I’m one of those crazies that earned a 26.2 bumper sticker. Back in 2012, my friend Sarah and I trained for 4 months, running all over Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, to successfully execute 26.2 miles at the Niagara Falls International Marathon. I remember afterwards discussing how we would taper off, but had a goal to always stay in good enough running shape that we could go out and run 10 miles at any moment. Good joke.
Needless to say, I quickly fell out of prime running shape (winter hit and I detest running outside in the cold). I then moved to Chicago where the cold kept me inside for 8 months out of the year, and I discovered ClassPass and the amazing fitness studios to boot. But here I am, 6 years after completing the biggest fitness feat probably of my life, and it’s time to pick it back up to start training for the Queen Bee Half Marathon on October 13th.
Not going to lie, I’m nervous about it. I’ve got new aches and pains that come with age and an obsession with HIIT classes, and my ego takes a shot every time I go out for a run and struggle to get to 3 miles (me to myself: “I used to run 10 without wincing, WTH. Get it together.”)
So, sitting here 10 weeks out from the half, I did some research on how to go from zero to 13.1 to motivate me and set my mind to start training. Here are the top 5 takeaways:
1. Follow a training plan. According to Runner’s World, you should start training at least 2 months out (so, like now) and a good training program should incorporate cross training days, a long run that’s at least ten miles, a rest day immediately following your long run, and a taper. They have a long list of different training programs based on your fitness level. Since the race is 10 weeks out, I’m going to use this running plan that I found on halfmarathons.net.
2. Avoid doing too much too soon. This should probably be written on a post-it and plastered on every surface of my home. I find this particularly difficult because being in good cardio shape (thanks Cyclebar, The LB + It’s Working Out) means my heart can handle pounding the pavement. However, that doesn’t mean my legs are used to running. Having a training schedule will help to keep you from overexerting yourself and potentially suffering from an injury while training.
3. Cross-train to build endurance and strength. I do recall this being particularly difficult to do back in 2012- my legs were always so sore that I needed off days for my muscles to recover. But this time I am going to do my best to continue to cross-train and just weave running into the schedule.
4. Eat right. Logging miles makes you hungry. Rather than reactively grabbing grub that is filling to wan off hunger pangs, I’m going to use this 8 weeks as a time to really focus on nutrition, meal planning, and eating nourishing meals so that I’m not grabbing something less-healthy purely out of convenience. Bold face on meals because I’ve fallen victim of a busy schedule lately and find myself snacking all day versus actually sitting down and having a real meal (think banana and almond butter in the AM while running out the door, an RX bar mid morning, a few scoops of hummus on veggies or crackers while passing through home in between meetings, a Rooted Juicery smoothie and a latte in the afternoon, occasionally a butter croissant from Deeper Roots when the afternoon cravings hit me… you get the jist.) This might be the perfect time to give Kate’s Plate a try (PSA: 30% off your first order with code CSOB!)
5. Join a running group. Needless to say, joining a group not only holds you accountable, but also is a great way to meet new people and have a motivating support system with the same goal. Fleet Feet runs the official training program for the Queen Bee. The Queen Bee training group started up last month, but you can still join the program. They meet at the Blue Ash location on Tuesdays at 6:30pm and Saturdays at 7am for the half marathon and 7:30am for the four mile participants. The Oakley location schedule is Wednesday at 6:30pm, and Saturdays 7/7:30a. They also have run groups that train year round, regardless of the race you are gearing up for.
OK, so now that we've got a plan, who else is in for running the Queen Bee? Mer registered too! If you haven’t signed up yet, they are giving all CSOB followers 10% off registration for both the Half Marathon and the 4-miler. Enter the code CSOB10 (case sensitive) into the “discount code” section of registration (must be used online before midnight on 10/10).
Let us know if you’re also training- we’d love to meet up for a run!