My Journey to the Race: Half Marathon + P90X3 Training

If you told me a year ago that I would wake up at 430am on a Sunday to run 13.1 miles in the rain, I would have called you cray.  I am not a runner.  I mean, I run.  But only because I know it is good for me.  I do a 3 mile loop here in my neighborhood, and I run one or two 5k races a year to support causes that are near and dear to my heart.  

So, when my friend Keri approached me with a proposal to run the Pittsburgh Half Marathon, I had some thinking to do.  My initial reaction was, um, hell no.  But after doing a little soul searching, I decided to go for it.  I said yes because Keri had inspired me in her own health and fitness journey in the months leading up to her proposal.  And, if she could do it, I could do it.  WE could do it.  

I looked at a few training schedules, created my own incorporating P90X3, and I started.  My meal plan ended up taking a little bit of trial and error-but was perfected by the time race day rolled around.  

I will never forget that first 4 mile run with Chris while we were in Florida in February.  It sucked.  It was hot, I was tired, and I was sore.  

I had a lot of learning to do-all of which happened as I went:


-Always run in the morning.  The day can weigh you down.


-40-50 degrees is the optimal running temperature. 

-That little pocket in the back of a windbreaker isn't stupid at all-it is perfect for keeping your phone rolled and tied tightly around your waist.

-Surround yourself by encouraging people.

-Eat an extra carb the night before a long run, not the evening after.

-Never buy new shoes 3 weeks before race day.

-Eat a Shakeology bowl the night before a long run.

-Drink 32 ounces of water and an Emergen-C the morning before a long run.

-Plan your long routes in cities or parks where a bathroom is available for an emergency mid run pee.

-Listen to your body.

-Fill your non running days with active rest, weight and resistance training (P90X3, holla!).

-Plan your routes the evening before using the "measure distance" feature on Google maps.

-Run near water, in cities, and on trails that provide enough distraction to keep you propelling forward.

-Soak up your surroundings. 

-Document and share your journey.  Encouragement will come from the most unexpected places.

-Invest in dry fit socks.

-Celebrate each small victory.

-There will be days that 3 miles feels like 10.  You just.keep.going.

-Let your partner be your biggest cheerleader.

-Never attempt to run more than 3 miles alone with a busy toddler.

-Fuel with friends the night before the big race.  Because everything is better when celebrated.

-Don't register and pay for the full when you only want to run the half. 

-The beers you drink post race will be the best beers you have ever tasted.

-And most importantly, start where you are-

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If you would like a copy of my 12 week cross training plan, 12 week meal plan, or would like like to talk about getting started on your own race journey, contact me!  I would love to help you get started.  

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You know, you are stronger than you think you are.

xo sarah