I don't know if I've ever mentioned this fun fact previously, but I come from a large family. I have three older sisters and one younger brother, totaling five kids and seven family members in all. My oldest sister really got the ball rolling in terms of the running department; the rest of us sort of followed her lead, literally. She's run two marathons, around 7 half-marathons, and countless other races. Her most recent 10k, which she ran in September, was two months after she had her first child… so what I am really saying here is that she is ridiculously inspiring.
I've ran 3 half marathons, and I've signed up for a marathon. Notice I say signed up and not completed. Some nasty tendonitis (and to be honest, some fear, too) kept me from finishing the race – although I did try to do the half marathon of that same race. I only got to mile 7 before enough was enough.
I've decided to run my fourth half-marathon with my oldest sister in Madison in May, and I'm officially in training mode. It's the first time I'm training for time and not just to complete the race, and the intensity of the training definitely reflects that. I'm following Hal Higdon's training program – I have done these before, too, and I really recommend his plans to anyone who's thinking about training.
Even with that training plan in place, I'd love to hear any tips! And music recommendations. Seriously, in need of more motivating music – please leave your favorite in the comments below if you have any.
Some favorite running gear and essentials:
North Face Fleece Zip Up
It's still pretty cold in Wisconsin. I am usually okay to run in 25-30 degree weather, but I am not going to say it's my favorite thing to do. Still, when it's warm enough to run outside, I try to. This North Face Fleece, combined with fleece lined running tights, help keep me warm.
I may be a brand snob when it comes to running shoes, but after years of track and cross country, and then just running on my own, I've come to realize that Saucony and Asics just have the best support for my feet – especially given my extreeeeemely high arches. Seriously, you guys, my arches are disgusting. I'm positive I could make a ballerina weep – and probably not in a good way.
Anyway, this isn't to say that you have to get Saucony or Asics, too. I just encourage you to find the shoes that are right for you. There are a few methods for this; I did trial and error, but you can also go to a few specialty running stores to have your feet & gait measured and all that other fun stuff to ensure that you have the right running shoe.
My other sister, when she found out I was training, sent me this as a gift, which pretty much puts her at hero status in my eyes. I love this watch; it's basically a personal trainer, and it keeps track of really detailed stats that have made training so much easier so far.
I don't have a gym membership so when it gets too gross out, or it's dark out by the time I get home, I run in my super gross rental basement on a hand-me-down treadmill. The treadmill from my boyfriend's parents, and it works well enough. While it may not sound ideal and I definitely prefer running outside, it does offer a lot of benefits; one of which being that when a really good song comes on my iPod, I can take a quick dance break off the treadmill with absolutely no judgment.