9 and 10.
I blame it on running at the peninsula because the most boring miles when you start from the front of the park (Beach 1), are miles 8-10 when you’re running on the desolate, wooded back half of the peninsula with nothing to look at but trees, pavement, and the other runners around you.
I usually get through these tough miles by 1.) reminding myself that these are the hardest miles for me and it’s ALWAYS like this; 2.) singing “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” in my head.
Works for me.
When talking with friends recently, I found that none of them had the same “tough mile markers” in a half as me. So, I asked other area runners: Which miles are the worst for you in a half marathon AND how do you get through them?
Here’s what they had to say:
“Well I am no professional. And I’ve only done two. But I remember 8,9, and 10 seemed the toughest mentally. 11 and 12 are usually a blur. And 13 is rewarding.” — Bethany Kelley
“Around mile 9-10. all depends on how well i have been able to take on fluids. How do i get through it? I think about how far I’ve come not how far I have left.” — Ginny Sackett
“The first 13 miles are my “hell miles”….after that it’s a picnic. How do I get through them????? GU !!!!!” — Tom Toale
“Mile 1! Too tempting to take off with the group and start out too fast rather than stick to the pace that I trained at.” — Dennis Albrewczynski
“I know this might be a little late for your article, but mile 1 is the toughest for me, I know that I still have 12 to go. Once that 1st mile is covered it’s all down hill.” — Pat Bruce
“I don’t really have any ‘hell miles’ but the first 1-2 miles are always the worst in any race, over crowding, runners not seeded right, etc. Mile 7-9 are “sweet miles” for me in half marathons.” — Karen Manganaro
Next question: This one is from a reader and I can’t answer it because (knock on wood), I’ve never had a problem with blisters. So…I toss this one to you:
How do you deal with blisters? I have them on my 4th toe and my heel and don’t want to stop walking.