I am very proud to say that this past Sunday, January 15 I ran my 1st half marathon!! It was a very exhilarating and fun experience. Honestly, I never thought I could actually be able to ever do it…but I did and in 2.36 hours!. 🙂
Growing up I was always active, I danced ballet for 15 years, I played soccer for a while, I cheered in college, and I have been doing yoga for a few years as an adult. I have never been a real “runner,” until recently; running was never my thing. I remember in middle school we had to run one mile for P.E. class and I totally hated it and I felt like I was dying. I couldn’t understand why anybody would want to run for fun… but now I do! 😉
How my running journey began:
Annie & I’s co-worker, Monique, is an avid runner and cycler. She has participated in 5 half marathons (13.1 miles), 3 marathons (26.2 miles), 1 MS-150 (bike 180 miles), 1 Duathlon (Run 3.1 Miles, Bike 12.5 Miles, Run 3.1 Miles) and 1 Ride for Aids (Bike 400 miles from Twin Cities to Chicago) In other words, she is a super intense athlete… and a mother of 3! :0 – In the office, she was always trying to “convert” people to become runners (still does), but no one would give in. So I decided to train with her and give running a try. Plus, I figured it would be cool thing to add to my bucket list before the big 3-0 .
My official training started in June 2016. Before June, the longest distance I had EVER ran was three miles (5KM). To me, that used to be pretty intense… but not anymore!
I consistently started running 3-4 miles twice a week and with time, I slowly started to increase the distance. I would do a shorter run during the week and a longer run on the weekends.
By September I was up to 10 miles and by late November I was able to run the full 13 miles. 😉 So in total, I guess you can say it took me 5 months to get ready for the half marathon.
I started wearing Nike’s, but the type I had did not have enough support for the distances I was running and I started getting terrible pains on the sides of my feet. So it was time to upgrade. I went to Fleet Feet in the Rice Village and got fit to find the perfect pair.
- First, they make you run on a treadmill and they record you.
- After that, you watch the video of your run and then they recommend what type of shoes are best for you depending on the way you run.
- I tried a few brands including: Brooks and Nike, but the brand that fit me the best and that I chose was Asics.
I don’t discriminate, I wear athletic gear from all brands and colors, but something that my coach/friend Monique recommended was to wear compression leggings. Compression sportswear is good to prevent chafing and rashes, and post-exercise to ease muscle stiffness and quicken recovery time. We like the ones made by 2XU, they are a little pricy, but you can find them at a good price on Amazon…. Shhh! 😉
When it comes to socks, Balega is our to go brand because they are made with a technology that keeps feet cool and dry while allowing free airflow for maximum comfort, performance and durability.
Some of our favorite tracks are:
- Rice (our favorite because it’s shaded)
- Museum district
- Herman park
Always roll your legs before starting, and then any other additional stretches that you might find are better for your own body. Rolling is SUPER important; I can always feel right away the tension in my muscles when I don’t roll my legs. Awesome roller on Amazon.
When you are starting to do longer runs, taking supplements for extra energy and electrolytes are great for preventing your body from cramping up! You can find them at Fleet Feet or Academy.
- Energy: Honey Stinger chews, GU gel
- Electrolytes: Nuun
I ALWAYS have music when I am running, even if it’s just a short run. I feel that it motivates me and keeps me going. I like to have an “Ultimate Run Playlist” on Spotify that has a wide variety of my favorite songs, of all genres from cheesy 90s-00s pop, electronic to rap.
Some of these remedies might sound like they are coming from your grandma, but I must say, they are pretty efficient for preventing/soothing pain experienced during or after a run.
- Wrapping your knee or any part that hurts with KT Tape before you run.
- Bandage any potentially sore muscles with arnica gel after run.
- Roll a tennis ball under the bottom of foot if you feel pain.
- Soak feet in Epsom salt after a long run.
- Roll sore muscles after any run.
Having family and friends support your journey is VERY important! Just knowing that someone is there cheering you on and encouraging makes this journey easier and a lot more fun. It’s good to have a running cheerleader/coach to run with you and non-running cheerleaders so you can share your progress with them.
I know I would have not been able to do this without my coach Monique and all my great friends and family….. and of course my TCC partner Annie! 🙂
Half Marathon Experience:
When I signed up to do the half marathon, I decided to do Run for a Reason and raise money for a charity. I chose to support Star of Hope and I was able to raise $350. They were very nice and sent me a t-shirt to wear on race day!
Star of Hope is a Christ-centered community dedicated to meeting the needs of homeless men, women and their children. Positive life changes are encouraged through structured programs which focus on spiritual growth, education, employment, life management and recovery from substance abuse.
Picking up my race package at the George R. Brown Convention Center for the Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Sports Medicine Institute EXPO was a really fun experience! The atmosphere was great, seeing all those runners and all this cool running gear really pumped you up! 😉
I even got my knee tapped for FREE by the KT Tape experts! (BTW, my knee was great during the race. KT Tape always works!)
I do not consider myself a running expert, but I did want to share my experience with you and post what I learned during my journey in hopes of possibly encouraging you to try the same. Participating in this half marathon was an experience I will never forget! 😉