13.1 miles? Running in an actual "race" with thousands of other people? I'll be the first to admit that it shocks me just how serious I have gotten about actually running that long of a distance...and maybe becoming that runner who does a bunch of races throughout the year. It all started when I first started listening to the podcast 'Keeping up With Kelsey' and hearing all about here half-marathon and racing experiences, as well as the racing experiences of her guests. You could hear it in their voices, the excitement about all the training leading up to the race, race day itself, and the sense of accomplishment they felt when they crossed the finish line.
However, I have been listening to this podcast for close to two weeks now, so it there had to be more at play here right? Well, a few days ago I just so happened to join the #BadassLadyGang group on Facebook that the incredibly amazing and always motivating Kelly Roberts created. From that very first day, I felt like this was a decision that would have an immense impact on my running going forward. As I scrolled through the page and saw post after post about all these Badass women running incredibly long distances, posing at the finish line with their medals, it truly motivated me.
From there, I felt the need to become even more immersed in the online running community. I followed several account on both Instagram and Twitter that I though would provide equal amounts motivation, education, and insight into what was happening in this community that I had just become a part of. I mean, sure I've been running seriously for 5 years now, but I had no idea just how large, support, and far reaching this online community was. That really sealed the deal for me in terms of deciding to take the plunge and officially decide to get into racing.
So, what is my past racing experience and why have I been so turned off by the very idea of competing? Well, I literally only done 3 5Ks and a season of cross country. That's it. And the there are 2 main reasons why I have strayed away from racing since my last 5K during the summer of 2014. 1. I have never had anyone to do a race with, and I've always felt like why do a race unless you have someone to do it with. 2. I felt like that wasn't for me. That racing was only for the super fast, dedicated, hard core runners. And even though I absolutely loved running cross country my senior year of high school, I didn't think stepping things up to a 10K or half was really in my wheel house.
Oh, and there is the fact that I was super close to doing a 10K or half my sophomore year of college but I chickened out because I had never ran farther than 6 miles at the time and really struggled to call myself a "runner." Now, two years later I feel ready to get out there and chase my goal of running a half-marathon. And I even found a race close by that is far enough away that I will have plenty of time to "train" for it. And by train I mean just get my body used to running outside again and running long again. Because the treadmill has really made running long pretty difficult.
I am tentatively planning on running my first half-marathon on September 2nd at 7:30 a.m. It is the NewBo half-marathon in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which is about 45 minutes from my hometown. I am definitely a morning runner, so this time works perfect for me. They are giving runners until 10:45 a.m. to complete the race...which feels like plenty of time. But, you never know quite what you're gonna get with Iowa weather. Registration is not open yet, but once it does I will be signing up and actually putting my money where my mouth is. I know these races can be expensive...so this will be my birthday present to myself. I will be turning 22 in March, so what better way to celebrate than signing up for my first half-marathon?!
If anyone has done this specific race before or any half-marathon before...I would appreciate any and all advice on the dos/don'ts when it comes to training, tappering, and race day. As always, thanks for reading and happy running!