I’m not sure what it is, but lately I’ve had a lot more motivation to run. I’ve always kept up with running a few miles a week for exercise purposes, but for some reason lately I’ve had the drive to run longer, faster and harder. It’s weird. I don’t know if it’s the nicer weather, or the fact that I currently have a little extra time on my hands, but something has definitely sparked my interest in running, and I think I like it. So much so, that I am dabbling with the idea of running a half marathon in October. Yes you heard correctly, my first half marathon.
Now, I have never considered myself a “runner”. Sure I’ve done a few 5k’s here and there, as well as a 5 mile relay race, but that’s really it as far as races. I typically complete about 2-4 miles on the treadmill every few days, but running has always been more of a leisurely way for me to exercise. I never really go out there and say “today I will run 3 miles” or “tomorrow I will do a long run”. I normally just go out there and run until I get too bored to continue running, or until I run out of good songs (whichever comes first). I’ve always been jealous of the people who can just lace up their sneakers, and naturally run for long periods of time like it’s nothing. I am definitely not a natural born runner. I have to work hard at running, it does not come easy to me.
So with that being said, you may be wondering why I would ever torture myself in trying to run 13.1 miles, if running is not my “thing”? Well my friends, although running long distances may not be my thing, accomplishing goals definitely is. There is something very appealing to me about this goal. About conquering something that I never believed I could do. It is motivating to me to have a challenge. A goal. A purpose. I want to be able to say that I can run a half marathon. I want to feel that sense of achievement, and I want to accomplish something that not everyone can do.
Running 13.1 miles does seem a little intimidating to me, but not impossible. I have over three months to train, and plan to follow some sort of training plan. I want to increase my long run milage by 1 mile each weekend (either Saturday or Sunday), and continue to run between 3-5 miles every other day during the week. I also hope to fit a day or two of cross-training in, perhaps tennis, spinning or some light weight lifting.
I am going to loosely follow the Hal Higdon Novice Half Marathon Training Plan, but I already know that I will probably not be able to follow it to a tee. I don’t want to feel pressure to run certain mileages on certain days. The important thing to me is to try and increase my mileage per week, without feeling completely exhausted. I plan on thoroughly listening to my body throughout this whole process. If i need to take a few extra rest days because my body feels fatigued then so be it. If I need to stop and walk for a few minutes, I’m going to do it. Luckily, I have some wiggle room because I am technically starting the training plan at week 6, since I am currently able to run 6 miles.
My main goal is to simply finish the race. I am going to be disciplined and patient, but also realistic. I’ve never done this before, but I know that I have it in me. I know that with enough time, effort and training I will be able to tackle 13.1. I’m up for the challenge and quite frankly I’m psyched for the process and the out come! Bring it on!
Have you ever ran a half marathon?
What tips do you have for a first time half marathon runner?