In the past 7 weeks I've run over 150 miles, tried out 3 pairs of running shoes, and played a skimpy 2 rounds of golf. My first half marathon is only 10 days away and I'm ready for it! Here's what I've learned:
1. You don't have to be a "runner" to do a half marathon. I had never run more than 2-3 miles before training for this race. 10 miles really doesn't feel much different for me than 4 miles, once you figure out the right pace.
2. The right running gear is key. OK, so I've done a lot of shopping in the past 2 months in preparation for training and the race itself. Some of my essential purchases include a Garmin GPS watch, Anthripod hydration belt, and 3 pairs of running shoes. I would recommend anyone who is serious about running to invest in a good pair (or two) of shoes. My first 2 pairs were shoes I purchased at a big box shoe store. I'm sure they are good shoes, but they have started to make my hips, knees and ankles hurt. I finally went to have my gait analyzed this week and I now have a new shoe that is the proper fit and support. What a huge difference!
3. Running skirts are awesome! One of my biggest finds when looking for running gear was the running skirt. I cannot say enough good things about them, well, most of them. Not all running skirts are created equal. I have one skirt from a specialty women's fitness store that looks cute, but the undershorts ride up and the skirt rides down the entire time I'm running, which is really unacceptable. I am a huge fan of the Born Fit skorts, especially the Wilder Skort. These skirts are really comfortable, stay in place, and don't bunch when running like many shorts often do. And, they're really flattering. The main thing about a good running skirt is to make sure it will stay in place and the BornFit skirts perform beautifully.
4. You may not lose any weight. Weight loss was not a motivator for me to start running, but I assumed that it would be a happy byproduct of training. Wrong! While I'm burning more calories than ever, my appetite has gone through the roof and I'm constantly hungry.
5. Running in the rain is actually quite enjoyable. The first time I ran 10 miles was on a rainy Saturday morning. It was June, the temperature only in the mid 40's, and pouring down rain. I was determined to stick to my training schedule, so I finally forced myself to leave the house. After the initial shock, the rain actually felt really nice and that was the easiest 10 mile run for me yet.
6. Having a goal. The only reason I really started running was because I had my eye on this specific half marathon. As soon as I signed up for it, I knew that there was no going back and that I had to stick to my training schedule with no exceptions. I would have never thought to run 5 or 6 miles on my own, much less 10 or 12 miles, without a set training schedule and race to train for. I already have 2 more half marathons that I'm considering once I finish this one (let's see if I survive, first!) to keep me running.
7. Training for a half marathon won't help your golf game. Running this much takes a lot of time and unfortunately it has taken most of the time I'd otherwise be golfing. Let's see if I can find a better balance of running and golf after this race!