Month 1 of Half Marathon Training

Hey all! I thought it would be a fun to do a little update after a month of training for this half marathon I’m doing. For my first few weeks of training I came up with my own schedule and ran 3-4 times a week and made sure I was focusing on form and getting in at least 2-3 miles every run. Then after a few weeks of that I started using the Novice 2 Hal Higdon Training Guide as well as the Ragnar Trail Training Guide! Today marks one month of training complete!

You can follow my training via Instagram at @garmin.girl!

I really love the Hal Higdon Guides! I especially appreciate that he stresses the importance of rest days. I used to struggle with balancing working out and resting but since I have something TELLING me to not work out it's much easier and I can really see the benefits. I decided to do two weeks of pre-training for two reasons; the first being I really needed to do some shorter runs and focus on form, not speed, and the second reason was I needed to get into the rhythm of running on a regular basis. I used to only run every once in awhile (every week or every other week) so I really needed to get in the mindset of running multiple times a week, every single week, before starting. I also love to lift, so sometimes I do double workouts in a day and for my second workout I'll lift for my upper body or instead of one of my shorter runs, I'll lift to develop more strength in my legs. For cross training I hike or go to spin classes. I really need to get back into hot yoga once a week or every other week to stretch everything out! The guides are so versatile, it's been fun making them perfect for what I love to do!

 

Some pictures from my first month:

 Down by the river front.

Down by the river front.

 A 66 degree day!

A 66 degree day!

 Snow day in RVA!

Snow day in RVA!

 Bundled up!

Bundled up!

 One of my first 4 mile runs (while training, not in my life haha)

One of my first 4 mile runs (while training, not in my life haha)

 Walk on the beach on NYE weekend

Walk on the beach on NYE weekend

 Beach walks!

Beach walks!

 Cross training = hiking

Cross training = hiking

 We had a few days that were 60 degrees in December!

We had a few days that were 60 degrees in December!

 A 60 degree day in January!

A 60 degree day in January!

 My usual route down Monument Ave

My usual route down Monument Ave

 Dropping my pace down to sub-10 minutes

Dropping my pace down to sub-10 minutes

 Christmas morning run!

Christmas morning run!

 One of my first three mile runs

One of my first three mile runs

 Bridge over to Belle Isle on a snowy day

Bridge over to Belle Isle on a snowy day

 Walking stairs at work, rewarded with a view from the top of the building!

Walking stairs at work, rewarded with a view from the top of the building!

The easiest thing:

Surprisingly the easiest thing for me has been staying motivated and sticking with the workout plan. Michael runs almost every single morning (during the week) and my competitive side likes to keep up with him. He really pushes me and encourages me to run out some miles even when I’m not feeling like it. He’s been tremendously supportive and cares about me succeeding just as much as I do, so it’s been easy to stay motivated with him around! **

 

The hardest thing:

By far the hardest thing for me has been eating enough calories. My new fitness tracking watch has a HR monitor and also accurately tracks how many calories I’m burning in a day/how many calories I need to be eating to maintain my weight with increased activity. I’m really particular about what I fuel my body with so I’ve spent a lot of hours researching healthy, organic, non-GMO options with higher calorie counts to try and get some more calories in every day. It’s been kinda tough and I tend to fill up way before I’ve eaten as much as I need to. Little things like adding chia seeds into a smoothie or salad (did you know there are 130 calories and 9g of fiber in TWO tablespoons of those little seeds?! They're amazing!) has helped a lot. The other challenge is making sure I’m getting enough carbs, fats and protein each day as well. It’s been a fun little experiment but overall I feel healthier than ever and love finding new foods and combinations to hit those calorie goals!

 

My favorite thing:

Trail running! I’ve gone trail running a few times when I’ve been hiking and just had so much energy I had to run for a while. But incorporating trail runs into my workouts has been so much fun and so rewarding. Trails that I used to watch people with envy run on, I’m now running on too!

 

My least favorite thing:

It’s been getting ridiculously cold (for Richmond), especially at the beginning of January. It never gets super cold here so I didn't think much about starting to train for a race in December. Well, the beginning of January was so cold it broke records so it was tough to motivate and get outside to run... even for someone who loves a good COLD run. So I had to do some of my runs inside on the dreadmill. Thankfully I've been able to motivate to do most my runs outside, Michael just always says “it’s cold for the first few minutes and then you warm up and it’s fine.” (I told ya Michael is a great motivator!)

 

My favorite pieces of gear:

Like I said it’s effing cold out so my Patagonia Down Bivy has been keeping me toasty warm without being too bulky. I ALWAYS have on a Turtle Fur neck warmer and/or hat. I have a light weight pair of North Face gloves at well that I can still control my music on my iPhone with if need be. Of course there is also my Garmin Forerunner which I am OBSESSED with!! I’m currently working on a gear review for that as well. I linked some of my favorite items below :)

A little less than three months to race day!

 

** Two years ago I signed up for a half marathon and totally lacked the motivation and discipline to stick with training. I think I ran for two weeks and then just, for lack of a better phrase, gave up. I was so disappointed in myself and actually cried on the day of the race because I was so despondent that I didn't stick with the training and follow through with the race. I'm usually the kind of person to complete goals I set for myself and not give up, so not following through with training and failing to run the race really hit me hard. I vowed I would try again and complete a half marathon one day. Well, fast forward to last November and I was sitting and thinking that I could really use a challenge and I thought about running a half marathon... again. At first I doubted myself, 13 miles isn't easy for a girl who was only running 3-4 miles once a week to every other week. But as I was thinking about it I was like, "I can backpacking 15 miles in a day WITH a 15 pound backpack on with no problem. What's stopping me from running 13 miles? NOTHING!" Right then and there I decided I was going to train for and run a half marathon and I've been so dedicated and driven ever since!