Miami, you had my heart before, but after that finish line after my first half marathon, wow, our relationship is next level!
I began running as part of staying healthy maybe 7 years ago. Like many ,it was an easy way to work out, and a treadmill off Craig's List became a mainstay in our home.
The NYC Marathon was always something I thought was super exciting and in 2019 I checked it off my bucket list! It was not easy, I got injured during training, didn't get into the lottery. It was hard, not gonna lie.
I continued running, sometimes going as far as 7 or 8 miles but never more. I also incorporated other goals into my life such as travel, writing, growing my business, and strength training (hello six pack... where are you? It's me Margaret).
The Miami Half Marathon was something fun I decided to sign up my husband and I for. He ran a few times a week for health, and we decided to do it together. The race itch was coming back, and I was ready to go all in with running, including registering for my second marathon.
You know me, I don't go into most things without a plan and I decided it was time to finally hire a running coach. BEST DECISION EVER!
I ended up having a wonderful race, and felt strong and happy the entire time, nailing my paces with my last two miles being my fastest.
Here's a few takeaways as I rest my sore legs.
1. Hiring a Running Coach was the biggest game changer:
You can definitely train for a marathon or half marathon without one. But having a coach made sure I never got injured by going to fast, too far, etc..
She worked with my lifestyle if I was traveling, created a game plan for race day including nutrition and sleep tips.
She also pushed me just enough and I loved the balance both during the race and training that I had of effort, and joy.
2. Running most of your miles easy is CRUCIAL:
80% of my runs were at easy conversational pace. It made running more enjoyable since I wasn't out of breath while running most of the time, I was able to enjoy the sunshine, good music, and not dread workouts because they were so intense. It also really helps with preventing injury. There's a whole boat load of science about how slow runs aid your body in going faster such as mitochondrial growth and more, check out the research for more information.
3. Don't attempt to lose weight while doing serious training:
I fueled my body really well for this, which meant gaining a few pounds but also feeling energized the entire time. Attempting to consume fewer calories while also trying to fuel your body is impossible. And carbs are everything,
4. Training with someone helps and so does having running friends:
I'm a very independent and introverted person by nature. I'm not one of those people who typically needs others to get motivated etc...
BUT, having my husband train with me made it way more fun, and keeping up with each other during the race was so motivating and a real moral booster.
I also have some good running friends that I've made, and sitting in the grass with your medal, getting the "where you at?" text message and then shmoozing with people who love the same things you do was the icing on the cake!
5. The Mental Game is the hardest:
I can get really anxious and nervous, and the mental work is is even more important than the physical.
From waking up in the middle of the night wondering if a small pain in my ankle was going to develop into something deeper, triple checking start times etc...
Social Media is a major blessing and also a major curse and if you want to find people who are faster and stronger than you to compare yourself to, believe me, they're out there.
Positive Affirmations, really doing the work to ease the nerves is what I believe with a doubt allowed me to hit my times.
Situations where you're balancing a lot calls for a lot of prep and organization. I bought my first luxe planner when I began my health journey a while ago, before eventually creating. my own. No plan, no win.
Any other questions?