It’s here – the weekend of my first half marathon. I wasn’t sure I’d ever end up here, but in all actuality, I’m not surprised.
I’ve been running casually for the last few years. I never liked it when I was younger, but then I never liked any physical activity when I was younger. Then, I decided I should lose 5 pounds for my wedding, and running became my favorite leisure time activity. And I lost those 5 pounds, and then 10 more. And I was kind of hooked.
A little over a year ago, I entered my first 5K race with my sister for fun. And it really was fun. Over the last 12 months, I’ve run in 5 other races, increasing my distance each time. However, my training has been a little more intense than that. I’ve increased my speed and endurance hugely, and now feel very confident in my running abilities. So really, I’m glad I’m here, 36 hours away from running my first marathon.
So how did I do it? How did a lazy girl from Minnesota turn into something just short of a “runner”? Here are a few things I did to get ready.
As it turns out, 5 year old running shoes are not conducive to productive running. As soon as I got serious about running, I needed good shoes. I ended up turning to Brooks, who makes a variety of fantastic running shoes. At the moment, I’m running in bright purple minimalist running shoes, which I love. However, before switching to minimalist shoes, you’ll need to recognize that they will take some getting used to, compared to traditionally made running shoes. But they are worth it, in my opinion.
I wasn’t a very healthy person growing up. There was always junk food in my house, and I always ate it. Somehow, being a “grown up” means I could make some great decisions to benefit myself and my family’s health. I now drink a LOT of water instead of juice or soda. I also started varying my running workouts by introducing Insanity into my routine. And since those workouts hurt, I’ve started going to see a masseuse at the Massage Envy by my house. Also, I’ve found that Juice Plus, the whole food supplement, actually makes me feel awesome (even though there are conflicting reports of it’s effectiveness). And my husband and I eat a lot more health food. The point here is that, when preparing for a big race, health behind the scenes is just as important as the main act of training.
Originally, my motivation behind running was to lose a couple pounds before my wedding. And then it became about something more. It became about achieving new goals, and try new things I’d never tried before. So I started running further. And faster. And entering fun races with my friends. And because I have an insane need to do things just to say I did them, I registered for my first half marathon just 2 weeks before the race. Holy crap.
I’m really excited about this race, and can’t wait until I’m done with it so I can say I’ve finished a half marathon. I’ll be posting my race results on Twitter and, let’s face it, probably training for yet another race.