I signed up for a half marathon in September.
If you would have told me today that I signed up for a half marathon this year, I would have laughed at you and called you nuts. But, it happened and I successfully registered for the Disney Run this September. Holy crap.
I am not sure how I went from training for an 8k to a running for 13.1 miles. All I remember is sitting in my group room at the end of my workday, checking out my Facebook news feed and seeing my friend’s post about Run Disney. 10 minutes later, I whipped out my credit card and I was signed up.
I blame you Kyesha.
Honestly, I am way excited. I have never been to Disneyland, EVER (please pick your jaws off of the floor). This will be my first long distance race and the race falls on the same weekend of my mother’s birthday. I think that part makes me the happiest. She’d never imagine me running a half marathon because I am slightly clumsy so I know this is something she would have loved to see.
After I signed up, the first thing I did was FREAK OUT. What on earth was I thinking? How on earth could I go from trying to train for 4 miles to 13.1 miles?! Can I physically run that far? Am I completely nuts? How do I even begin training? Will I finish the race fast enough? Will I pass out? What kind of diet should I eat? Do I have the right shoes? Am I completely nuts?
Thankfully I have good friends and work with some great people who are runners. They did a great job of calming me down and reassuring me that I am not insane. I got a lot of great advice advice and pretty much all of it matched up to what I researched on Google:
1) Shoes are everything.
A few nights ago when I mentioned that I had a problem with shin splints, a friend of mine mentioned that I needed to check my shoes. Who knew that by the end of the week, I’d be planning to purchase shoes for my first half marathon?
I’ve stumbled into a lot of conversations about running this week, mostly at work. I currently run groups with active military and according to one of my guys, my current running shoes SUCK. At first, I thought he meant that they are old and I need new ones, which is true. I was wrong. Apparently, just because a shoe says “running shoe” doesn’t mean it’s a running shoe. In this guys opinion, New Balance, although it is a good shoe, it is not a great running shoe. I figured since this guy was military and avid triathalon/marathon runner, it might be a good idea to take his advice.
The funny thing is, my New Balances always caused me some pain when I ran. I thought that was a part of running…along with shin splints. Well, it is not and I need to go shoe shopping. He named a couple of brands with Italian sounding names and tried to convince me to try out those shoes that look like feet. He also tried to convince me to compete in the Tough Mudder race. After hearing that the race has a death waiver, some one broke their pelvis and the last stretch of the race subjects you to getting zapped by 10,000 volts…I decided to pass.
At a friends suggestion, tomorrow I am headed out to Run AZ in Gilbert and Runner’s World in Tempe to check out some shoes. I have never been a fan of shoe shopping, but I think I’ll enjoy this. As long as the sales person doesn’t try to talk me into those weird shoes in the shape of feet, things should go well.
2) I need a training schedule.
Again, friends come to the rescue when I have no idea what I am getting myself into. My plan was to just run when I could and hopefully work my way up to 13.1 miles. One of my friends started asking me details about my half marathon, then told me to create a training schedule. At first I thought this was suggested because I am kinda scattered but it turns out that having a schedule is what most marathon trainers use.
I checked out Google and there are tons out there to choose from. A lot of the training schedules help you train for 9-12 weeks. Honestly, there is no way I would be up to 13 miles in that short of a time period. So, after a little more digging, I found a 24 week training schedule so I can ease my way up to 13 miles. My first week has me doing 3 miles a day with breaks on Monday and Friday. I’ve already done 2 in a day, so that’s not too scary.
3) I need to focus on nutrition and hydration.
Since the beginning of the year, I’ve pretty much stuck to my nutrition plan. I’ve lost ten pounds (YAY) in my first month by eating out less, eating more lean meats, fruits and veggies, and exercising. My current diet limits a lot of carbs during the week and I get free days on the weekend. From what I’ve read, complex carbohydrates are what fuel runners. I’m a little nervous that this will screw with my current diet, but I want to train right for this race.
I’ve also read that I need to eat more during the day, instead of my three meals. It’ll be hard to remember to grab a small snack because I am always on the go doing groups and assessments. To be honest, eating six times a day is probably better for me because it will prevent me from wanting to go all zombie on everyone who crosses my path at the end of the day. I’m usually starving once I get off of work.
4) I need support.
Honestly, when I signed up for this, I was expecting some negative feedback. I know my expectation to get some flack for signing up for this half marathon was my own lack of confidence in myself to complete this race. However, no one’s been negative and everyone I’ve told has been super supportive. I have to say, it’s been pretty awesome.
I also find that telling others will keep me from flaking on this, which will really motivate me to keep going. Which brings me to the next point:
5) I need to stay motivated.
From what I have been reading, a lot of people stop training because they have insane expectations, goals and they lose motivation. My only goal and expectation is to finish. One of my biggest concerns was my time for my first race. Everyone I’ve expressed this concern with told me not to worry and to focus on finishing. My goal is to just finish this race. I expect there are times that it will be difficult and I will want to quit, but if bailing on a friend and 150 bucks isn’t motivating enough, I don’t know what else is.
Overall, I am super excited about this whole race. I would have never imagined signing up for something like this so soon, but here I am. I’ll try to post updates about my training and progress. My first 8k is the Pat Tillman run in April and I am hoping that I can run my four miles without stopping.
Here’s to going for what you want, no matter how daunting the goal may seem.