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