That time I ran 13.1 Miles

Oh hey there internet…it’s been awhile! So long in fact, that I’ve actually already run my race. Crazy I know! But I did it. And what else am I supposed to do than chronicle my experience and tell everyone about it.

It was nerve wracking. I felt anxious and excited. I didn’t know what to expect, as this was my very first race. But it was an amazing first race experience. We were loaded into our corrals, and it honestly felt like we were cattle being herded. Race started at 8, but I didn’t start until around 8:20 or so. Aka I was in the last corral to start since I run probably about as fast as paint dries. Just kidding, but I do run fairly slow – and I honestly don’t really care. I’m still running.

Anyway – I definitely started too fast. My adrenaline was pumping and most of the people around me at that point were walkers so it was a little difficult to find my rhythm. Good news I didn’t really start to slow down until around half way through. But that’s when I really was not enjoying myself. It was hot. At least 20 degrees warmer than any of my training runs, and I was not having any of it. Honestly, there’s a part of me that just wanted to quit the entire time and never make it to the finish line. Thank goodness I kept going.

After a minor freak out where I started to panic because I felt dizzy (don’t worry this passed and I was able to get through it totally fine), I realized that I was more than half way and that I was going to finish the race. There were two moments where I 100% knew I would finish the race:

  • when there was only a 5k left
  • when there was less than a mile left

Running that last .1 miles was probably my favorite part of the race. My body hurt, but I ran as fast as I could and had the biggest smile on my face. The best part – I DID IT!!!!

I’ve accomplished a fitness goal that I never in a million years thought possible. I did it, and honestly, I’ll probably do it again. I want to improve my time (feel free to call me crazy at any time). It’s amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it. Before finishing up this post, I want to share some wisdom that someone shared with me the night before the race:

“The first 5 miles are physical. The second 5 miles are mental. The last 3.1 miles are all heart.”

After running my half I can whole-heartedly say that this statement is completely true.

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Running and Running Some More

A week or so ago I asked a group of ladies why they enjoyed running. I wanted to get to that point that even if I don’t enjoy the physical act of running, I enjoyed the accomplished feeling afterwards. It would make me love it. I guess I just hadn’t experienced runners high much.

That’s changed. I still don’t like the physical act of running, it’s difficult and some days you just don’t feel like you can run as far. However, I LOVEE the feeling of accomplishment when you’ve finished a run. Yesterday, I ran 5 miles. Not only did I run 5 miles, but I also didn’t stop for a walk break. We had one water stop during the run, but other than that I ran the entire 5 miles. My pace was slow, but that doesn’t matter to me. It was progress. It was such a huge accomplishment, that I couldn’t help but have a smile on my face as we finished the run.

The TNT (Team In Training) coaches have helped me so much when it comes to running. I never would’ve been able to complete the entire 5 miles yesterday without them. I know my body is physically capable of it, my mind is just in awe of the daunting task. But I have 6 weeks of training left and 77 miles of training runs left. All ending with that 13.1 mile run for a total of 90.1 miles in the next 6 weeks.

Here’s to running lots of miles in the next 6 weeks!

I can do this – 4 miles later

This week I feel like I’ve learned a lot. Now it isn’t anything ground breaking, but it’s something that I finally was able to learn.

Running is a mental game. Yes it requires you to be physically active, but to be honest, it’s entirely mental. Saying “I can do this”makes all the difference between waking up for that 4 mile run/walk on a cold Saturday morning, and laying in bed binge watching Friends on Netflix.

It’s no secret that 1. I’m training for a half marathon and 2. that I’ve never run an event before. So to say that yesterday I completed the longest run of my life was a bit of an understatement. I mean, I did complete the longest run of my life, and I did it in the snow and the cold. I did it with hurt knees (aka: I’m going to buy myself some running shoes today to avoid injury). I’m a slow runner, and the furthest I can run without stopping is half a mile. But you know what – that’s the farthest I’ve gotten in the past 2 weeks. I’ve only been training for 2 weeks and I’ve improved. Granted, it’s not a huge improvement – but it’s an improvement nonetheless.

I’m becoming more comfortable in my pace as a runner. It doesn’t matter that it takes me an hour to run 4 miles. What matters is that I’m doing it. And the best part is that I’m doing it for me – not anyone else.

I’m proving to myself that I can do this, that I am stronger than what the crazies in my head tell me. I can do this!

What’s stopping you from accomplishing something?!

TNT

No, not explosives. TNT as in Team in Training through the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

For me, this was an accidental find. Since graduating college, I haven’t been able to find a non-profit or community group I connected with to do some volunteering. There’s something completely satisfying about putting some time and effort into a cause that is meaningful to you. This week, I decided to hit up Google and try and find some events in my area. Instead, I stumbled across Team in Training.

So what is Team in Training (TNT)? TNT combines training with fundraising. If you decide to participate, you sign up to complete one of the following events – in various locations (depending now what is advertised/available at the time of sign up).

  • Full Marathon
  • Half Marathon
  • Century Ride (100 miles)
  • Hiking
  • Triathlon

Throughout your training season, you will also have to fundraise a minimum amount depending on the event you choose. 75 cents out of every dollar raised will directly benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Above all else, these funds benefit research to improve the quality of life for many patients, who otherwise would feel very ill. For some, this research is what saves their lives.

There are other benefits to becoming a part of TNT.

  1. Friends! everyone loves making friends!!!
  2. A sense of purpose – why not do something that’s both good for you and your well-being, while also improving other people’s lives.
  3. You get a coach (or 2 or 3 depending on your event)! Your coach will work with you to help you train for your event. They’re all people who have done TNT before, and have competed in the event they’re coaching. They have such great advice when it comes to training, event, gear, etc.
  4. All accommodations, including event registration, is taken care of through your minimum amount in fundraising.

This past week, I joined TNT for my local chapter! My event = a half marathon at the beginning of May. If you’ve ever read my Fitness Funday Sunday post, you will know that I’m not really a huge fan of exercise. But to top it all off, I don’t feel like I’m a good runner, nor do I particularly enjoy it. However, I’m hoping that’s going to change throughout my training.

Today was actually the very first day of training. Saturdays = group runs! We met at a trail (and I was late – surprise surprise – although I’d never been there before, and I kind of got lost – so it makes sense). Before even beginning our run, we were all just standing in a circle talking. We introduced ourselves and explained our connection to the cause, why we joined, and maybe even how we found TNT. By the time we got to where the run started, I was nervous. Like I said, I’m not great at running, and I’m horribly out of shape.

Today’s run was 3 miles. It was rough. But the first run is the first step in my training. One of the coaches was absolutely amazing! Even though he is a much faster and more seasoned runner than myself, he kept pace with me the whole time. We talked, he shared a lot of tips and advice when it comes to running. Looks like I need to go buy some running shoes…

Other than the coach keeping pace with me, I was the last person to finish the run. And you know what…I don’t care! I finished! That’s literally all that matters! That 3 mile run was actually 3.5 miles! So this morning, before 9:30, I ran/walked a 5k. And that felt awesome! I know I’ll be sore tomorrow, but I’m really proud of myself for this morning and my accomplishment. Although I have a long way to go, I can’t wait until 3 miles doesn’t feel like a lot of work.