I finally did it. I trained for, and ran a half marathon. It was my first, but it will not be my last. It was a true season of running. One that humbled me and proved that as long as I want it enough, I can do anything.
I started a bit late, as the summer is a particularly demotivating time for me to train when it is so hot and sticky in FL, but starting with 4 miles already under my belt I trained in about 9 weeks, adding 2-1 miles on each week. I realized, after the first weekend, that if it was just going to be up to me to get myself up for a long run on my Saturday off, that I would never get it done. So, I signed up for races. Luckily timing was on my side for once and with the running season beginning there were more than enough races to choose from, the only dilemma choosing which one.
Throughout the 2 months, I became increasingly inspired by the people and organizations I met at each race, reveling in the diversity and compassion of the running community. I learned a lot about myself, as I love my sleep, but it came down to the below - I was determined to get in every last foot of every mile.
Fernandina Beach Turtle Trot 5k and 2 mil
Labor Day 3.5mi - Same weekend as the race above, but much easier than the beach run.
Wounded Warrior Project 8k and 2 mile run - Yay bridges!
Financial Fitness 5k and 5 mile run - I ran in support of people I work with!
Miracle Miles 15k and 2 mile run - My dad came to cheer me on!
Marine Corps Half Marathon - I had some amazing friends support me, and my mom surprised me and came in to town for the race, even following me around the course!
I will tell you what, I doubted myself, and then I let a bunch of excuses get in the way. Finally I just had to do it. And I'm glad I did. I look forward to the next one.
Jaxtoberfest 5k Recovery Run - Glad to have a 'Fun' Run to recover with.
Gator Bulldog 5k - Getting back into the swing of things.
Along with running 3-4 times a week, I was attending Power Yoga (Baptiste style) classes 2-3 times a week. The breathing and flexibility made a huge difference in my running skill. I also got some tips from KatrinaElle regarding breathing on certain steps and I used a training plan similar to the Galloway method - rather than run/walking on a timer, I ran each mile and then took a break.
However, I learned that I made a huge mistake by not keeping up with the strength training I had done in the spring. I was prepared for the consequences that taking the summer off of any sort of training would have on me, however what hurt me the most was not including strength training. I ended the race, luckily right along with what I had been training on because I started the race out so strongly. But by the 8th mile, my knee was hurting, and by the 9th and 10th miles, I was walking more than running.
I was afraid that I may have shot my knee, but as quoted before. It's not going to happen. Now I know better, and it's not a bad thing as I love squats and lifting heavy things. Bring on the rise back up!
I hope that everyone takes on the challenge of running a distance race or taking on a competition like a bi- or triathlon, Strongman, or biking. It opened my eyes to so many opportunities and communities, and gave me a confidence I didn't know I had. So get on out there runners (and others), and take it on!