To be really honest, my only goals for the race was to finish and raise at least $50 for World Vision. To physically get my body across the finish line. Anything more than that would be a bonus. So, imagine my surprise when the entire thing ended up being a ton of fun and not nearly as difficult as I had built it up to be in my head! I ran the entire thing, didn't have any pain, and didn't feel as if I had to "muscle through" any parts of it.
To clarify, I'm a super average person. I have an average fitness level, I'm not really competitive, I'm a slow runner, and I don't really love doing hard things. I know that literally thousands of people run half marathons all the time and its not a challenge for them. I don't fall into that camp. When I set this goal back in May, it was actually a big goal for me. One I knew I'd have to work pretty hard for.
Duh. I know that's common sense and why we train for things, blah blah blah. Its one thing to know that and another to experience it!
Long story short, I loved running 13.1 miles. I want to do it again next fall! Running with World Vision and helping to raise $600,000 with my teammates was the best decision I made in all of my training. I was super slow (full marathoners finished before me!), and didn't care at all. I was ready to get up and run the next day! Setting hard goals and achieving them is such a good feeling.
If you're a super normal person like me and want to train for your first half marathon, here are my tips:
- Use this training series and build in a few 'grace' weeks (that is, start the program a few weeks early so if anything comes up, you have time to catch up before your race)
- Get the right shoes. They'll cost a lot of money, but they are absolutely worth it.
- Find a few people who are excited and will talk about your training with you. Maybe they'll even run with you!
- Have a bigger purpose. Running with World Vision to help bring clean water to people in Africa absolutely gave me a purpose in the entire thing- especially when things got hard and I wanted to quit.
- Try a new podcast on your long run. I was super surprised to find that a couple new true crime podcasts made my 9-10 milers FLY by!
- Do it. Set a big/hard goal and just do it.
Ps. You can still donate to my World Vision page here!