I signed up recently and just stumbled on this forum. I ran 2x 1/2 marathons (in 2 weeks...) last year and have kept at the running, w/ a slight hiatus to cycle over the summer? I would look into an amphipod belt? http://www.amphipod.com/products/hydration/runlite-hydration? I got one of these and it is extremely handy as you can clip multiple bottles to it, I use one or two w/ more carbs and one w/o carbs, or bring the carbs as jellybeans in pouches. I think it's very handy as you can get various little bags to carry other junk (keys, cell phones, etc.) along too but the clip on bottles work very well for biking or running.
I am planning on doing another 1/2 in the spring and then a full marathon in the fall next year. I am thinking Milwaukee, maybe Chicago but I don't like crowds that much. I think that for training it's important to have something to lug along with you and the Amphipod belt fits very well. There's a 5.5 mile loop near my house and some people will stash bottles around and my buddies used to drive around to prestock their course, just leaving them in bushes and stuff but you never know if 1) someone will clean it up 2) if some animal will have whizzed on it, licked it, etc.
lol, I don't like crowds either! Were the 1/2's races or on your own? I've done a few 13-14 milers on my own, mostly unplanned. I've thought about doing races, but a lot of what I love about running is being away from other people. What has your experience been like? Should I just get over it?
I ran one on my own, first, to make sure there wasn't some sort of metabolic wall I'd run into. I did 2x 'official' events, one was a much smaller race, a charity even for my Aunt's therapy horse facility, maybe 2 or 300 people. It was on crushed limestone trails through a beautiful forest preserve.
The other one was 14K people (Illinois Marathon, in Champaign, IL) which was also fun as we'd just moved away from there after I'd been around Champaign-Urbana for 20 years, so it was like a run down memory lane. It also finished on the football field so the last 75 yards or so were on really springy artificial turf which was *very* nice to run on! The second race did have a couple of traffic jams but it was fun to run in the crowd, people had hoses, sprinklers, etc. out, bands in parks, hippies in front of the Grateful Dead store, etc. all being very supportive. I agree w/ the being away although I have my iPod anyway so I am on PlanetAcidRock (although this time of year, Russian ballets sort of go w/ the weather?).
I like races b/c it's a good chance to run with a community of people. Everybody is pretty friendly w/ the waves, etc. around here but there's a nice vibe to a big group, even when I'm going about 1/2 as fast as the winners?
There's websites (e.g. http://www.marathonguide.com/races/search.cfm or http://www.marathonguide.com/races/races.cfm) that allow you to browse for races that can be helpful to find one that's the right size. I'm in the Chicago suburbs so part of me would like Chicago but it's like 40K people and I've gone to cheer friends on and it can be a zoo! My aunt agreed to help (she does ultramarathons, ironman triathlons and stuff...I think my mom may have kvetched @ her about the 'risk' factor too but she's very cool and will be good to run with) and suggested Milwaukee as it's a much smaller race, is downhill most of the second half of the race and, as I noticed later, has free beer @ the end!
Thanks for the advice. I guess I'm in my own world most of time anyway, even without my iPod. Definitely something to think about, I appreciate it.