For the last five months, we’ve followed Taylor Amon as he trained for his first half-marathon. To wrap up the series we met with him post-race to get his thoughts on race day, his training program, and post-race recuperation.
Q: Take us back to race day. What was that like?
A: The weather forecast wasn’t great. All week it said about 70% chance of rain so I prepared for the worst. I bought water resistant socks and dry fit clothes. Race day, I woke up at 5am, had a decent breakfast, stretched and then walked over to the race. The sky was pretty overcast; everyone was ready for the rain. There were so many people there, it was kind of emotional. I realized why people like running marathons. Everyone was so supportive because we’re all there working on a common goal.
Q: Your plan was to run 4 minutes and walk 2. Were you able to follow that?
A: For the first mile, we pretty much had to jog just to dodge people. But after that we were able to stick to our plan of 4 minutes running and 2 minutes walking the rest of the way.
Q: Throughout your training, you recognized that your mentality going into the race was just as important as your physical condition. Was this an issue during the race at all?
A: My thinking going into it was that I could do 5 miles and then I would start feeling pain and would have to limp my way back. I did start to feel pain around the 5-mile mark but for some reason, maybe adrenaline or determination, I was able to keep running. I ended up running the whole race without breaking my 4- minute run/2-minute walk cadence.
Q: Do you think your training adequately prepared you?
A: Yes, oddly, I think running the race was easier than training. Before training the longest I could run was 1 mile. During the race, every time I reached a new mile marker I would tell myself, hey remember you’ve done 10 before. Once I reached 10, I was able to tell myself there were only 3 miles left, which seemed like nothing.
Q: Now that it’s over, do you think you’ll do it again?
A: Yeah, I’m really shocked because it was just a bucket list thing. I said I would give it a week before deciding. Now that some time has passed I think it would be cool to try to beat what I did this year. If I do it again I would try go for a certain time and run a little more.
Q: Did you have a goal time?
A: I wanted to do 2 hours and 30 minutes and I did it in 2 hours 29 minutes. I really wanted under 3 hours. The finish line was cool because they had grandstands and everyone was cheering you on for about the last quarter of a mile. My adrenaline kicked in and I was able to run the last stretch, which I never thought would be possible.
Q: What kind of post-race care have you taken to help your body recuperate?
A: Once I got back home I iced my joints for a while and then I sat in a hot tub for about an hour. I just stayed in the rest of the weekend and didn’t do much. I took the following week off to give my body a rest too.