Saturday, April 20, 2013

Lessons learned: Training for a half marathon

I have written a couple of blog posts about my training as I prepare to run the half marathon portion of the Colfax Marathon on May 19th. At 7:00am.

For those of you who, like me just a couple of months ago had no idea, a half marathon is 13.1 miles.

Two months ago I could barely run one mile. One my first training run six weeks ago I thought I wasn't going to make it after 2.5 miles. I could barely catch a breathe and I felt parts of my legs and feet that I had never felt. Last week I ran a 12.25 mile training run!

I am running this to raise money for Urban Peak, the amazing non-profit I am privileged to work for, that serves youth experiencing homelessness.

While training, I have learned so much, both around running and about life, and have been reminded of many things I already knew but may not think about often. So here you go:

First, about running:

Stretching is SO important. Really stretching. Find a friend who is already a runner and ask them to teach you. It makes a HUGE difference.

Invest in solid running shoes. Go to a place that can video you running and then will offer you shoes on what they see. My shoes were on sale by 20% and cost me $85.00. It's a lot (for me) but totally worth it.

My best, most comfortable and longest training runs have been in the morning after a good night's sleep. I drink lots of water starting when I wake, and drink a smoothie with kale, blueberries, flax seed and Arbonne protein powder. For some reason the combination of all of these helps me run longer.

My average pace on my 12.25 mile run was 13:45. That is slow for many but just perfect for me. I want to finish, that's all.

Music is important for me. I created a latino pop station on Pandora and Juanes, Carlos Vives, Diego Torres, Mana, Shakira and Bacilos get me going.

Have fun. Make it fun. I run around Sloan's Lake in Denver and love it. All of the other runners, cute dogs, and views of the lake and the mountains.

Now, about life in general:

My friends, family and husband are the best ever. I feel their love and support on a daily basis, and training for this run has been no different. Several of my friends are runners and they been huge in showing me the way.

I would do anything for causes I am passionate about. A couple of months ago I would have NEVER of considered training for a half-marathon, or any type of run. Throw in an opportunity to support young people who are experiencing homelessness and I am there!

I can do so much physically. At 47 I consider myself fit, but never thought I could run distance. This experience has taught me that if I work at it, I can accomplish a lot in trying to stay fit.

One day at a time. I have been trying to live like this for a long time. Most days I am successful. Training for a half marathon forces me to do it.

Don't quit. I know, I've even written blog posts about this. Never give up. You can do it.

And you don't have to do it by yourself. As I said at the start of this, family and friends and even new friends can help in so many ways.

An open mind works best, like a parachute, when open. I'm sure some of you have seen this bumper sticker. Amen. I agree. Being open to others experiences and opinions and feedback makes life so much much easier. And better.

Thanks for reading!


  1. Great information, very insightful!! Congratulations on reaching such an awesome personal goal, inspiring!! :)

  2. Being kind to yourself and building up your strength incrementally is so important. And never beating yourself up about learning experiences!

    Good luck with the half, I'm sure you'll be fantastic.

    1. That was the best advice I got when I first began to train. Thanks so much for your support.

  3. Keep up the good work!

    1. Thank you Angie! I am so grateful for your support.

  4. Replies
    1. You're welcome! Thank you for reading!