Actually committing myself to a goal/date for a half marathon has been a long time coming for me, but I’ve finally decided to follow through. I have always been an active person, exercising 4-5 times a week, but this year I have grown partial to running, so I’ve decided to register for a half marathon in VT later this fall, and I couldn’t be more excited! The Race Vermont Half Marathon is a 13.1 mile race through beautiful, scenic Shelburne and Charlotte, Vermont, which will take place the first weekend of November. (Picture below is the area that the race will begin at, isn’t if beautiful?!)
Although I wanted to register for a race closer to the beginning of October, I feel like taking the extra few weeks to train will be beneficial, since I tend to be over eager and too quick to start many things in my life! Also, it will give me a chance to re-adjust to running/training in Boston, after being in Burlington for several months. I have talked to several of my close friends and family about this venture, and they all think its a great goal, and are very supportive, so thanks for that guys! I’m also meeting with an awesome, marathon-experienced family friend later this week who is a personal trainer, and one that specializes in marathon training, for some proper planning and appropriate information.
My runs (when I’ve been in a “running” phase) over the past year average around 4 miles, which has been just long enough for me to fit in a solid run and quick strength workout in between class/work. After looking more into half marathon training, I have realized that the suggested starting length for training is 3 miles, which I most often surpass during my runs. Researching and learning about training schedule suggestions and nutrition information regarding marathon training has been eye-opening for me, as well as surprising! I had predicted that training would encompass starting at least at a 5-6 mile minimum, but most “Novice-level” proper training regiments actually suggest starting at what I mentioned above, an average of 2.5-3 miles, several days a week to start. In detail: running shorter distances 3 times a week, and a longer distance one day a week, which increases by one mile every week, until you work your way up to 10-11 miles. Also, two days of rest and one day of cross-training per week.
The fact that “Rest” is a must when running at least 4 times a week, is going to be hard for me. I’m used to usually running at least some distance (whether it be as short as 20 minutes, to up to 50) almost every day (with the exception of Sundays). I’m going to have to get into a serious routine that I follow, and not cheat or over do it, which will cause injury! I will most likely fill my rest days with yoga, and my day of cross training with a CrossFit class or hiking, which will definitely help strengthen my muscles and endurance. I have taken a few CrossFit classes in the past, and believe me they kick your butt, but are honestly some of the must fun, hardest, and rewarding workouts I’ve ever encountered. I would suggest it to anyone and everyone! (Check out Champlain Valley CrossFit if you’re local!)
Nutrition is going to be a struggle for me as well, considering how while training the suggested diet is one that is “carb-heavy”. Carbs=the enemy to me, and I have tried my best to cut almost all bread, pasta, and rice, bagels, etc. out of my diet this summer, and have been eating mainly just proteins, fruits, veggies and of course healthy fats! Incorporating more grains like whole wheat bread and pasta, as well as complex carbohydrates back into my diet is going to be hard for me, but something that is a must, and something that in the end I know is going to be beneficial, because carbs are what will give me the energy I need when increasing the distances of my runs.
I’ve been having a lot of fun this summer running around the breathtaking Burlington area, which is surrounded by mountains and the gorgeous Lake Champlain waterfront. Running in Boston, specifically along the Charles River and around Harvard and MIT this past year, was a favorite run of mine as well, and one that I can’t wait to get back to! One of my suite-mates this upcoming year is currently training for a race, and my roommate was a cross country runner during high school, so I know they’ll be there to kick my butt as soon as we’re back in September!
Exercising/Running is what keeps me grounded in my hectic and often busy life, and is my ultimate de-stressor. I am so excited that I have set this goal for myself, and can’t wait to see what future goals will come from it. I’ll keep you guys posted on my progress, and please do share any tips/pointers/suggestions, because I know there’s a few of you out there that have run half or full marathons, as well as countless cross-country runners. More details to come of course, as soon as I have time!