Half Marathon Training: The Start

Part of it was that I was getting sick and tired of not doing it. Running a half marathon that is. Or simply just taking a shot at conquering one of my…I wouldn’t say fears, but something I wasn’t quite sure how I would do.

I can tell you, “Run a 5k” has been on my new year goal list more than once and never done and then last year I upped the ante and challenged myself to a 10k, but never even looked into it nor completed one day of training. So at this point, I am over it. I am tired of just not doing it.

I’d been craving a physical challenge of some sort since competing in Miss Kansas USA. This seemed like the right one to do next. I talked it over with Jordan (who has one half marathon already under his belt!) and he found a good one for beginners and we decided to do this together. We registered for the run in October 2017 and it’s not until April 2018. We ripped the band-aid and didn’t look back! Extra sprinkles: One of my best friends, Jade, decided to sign up too! And it will be her first one as well. Talk about accountability and support!

So, now what?

I asked a couple friends that are runners for advice and insight. I went to a shoe store that specializes in running shoes – Garry Gribble’s Running Sports store (about to be renamed to JackRabbit) and did the consultation and was fitted for shoes that would be right for me. Aren’t they cute? 🙂

I searched for the longest training program I could find because, surely, I need as much time to train as possible! The best one I felt fit my needs that I found was a 16-week program that also incorporates strength training and cross training.

We lined up the program 16 weeks out from the race and it put us to start training on Christmas day. (Ha!) So we decided to start training on Tuesday, December 26 and we did a little extra to sort of make up for missing that first day.

Now we are in the middle of our 5th week of training. I haven’t blogged about this journey yet, so I felt like it was about time and I should probably bring you up to speed!

On the first day of training, I had Jordan take pictures of me in my sports bra and workout pants so I could have my “before” pictures later on and I could track my progress. In December, we went on vacation and then had the holidays, of course. I knew half marathon training would be starting soon and I would be making lifestyle changes then, so I allowed myself to eat and drink pretty much whatever the hell I wanted in December. I went on a binge and told myself not to even feel guilty.

So I knew the beginning was going to be a little extra tough due to my eating/drinking binge and little-to-no gym time in December. It was tough. But I kept up and pushed through. The first couple weeks were two-mile kind of workouts and I was huffing and puffing and walking during some parts. Not going to deny even wondering how in the world I am going to run 13.1 miles in the next few months.

I also want to mention that in the four and half weeks so far, we have only gotten to run outside once due to the extremely cold winter weather we have been experiencing. So lots of treadmill time has been happening!

And with these treadmill runs, I have only sort of…punched the treadmill dashboard once and have only cried once (which didn’t happen until week five surprisingly! Ha!) So let me tell you, long distance treadmill running is so hard for me. Not only am I physically working hard to keep going, but I am also mentally fighting myself a lot more than normal. It’s mentally a workout for me too, which makes the physical part much more harder.

When I am on the treadmill, I am constantly tempted to look at the length of time I have been on there and the distance that I have ran so far. And the thoughts just start going from there.

Since the start of training, I have noticed my times have been gradually getting better and workouts feel good. Right now, I am sore. But it’s a good sore! I am also proud that we have not missed a day and have stuck to the program just how it is. So we are now a month in on working out five days a week! And it feels SO GOOD.

As for the nutrition aspect, we have dramatically cut down on how much we eat out. I made a deal with myself when it comes to soda so my consumption of that has gone way down. I have been drinking SO MUCH more water and tea. We have been making more meals, trying new things, and will be trying out a meal planning concept for the month of February, which we are excited about!

It’s been fun and good to assess what we are consuming and what small changes we can make here and there to start adding up to the big good stuff for our bodies and overall lifestyle.

So who out there has done a half marathon? Any tips?!

If you want to follow more of my training, follow me on Instagram @rachelnmsparkle. I try to post stories on there! #RachelOnTheRun

But for real guyz, I just want to finish this race. I want to cross that finish line and the more I train and put work into this, the more I know I will cry if I do make it there.

Have you dug hard into your 2018 goals yet? What are you working on?

Let me know!

With extra sprinkles on top,

Rachel

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