As someone who considers myself a well-rounded athlete, it’s actually kind of shocking that I’ve never run a long-distance race before. Growing up with an older brother I pretty much learned how to play every sport under the sun… and to be honest, I became quite good at most sports. I don’t say that in a bragging way whatsoever, it’s just how I was conditioned from an early age. When I lived in Atlanta, Georgia we had a house situated in a could-a-sac along with 2 other families with kids around my brothers age. We were constantly playing sports and it became quite clear to me that I would have to learn to keep up with the big kids, otherwise I wouldn’t be allowed to play.
We played all sorts of games: Baseball, Kickball, Basketball, Roller-Hockey, Kick-the-Can, Man-hunt, Laser Tag, Capture the Flag, the list goes on and on. Looking back, I am so thankful for growing up in that environment because it developed a competitiveness in me that I’m sure has helped me in more aspects of my life than just fitness-related.
In College I chose to join a Sorority rather than attend a College in which I could play Volleyball, a choice I sometimes regret. Although I loved my Sorority years, being an athlete is kind of who I’ve always been, and I soon realized that no longer being on a team kind of took a tole on my self-confidence. I think that after being rooted in sports was kind of where I found my identity and not being part of team provided me with so much free time that I was not previously accustomed to.
Like most freshman, I used my new found free-time to attend frat parties and drink sh*t vodka in mass quantity #College. Don’t get me wrong, I had the time of my life and I’m so happy that I got the experiences that I did, but sometimes I look back and wonder what it would have been like to be an athlete at the collegiate level.
During my second year at Mizzou I became slightly obsessed with exercising and pushing myself to reach a certain extreme. I always wanted to be the most “fit” person in the room and was constantly comparing myself to other girls. That of course unleashed a whole string of other issues which I won’t go in to detail about now, but it wasn’t until a couple years ago that I realized what I really longed for was some sort of goal to work towards or accomplishment to achieve athletically.
This brings me to my point of today’s blog post, signing up for my first 1/2 Marathon.
I’ve never been a long distance runner (in Track I did all of the Sprints and Jumping events) so this is definitely something I’ve always thought that I couldn’t do. I’ve convinced myself over the years that I have a “sprinters body” and could never do long-distance.
It wasn’t until my boyfriend pointed out to me that running distance is really a mental thing more than anything (provided that you are already in good shape) and that as someone who works out religiously, I shouldn’t have a problem as long as I train properly before the race.
Two of my best girlfriends from College are running in the Vegas Rock n Roll 1/2 Marathon in November so I thought “Why Not?!”
Even though it’s so far out, I started training this week to see where I’m at and I can already do 5 miles at a pretty good pace. Not wanting to wait until November to see if I can do it, I looked up upcoming races in the DFW area and there is one in Denton on July 17th (about 9 weeks out) which I think I am going to sign up for as a trail run for Vegas.
Below is the training schedule I found online which I plan on following for the following weeks:
According to this schedule you should rest 3 days and run 4, but I’ve never been one to take 3 rest days a week. Like what?! I know for some people this sounds reasonable, but I get anxiety when I don’t do some form of exercise. I have some OCD tendencies which are mostly rooted in my need for routine. It’s hard enough making myself take 1 rest day, let alone 3.
I’ve seen from other posts that some people use their “rest” days to cross-train other muscle groups so this is the approach that I’m going to take. 2 out of the 3 rest days I will probably do some resistance training workouts so that I don’t lose too much of the muscle that I’ve spent 4 months building. Also, on the days where I only have to do 3-4 miles I will work on speed work rather than just doing a steady-state run (will reserve those for the long runs on Saturdays).
I will keep y’all in the loop! Anyone else training for their first half-marathon? Comment below!