I remember running my first half marathon. Crossing that finish line gave me such a sense of accomplishment and pride. It gave me a love for running that now, almost ten years later, I still love.
Running has such a special place in my heart that a few years ago I became a running coach (among my other three licenses that I have) as well as wrote an eBook about running.
In fact, just for funzies, lets take a look at one of my very first ever videos I ever made complete with old logo and branding.
It’s so true, though right? Sometimes the hardest step is the first one out the door. And what’s even worse, when we have kids and we’re pushing a stroller? Well that’s a completely different ball game isn’t, it?
I don’t know about you but going for a run with a child, takes like 12 times as long.
I’m not talking about the run itself, I’m talking about getting ready to go! Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my little man and our runs together.
When you run with a stroller, you have to pack the stroller; and when I say pack the stroller, I mean make sure that there’s enough snacks and supplies that will cover us in case we get lost for the next three weeks.
Then make sure there’s water, make sure there’s books for entertainment, make sure that he has a hat on, and sunscreen.
And… Oh! Don’t forget their favorite stuffed animal, which in our case, is George.
Joshua’s little monkey named Curious George looks how I feel most days. His head has been chewed into oblivion, he’s got all kinds of homemade patch jobs trying to hold him together, and he wreaks from all of the love he gets from his little boy.
But let’s get back to why you’re here.. and that’s the “dos and don’ts for running your first half marathon”.
My only point in telling you that story, mama is that even though you have kiddos, you CAN run a half marathon. It will take time, effort, and commitment, but you CAN do this.
- DON’T think that you can run 8 miles a week and all of the sudden run 13.1 on race day. It will not happen unless you are Hercules or Athena the Greek Warrior goddess. This is a process, mama. Start low and work your way up! Which leads me into point #2
- DON’T start training without a plan and schedule in place. This ties in with point number one where you can’t just go out and start running. You have to have a plan in place. I’ve got an eBook that takes you through each step and comes with a training plan here. Even though it says “Walker to Marathoner” it prepares you for a half marathon as well.
- DON’T compare yourself to other runners. This is so hard, believe me, I promise I do understand the comparison game. Just don’t do it. You don’t know their life and they don’t know yours. The fact you’re out there and working towards a goal is awesome! There’s nothing to compare; you do you because I mean lets be real, you are pretty fantastic.
- DON’T buy new shoes right before the race. This may seem like a no brainer but you’d be amazed at how many people I’ve come across that will buy new shoes right before a race. Yikes! Each and every single runner is different so load up the kiddos and head to a local running store to try on different pairs of shoes to find one that works for your foot.
- DO choose a local race if possible for your very first half. Reason for this is so that you can know the race route and train accordingly! Believe me, I know it's super cool to think about traveling to a race, but save those races for if you decide you want to do more than one half.
- DO remember your water. Yes, carrying a water bottle in your hand for a long run is obnoxious... Been there, done that. Here's a tip - when you're on your long runs, you can 'plant' water along the path. When I was running long distances, I would plant small water bottles along my course, then drink them and throw them away. It's so much better than carrying water!
Time to Run!
I know that was a lot of information but don’t stress! I’ll break it down for you really quickly.
Running a half marathon is a huge deal and takes a lot of work! Keep a good attitude and don’t compare yourself to veteran marathoners who run many half marathons a year. Focus on you and your training and you will be just fine.
I know that being a mama and even being a mama that works outside the home, it can be hard to reach fitness goals and accomplish goals such as running a half marathon. You feel like your time is not your own and you're just running rampant all the time.
But, here's the bottom line, mama.
You can do this, but it will take hard work and dedication; once you’ve made your decision to do it, go for it. Don’t look back and question your decision, run free and cross that finish line with confidence. Whether it’s a sub two hour half or a 4+ hour half, you've accomplished a goal.
And that, sister, is a win!
*Don't forget to pin this to your running board for easy access later!