A few years ago I created a list of 30 things I wanted to accomplish before I turn 30. I was inspired by some friends who made a 30/30 list and decided it was a GREAT idea. I love a challenge and make “todo-lists” everyday, so this was right up my alley.
I put a lot of interesting and specific things on my list like: take my mom to the Ellen show, do a yoga retreat in Greece, learn how to whistle loud using my fingers, take a cooking class, work on a farm for a weekend…just to name a few. – I plan to post it once I complete it all so I will save the rest 😉 I highly suggest making a list like this for any age, anytime of the year!! Great motivation.
My 30th birthday is coming up, so I recently pulled out my list to make sure I was on track. There was one item that the minute I saw it thought, “shit…I don’t have time to train for a half marathon!” I grabbed a sharpee pen and was just about to cross it off and add something else that seemed more realistic. For some reason I put the pen down and left it there. Two days later – I got invited to run in the Rock n roll marathon. (Thank you Kellen!!!!) Talk about meant to be…
Initially, I was very excited – and then I realized it was only a few days away. DAYS. My mind was boggled, “People train for months to do these things, how the hell am I going to accomplish this??” The longest I have ever run is a 5k which is just over 3 miles. Some of my friends encouraged me, reminded me that I am a personal trainer and if anyone could do it I could. (Thanks guys – you got me through it) yet I still freaked out inside. I decided since I couldn’t train physically for this race – it was all going to come from my mind. BELIEVE. Anything the mind believes the body can achieve. A power of positive thinking would have to get me through this.
The first thing that came to my mind was “carbs”, since I typically eat clean – carbing up is not something I allow myself to do often so of course that was exciting! (And I think it helped!!) Two days before the race – I went to my favorite Deli and got a big old turkey sandwich. YUMMMM
I figured it would be a good idea to rest my body instead of go on long runs to make up for the lost time. I finished the marathon in 2 hours and 20 minutes and wanted to share a few of the biggest things I learned (in case you are crazy like me and want to do this):
TOP THINGS I LEARNED FROM RUNNING A HALF MARATHON WITHOUT TRAINING:
- Make sure you are in great physical condition – (I would NEVER have considered doing this if I was out of shape)
- Drink a ton of water leading up to race day. Make sure your pee is almost clear so you know you are hydrated
- Mentally prepare yourself that you will be running for a long time – the most important thing for me was getting my mind in the right place. For those who know me well know that I am NOT a runner…the mental part of thinking to run for a couple hours was intimidating
- Create a playlist!!! Pick all of your favorite and most motivating songs (eye of the tiger definitely got me through a rough patch…)
- See if any friends/people you know are interested in running with you. Since this race was so last minute – I ran solo, but made friends during the run so that was all good. support is ALWAYS good
- make sure you have the essentials: music, headphones, fanny pack or belt, good running shoes, compression socks or good socks, the jelly bean or GU stuff, ID (for the beer at the end ;), and a positive mindset! There are other things like: clothing, chaffing cream, hat, sunscreen, change of clothes – but I didn’t need half of those.
- Day of- get up early! Extra early and do whatever you normally do..I heard so many things about “do this dont do this…etc” I ate my normal breakfast, had coffee, handled business in the restroom (THANK GOODNESS… TMI I KNOW) and gave myself plenty of time to get to the race. Parking was a nightmare so I am thankful I left early.
- HAVE FUN!!! It is absolutely incredible to see how many people come out to race or watch the marathon. I even got teary eyed at certain spots seeing what a beautiful community gathering this really was. I would say this is the MOST important.
- Listen to your body. I told myself before the race began, that if I started to feel physical pain – I would walk. I luckily did not, but definitely saw some people almost pass out or struggle. At the end of the day, unless you are really trying to win it – it is about pushing yourself but also having fun.
- STRETCH. ICE. REST. REPEAT. Immediately after the race – I was on cloud 9. That runner high thing I have heard about – I got. It was exhilarating! And then…as the adrenaline wore off.. I felt like a pirate. I could hardly walk. I couldn’t stop laughing because I couldn’t help walking like I had a stick for a leg. I came home, showered, ate a great burger and then put ice on my leg, took some aleve and a little whiskey and I felt SO much better.
- RECOVER! Everyone will tell you all of the details about the race prep for the race, but what about after? Aside from #10 please be sure to allow your body adequate time to recover. Your legs will probably be SUPER sore for at least a few days after the race. This is normal – just don’t push them too hard. Repeat step 10 as much as needed. 😉
My takeaway from this whole adventure is: GO FOR IT! Do the things that scare you. Right at this moment, think of one thing you really want to accomplish – write it down and do it! We all say we want to do things, and due to FEAR (False evidence appearing real) we second guess ourselves. If I listened to the voice inside telling me I was crazy for doing this – I would have missed out on an incredible experience. Not to mention, great friends I met and a big check on my life to do list!!
****Side note – I will DEFINITELY be doing more of these and going forward will be in some sort of costume. There was a guy dressed up like Waldo (pictures below) he was such a hit and kept everyone inspired (including me). Countless people cheering for him and thanking him…it was perfect.
In a world that can be full of stress, chaos and pressure — I realize just how important it is to do the things that make me happy. And I hope you do too! xo
SOME ADDITIONAL INFO ABOUT THE RACE:
Getting my number was exciting…definitely made it all seem REAL!
When you register – you have to guess how long it will take you. Then you get placed in a certain corral of people you will run with. Try to estimate how long it will take you. I think 2 hours and 30 minutes is average. You have up to 4 hours (at least for this one)
The Rock n Roll marathon was especially fun because there were live bands playing throughout the race!
Compression socks!!! I never stopped running – my legs felt good and my feet were not tingly or falling asleep like I heard other people say can happen. Thank you to CEP for the great socks! My Nike fly knits were good – I didn’t have time to try new shoes, and these definitely got the job done 😀 I wore a Champion sports bra top and lululemon shorts with my favorite Jack Lalanne hat. My outfit was comfortable and didn’t cause any problems – I just wish I had a costume!
I made friends a few miles in – of course a waldo costume would be the perfect way to stay motivated! Everyone ..literally EVERY SINGLE person on the side lines was so excited to see Waldo – I have to say that was my favorite part of the run, everyone cheering like kids no matter what age. Especially when they saw Waldo. Him and his girlfriend were wonderful and kept me going the whole time! I didn’t stop one time. Just kept jogging away with all of these lovely folks!
PS- You get a beer at the end! I don’t think beer has ever tasted so good! CHEERS.