The truth is, I’m not a runner, not a runner at all. I’m not someone who gets that “high” off of it or thrives off of the pain to push myself harder. So why am I running a half marathon? Good question.
The Lincoln marathon and half marathon happens every year, and in May 2015 I decided I wanted in on the action. I was cruising through my Facebook feed and saw pictures of everyone who had run in the race. They were posting about how proud they were of themselves and what a challenge it had been. I went to Trevor right away and said, “I think we should do the Lincoln half together!”
Trevor didn’t even hesitate to say yes. He’s a pretty fit guy and is always up for a challenge. Even though running isn’t his strength, he’s a mind over matter person. Leg broken? No problem, just don’t think about it and keep going. Me? If I get a side ache I have to stop. Plus, I am not a runner and never have been. I ran track in high school for two years but was a sprinter, so 13.1 miles is really going to push my physical ability to the limit.
Why didn’t I sign up for a 5k or a 10k first you ask? I wish I would have asked myself that before signing up for this half marathon. In truth, I think I just skipped right over the smaller races because I didn’t think it would give me the sense of accomplishment I was looking for.
The last year has been super crazy for me and I’m in a place I never planned to be in. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I wanted something to make me feel like I had beat the odds or accomplished something I never thought I could. Running a half marathon is definitely on the list of things I never thought I would do, so last May when I saw how proud and accomplished people felt after finishing, I knew I had to do it. Thank God Trevor is willing to do something so crazy with me because without his support I probably would have given up already.
So, how am I preparing? After googling, “how to train for a half marathon,” I stumbled on a guide for the novice runner by Hal Higdon. Apparently he is a major somebody in the running world. After reading over the guide, it seemed doable, but still so, so, so hard. The first week I had a four mile run. I haven’t ran one mile straight in YEARS.
The guide encourages walking, thank goodness. Being told it was ok to walk made starting the training process a lot less stressful. If the guide said to keep running and to try not to walk I think I would have been more intimidated and would doubt myself more than I already do.
I’m not going to lie, I haven’t been 100 percent perfect in following everything the guide suggests because of weekend fun. When the longest run of the week is on Sunday, but I have a weekend trip, a birthday party or a hometown alumni tournament on the weekend, following through with that Sunday run can become difficult. Trevor and I have decided that from here on out, we’re going to really focus on completing every run of the week and less on social weekend activities. It will be well worth it to be able to finish this race.
As far as shoes and gear, I haven’t bought anything special. I’ve been training in my regular Nike tennis shoes (pictured) and using an old treadmill I got from my Dad for free (thanks Dad!). And I already had a decent amount of workout clothes because I do frequently workout, just not run. I want to start running outside eventually, so to keep track of my distance and time, a friend recommended I use the Runkeeper running app. For a water bottle, I use my trusty BKR Bottle. I got it as a Christmas gift a few years ago and it’s been glued to my hand ever since. It’s very pretty and it carries my water, what more could I ask for?
I haven’t been listening to music when I run on the treadmill because I have a TV right in front of me (don’t judge). But, I’ve heard mixed reviews on listening to music during the actual race. Some say it’s better to not wear ear buds with music playing because there are a lot of people cheering and you want to be able to hear it, plus it’s a safety concern if you cannot hear other runners who may need you to move during the race. On the other hand, I feel like I’m going to need the sound of super upbeat music to keep me going for what is going to seem like a lifetime. Then someone told me he runs with only one ear bud in, so I think maybe that will be my approach?
Clearly I have no idea what I’m doing, but I’m so glad I’m trying. I’ve decided that my only goal is finish the race. If that means I have to walk a handful of times, that’s fine with me. I know I’ll have that sense of accomplishment regardless.
Any advice or insight on how to make it out of this half marathon alive is welcomed!