… But here I find myself one month away from running a half marathon.
It all started last Thanksgiving. I signed Brian and I up for a 5k turkey trot because I wanted us to do something active before eating all day. I had run a 10k a few years back, but he had never run any type of race before. This seemed like something different for us to do together.
Needless to say, we had a really great time together! I was surprised by how well we did and man, nothing beats that runners high!
After that, I wanted to continue running and challenging myself. I’m relatively active and try to workout regularly. I didn’t really train for the 5k, except a few brief runs on the treadmill. I researched half marathons in the area and decided on Runapalooza in Asbury Park, NJ. It was 4 months away and that would give me enough time to train.
Thankfully, my good friend Lisa decided to sign up with me and we’ve been running together every Saturday. It’s so much easier and more fun when you do it with a friend! Slowly but surely, we’ve increased our distance. The park we run at has mile markers which makes gaging our distance easier. I also use the app, map my run, to track my distance/pace. Here is a few pictures of where we run. It’s so great when you have a running buddy to share accomplishments with!
As of this morning, we are up to 8+ miles
Just training for the marathon has inspired me to be more active. Even when I’m not running, I’m trying to increase my walking distance. Brian and I walked 15+ miles!
If you’re thinking about training for any type of race, here are some tips I recommend. I’m not a trainer, but these are just things that have worked for me.
- Research what race you’d like to do. Make sure you review the map and see if it’s flat or has hills. Also, make sure you have enough time to train- you want to be able to get through it. Lastly, keep in mind what the weather will be like not only during your race, but also during training. I signed up for one in spring, but sticking to my training schedule during winter has been challenging.
- Find a training schedule online that will help you reach your goals. It’s also good to run with a friend, or a running club to keep you accountable. Or, you can download a running app to track your progress/share with friends.
- Hydrate hydrate hydrate before every run! And I don’t mean just drink a glass of water. I try to drink three large bottles of water within the hour before my run. I have found that this significantly improves my performance.
- Eat about 30 min to an hour before you run, especially in the morning. I’m never hungry in the morning but I force myself to eat at least a banana before my runs. Find out which foods work best for you. I used to eat oatmeal but found a banana with peanut butter actually fuels me better.
- This may sound gross, but go to the bathroom ( number 1 & 2) before you go running. About 80% of runners experience stomach discomfort while they run. Trust me, needing to go to the bathroom during the run is the worst. Not only does it mess up your rhythm, but depending on where you are you may not even have access to a bathroom.
- Lastly, force yourself to breathe properly and pace yourself. Really concentrate on breathing in through your nose, and out through your moth. This is challenging in cold weather but if you continue to do this throughout your run you will be able to go further.
The biggest challenge I’ve come across is trying to stick to my training schedule. Based on the schedule, I should be running 4-5 times a week. Due to winter, and not wanting to work out after work, I’ve been running about 1-2 times a week. I still do my regular workouts in the mornings, but struggle to run long distances at night. Luckily, this has been okay for me. I’ve still been able to consistently increase my distance.
The half marathon is only one month away, wish me luck! I’ll definitely be doing a whole post about that when the time comes. 😀