If I Can, You Can

I have been running on and off for a long time, but trust me, I have never been great at running. Seriously. When I ran cross country in high school, I was TERRIBLE. No really, I’m not exaggerating. I can specifically remember coming in last in a couple of races (but someone has to be last, right?!?). There was one time when I was trail running on the University of West Florida’s campus and I got so far behind the pack of runners that I got lost in the woods for about an hour. Good times.

Running a half and a full marathon have been on my to-do list for about 12 years. A little over a year ago, a sweet friend called me and asked if I would do the Disney Princess half with her. After about 4 months of training, we headed for Orlando and I accomplished that goal with thousands of other women dressed in pink. As I crossed the finish line, tears were pouring from my eyes. There are not a lot of things better than accomplishing a big goal. As we drove home from Orlando, my sweet husband said, “well, if you’re ever going to do a full, we might as well keep training.” 4 months later, we crossed the finish line of the Anchorage Mayor’s Marathon. Even though it was hard to walk for about a week, it was such an exhilarating feeling to cross that finish line!

A few months ago, I was talking to a friend who has always wanted to do a half. I told her, “If I can do it, you can do it!” We signed up to run the Mercedes Half that evening. As we crossed the finish line, she had sweet tears streaming down her face. She hugged my neck and said thank you about a dozen times. It was so incredible to be a part of her completing her goal! Since then, I have had a lot of people say, “A half marathon has always been on my bucket list, but there is no way I would ever be able to complete one.” Each time I hear those words, I want to scream, “yes you can!!” This gave me an idea!

The Seven Bridges Marathon takes place in Chattanooga, Tennessee on October 18th. This is a half marathon, a full marathon and a 5k. If you have ever considered doing one of these races, do it with me! Chattanooga is beautiful, the race is supposedly a great one, and I would love to be a part of you completing this goal! If we get a big enough group together, we could even make t-shirts! :)

If you are still reading this long post, here is how I would suggest doing this.

  1. Research Jeff Galloway’s training plan. This training plan is the way to go. Seriously. I think this guy is a rock star. Disney uses his training plan, so I ran across it when training for my first half and have used it ever since. It’s practical and helps you accomplish races of any length. The key is interval running with intentional walks. These intentional walks alleviate injuries, allow you to run further and enable you to run faster when you are in your run intervals. You do the run/walk intervals the entire training time as well as for the race. You can set the intervals how ever you like. For my first half, I did 3:1 (3 minutes running, 1 minute walking). For our full we did 2:1 (2 minutes running, 1 minutes walking). You can do longer runs (I believe he does not recommend longer than 4 minutes runs without a walk) or you can do shorter run intervals (this last half we did 30 second run, 30 second walk).

    1. On a side note,we did the couch to 5k a couple of years ago and loved it.  So we started to train for a 10k.  Like clockwork, Zach’s knee would begin hurting at the four mile mark (turns out the pain was in his IT band). He took a couple months off, and again the same problems re-surfaced.  So we tried the run/walk and he has not been in pain since. He was able to train and run the marathon without any issues. Run/walk is so much better on your body.

    2. The walking actually does not really affect your pace as much as you think it will. When I was running 5k’s a couple of years ago without walking, my mile times were the same as they are now with the intentional walking. The walking allows your running pace to be a lot faster.  My husband runs four minutes and walks one and can keep his pace between 8:00-8:30. 

    3. You will have 2  maintenance runs during the week and a long run on the weekend. 

  2. Download RunKeeper. You can create your own workouts and set up your intervals. My phone tells me when to walk and run. I also love that I can look back on runs from years ago and see how I am improving.  There are tons of options that seem confusing at first.  But we set up 4 custom workouts – 1:1, 2:1, 3:1, and 4:1 with no builtin warmup or cooldown, and the intervals repeat until you end your workout. 

  3. Get some audiobooks.  Most public libraries have lots of free audiobooks you can borrow.  But Audible is much easier to find good books, but you’ll have to pay a monthly fee. I download a great book and only allow myself to listen to it if I am running. This keeps me running. There are times when I will run 4 miles not even realizing it because I am so into my book.

  4. Buy something to hold your phone while you run. I personally use a belt and love it. I know a lot of people like running with an arm band.

  5. Get some good running shoes and only wear them when you are running. We love Brooks. I say I will will never buy another pair of running shoes that are not Brooks. I order a few pairs from Zappos, try them out and pick my fav, then I send the rest of the shoes back. I also run in Brooks running socks. If you invest in good stuff, you will not have blisters.

  6. Get outside! Road running is so refreshing.

Reasons I run:

  1. I love the endorphins!

  2. I love the camaraderie you find at races.

  3. It makes me a better mom.

  4. It makes me a better wife.

  5. It is time alone!

Okay, who is with me??! I’m going to put together a training plan for a full, half and 5k. Leave your email address in the comments if you would like a copy, or if I know you personally, feel free to call or text me with any questions. Get excited! This will be a blast!

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5 Responses to If I Can, You Can

  1. Haley Ryan says:

    I want to do a half! I have been stopped mid training by injury every time! From severe stomach cramping to knees and feet to now my shoulder. But I think I may be ready to go soon!

  2. Renee Vice says:

    This sounds awesome !!

  3. Rebecca McCoy says:

    I wish you lived in China so we could do this together!!!

    Sent from my iPhone


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