(Crazy?) Half-Marathon Thoughts

Here’s a few things that you need to know about me before reading this post:

  1. I’m a VERY competitive person. As a competitive gymnast for 18 years, I’ve adapted a “perfectionist” type of lifestyle/personality. I don’t like to be beat.
  2. Because I was forced to workout for so many hours (30+ hours/week at the height of my career), going to a “regular” gym is now a bit of a drag. I do it, but I’m definitely “dragging” myself there almost every time.
  3. I’m a picky eater. While I maintain a healthy diet, it’s pretty limited because I’m picky.
  4. I had reconstructive ACL surgery on my right knee almost nine months ago in April 2011. It’s been a long road to a healthy recovery, but *knock on wood* it’s better.
  5. I’ve never considered myself a runner, and at most, I’ve only run probably 4-5 miles at a time.

So why am I telling you all of these fun facts? Well, because I just signed up to be a team captain at my work for Shape Up RI. This team-oriented fitness program helps you track steps, fruits and veggies, exercise minutes, and total weight loss while competing against other teams across the state. I’m excited to be a part of it and I’ve been recruiting co-workers to join my team.

So this got me thinking… Since I truly require competition for personal motivation, why not start training for something? A 5k? Seemed a bit too easy. A marathon? Way too hard. How about a half-marathon?

I got started. I found a half-marathon on Sunday, May 20, 2012, in Pawtucket, RI. It’s the Blackstone Valley Half Marathon, literally 5 minutes down the road from where I work. If I signed up now, I should have enough time to train. Next step: finding a suitable training schedule for beginners. I found this 12-week training schedule thanks to www.fitsugar.com:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you think I can do it? I feel like I’m getting a bit too ambitious all too quickly. But, I could really use the motivation and I feel like training for something is truly my best bet. Devil’s Advocate? See #1-5 listed above. What about my knee? What if it’s not ready and I get hurt? What if I can’t reach my goals each week? What if I can’t find a runner’s diet to match my training schedule? And what if I’m really NOT a runner?

Registration has already begun. If I register for the race, I would be locking myself in. I would commit, and I would try my best. All of the running websites that I’ve been browsing for the past two hours say that I should be running anywhere from 8-10 miles per week before beginning a training program. So if I start this week, I could get those 8-10 miles (three three-mile runs per week?) in in-time to start training on Tuesday, February 28th (exactly 12-weeks out from the race on May 20th).

What do you think? Have any of you twenty-somethings finished a half-marathon? Am I crazy? Do I have the right shoes? Should I start liking bananas? Where else can I find this type of information? And most importantly, do I have what it takes? PLEASE let me know via @20sTweet!

~E

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4 Responses to (Crazy?) Half-Marathon Thoughts

  1. bearrunner says:

    I think you can do it, and I think you can do anything if you put your mind to it… After that time as competitive gymnist, you for sure can do it…

    Cheers

  2. ErikaAnn says:

    Thanks for the confidence! πŸ™‚

  3. Britny says:

    I ran one in 2010! It’s a huge commitment especially towards the end of training when you’re running 10, 11, 12 miles at a time. I would always do the long runs on Sundays because that’s the only day I could so I had to give up drinking on Saturdays. It’s definitely empowering though, and you’ll be able to do it, no doubt! It really helps to find a buddy to motivate each other to keep up with the training. Good luck!!

  4. ErikaAnn says:

    I’ve been thinking about recruiting a friend to do it with me… My roommate (who is also a former gymnast) is going to look over some of the sites that I posted here today. I love the “empowering” part of it – I just hope that my knee is ready! Thanks for the advice πŸ™‚

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