Back in January, I added "Run A Half Marathon" to my bucket list. This was never something I ever expected myself to write on my list, let alone ever even consider. But, after doing the Polar Bear Plunge, I found a whole new side to my list (& me) that I hadn't even noticed before; all of the items I avoid because of FEAR. I'm being dead serious, I was afraid of the Polar Bear Plunge & I was afraid of a Half Marathon because I subconsciously believed that I couldn't do these things. I just couldn't.
But that made me mad, because I can. So I did.
Here's how I accomplished running a half marathon last weekend, & why you can too.
Step 1: Come Up With A Plan Obviously, depending on you & how athletic you are, the plan will differ. Mine was perfectly defined as the "Couch to Half Marathon" that Women's Running provides. They have a perfect layout for a 20-week time frame, & it worked for me. Weeks 1-7 | Weeks 8-14 | Weeks 15-20
Step 2: Prepare A Proper Timeline I had over 10 months to train for my half marathon, & honestly, I could have trained a lot harder. Setting up a proper timeline for yourself is really important. Don't let it be as long as mine unless you know you'll be serious about it. If my timeline had been a little shorter, I believe it would have helped me.
Step 3: Have A Practice Run I got lucky with this one. I decided on the Spokane Half Marathon, which runs a big portion of their famous Bloomsday run. In May, I was able to run Bloomsday, which is a 10K in preparation for what I'd be up against come this October. It really allowed me to see what I'd need to do to push my limits.
Step 4: Alternate Shoes My boyfriend told me about an article he read saying that, those who alternate the same pair of shoes have less risk of injury. And, with all of this training, who wants to risk that? So, I bought two of the same pairs of shoes & would alternate them during training. This worked perfectly, & it allowed me to not have to break in any new shoes in the weeks leading up to the half marathon.
Step 5: Keep At It Keep training & pushing yourself, & always be sure to stretch.
Step 6: Watch Your Food Around the 10th mile, they started passing out this raspberry goo that's supposed to help you with energy, & it gave me a stomach ache. Try testing out the items you'll be eating & drinking the day before your run, the morning of your run & during your run. If you're unsure during your run, don't risk it.
Step 7: Just Do It! After all of the internal complaining throughout the race, I know now, you just have to push through it. Just do it! And, you can, you know.
Curious about my experience? You can read it HERE.