How I Went From A 5K to Finishing My First Half Marathon

My goal in sharing my training for a half marathon experience is to not endorse any product or brag to millions about my accomplishment. No I want to share my story to tell the world that fitness level does not matter, anything is possible if you put your mind to it. (Secret: it’s 80% mental 20% physical)

Back in February, one of my best friends came up to me before our spin class and asked if I’d like to run a half marathon in May with her. I almost fell off my bike laughing. I’ve never been a big runner, only would do light 1-1.5 mile runs when I desperately needed to relieve stress. I swam competitively my whole life and so land sports are not kind to me. At the time, I was going through some personal issues and needed a great distraction and a goal to keep my mind off things. So that night, I, someone who couldn’t run more than a 5k, decided to embark on my own fitness challenge and train for a half marathon.

A few tips for a successful training program: select a realistic schedule and stick with it, have an awesome Spotify playlist, get really good socks and ladies no joke get you some Under Armour underwear (chaffing is not comfortable). For me, it was this super straightforward schedule from Popsugar:

 

Within the first few weeks of training, I was pleasantly surprised at how my body was adapting to the running increase. It wasn’t until I hit the 6 mile mark that it really started to get hard. At this point, it seemed like after every run, regardless of distance, my legs were stiff as boards for days. I researched running blogs to find stretches to relieve the soreness and even bought protein powder for shakes to drink pre and post run. This helped some but didn’t do the complete trick.

 

I just started working at Cubii mid-April and was going through the on boarding process that is typical of starting a new job. One morning, I came into the office barely able to walk without cringing from pain. Thinking I might not have cooled down enough that morning, I grabbed a Cubii, put it on a low resistance (recommended is 2 or 3) and pedaled for an hour. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting it to help alleviate my soreness and lactic acid build up. But I was wrong. It did help a little. Too bad I didn’t discover how Cubii could help reduce lactic acid sooner because 1 week later I suffered from a minor quad injury and was unable to run my race in May.

Fast forward to July and I was really missing running. I think I was starting to catch the running bug. I was starting to feel overwhelmed with work and other things and once again needed a goal for myself to help manage my stress. I remember feeling how proud I was that I could run 8 miles in April. I kept seeing advertisements for the Chicago Half Marathon and I decided to give running 13.1 miles another shot.

Considering everything I did prior to my minor injury as a trial, I was way more strict regarding diet, strength training, cool downs etc. I cut out alcohol (with the exception of a few birthday celebrations), was more conscious of my protein intake and made sure I warmed up and down enough. I invested in Sport Beans to keep my electrolytes and carb levels up throughout the long runs to prevent my body from shutting down. I had my long runs under control but it was those pesky morning weekday short runs that felt worse.

Waking up at 6am to run 4-5 miles and then go to work where I’m forced to sit at a desk all day (yes even your Cubii team is chained to a desk) was not an ideal situation. Walking from the train to office helped the stiffness but the second I sat down, I’d go back to feeling sore. This half marathon training was pushing my body to its limits. So probably the biggest addition to my training regiment was Cubii-ing during the workweek.

Fast forward again to September 25 at 9:49am when I crossed the finish line of the Chicago Half Marathon. After crossing the finish line, I was overcome with emotions and shed a few tears. To look back at what I have been able to accomplish since February is remarkable: I went from not being able to run more than a 5k to running 13.1 miles and overcame an injury.

Last week my dad called me admitting that I have inspired him to get back into running shape. To keep him committed to his goal, we are running the 5K Cleveland Turkey Trot in November. So if there are any Clevelanders reading this, I hope to see you downtown for the race!

Family, friends and coworkers ask me all the time if my next fitness challenge will be running a marathon. I laugh hysterically remembering how hard just training for a half marathon was. But hey, I laughed when my friend suggested a half marathon and I still did it so who knows?

Products I Used:

Underwear: Under Armour. No this not a joke. Ladies there is nothing worse than chaffing from wearing the wrong underwear.

 

 

 

Cubii

 

Socks: Feetures

 

Energy: Sport Beans

 

Shoes: Nike Zoom Pegasus. I went to a well known elite running store in my hometown to get professionally fitted. 

 

Belt to hold stuff: FlipBelt

 

Clothes: Under Armour

 

Protein Powder: Best Muscletech, Six Star Pro Nutrition, Whey Isolate+Plus, Elite Series, French Vanilla Cream