Archives for March 2013

Half Marathon Here I Come!

Training To Run a Half Marathon: Deciding on The Race That Was Right For Me

army ten miler - runners

When I first came to JMU as a freshman I was terrified of gaining weight.  My biggest fear was going home at Thanksgiving or Christmas time and being the girl that everyone was talking about because she had “gotten so fat.” I refused to allow myself to be that girl. My solution? Running.

I was never a huge runner in high school – I was a cheerleader in the fall and I was on the swim team in the winter. In addition to that, I also did competitive all-star cheerleading outside of school (a year round commitment where I practiced an average of three days/week for two hours. Needless to say, I had my hands full between sports and school work along with trying to maintain some sort of social life. However, over the summer when I did not have to go to school and was only practicing with my outside cheerleading team, I would sometimes go running either to clear my mind, get some exercise, or just to get out of the house.

My real love for running, though, started when I was a freshman in college.  With this fear of gaining weight that I had, I decided the best way to avoid getting “fat,” was to start running everyday. And that is exactly what I did. I’m now a second semester junior, and I am still an avid runner.  The only difference being that I am no longer running to keep from gaining weight.  Today, I still run almost everyday, but it is because running is what calms me down when I am stressed or upset, it gives me time to clear my head when I am angry or frustrated, it allows me to think when I am in a tough spot – running has become my “Kristen time.”

Recently, I decided that I wanted to run in some kind of race.  I had done 5K‘s with both my Marathon runners sister and my best friend Kasey, but this time that is not what I want to do.  I decided that I want to run a longer distance race, which is when I chose a half marathon.  I decided this was a good place to start for a few reasons:

-I would love to eventually run a full marathon (but that a bit ambitious to start with don’t ya think!?)

-A half marathon is 13.1 miles, which is a fairly long distance, but it is not unreasonable if you train.

-I thought I would be able to talk both my sister and Kasey into doing it with me. – It is definitely long, but it is not completely insane (and the fact that its only a  “half” makes it sound so much better!)

From here, I asked (well, it was actually a little bit of asking and a little bit of telling) my sister and Kasey if they would run this race with me.  I was not yet sure of where or when I was going to run it, but I told them I wanted to find and register for one in the Fall of this year, and I wanted to do it sooner than later. I know how we always do things, we make big plans and then we never follow through – if we’re already registered (and paid) then we will have no excuse not to actually complete our goal! To my excitement, they both told me they would do it.

This past week, I sat down and searched for a half-marathon in the Northern Virginia area that
was sometime this coming fall. Much to my surprise, there was actually an abundance of american family fitness half marathon options! (Not all exactly in NOVA, but pretty close if not.) After much consideration and talking
to my sister and Kasey, we settled on the American Family Fitness Half Marathon in Richmond, VA on November 16, 2013.

After settling on that half marathon, we started talking about our training plan.  This is when we decided that we also wanted to run the Army Ten-Miler in Arlington, VA on October 20, Army Ten Miler 2013.  We thought this would make a good warm-up/practice race for our half that will follow three weeks after! I know, we sound crazy enough for wanting to do a half marathon, and now we have signed up for two races! As hard as I know it is going to be getting ready for it, I am excited and ready to push myself.

XOXO, Kristen

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