Step 15: I was a complete running newbie who decided to train for my first half marathon. Before I could succeed, I had to make a commitment. But I’m getting ahead of myself. And if you’re new to my blog, there are a few things you need to know about me first.
I was a hopeless couch potato
Four months ago, I was the complete opposite of a fitness fanatic. I didn’t even want to go outside to walk the dogs. In fact, when I first started walking, it took me three hours to walk three miles, and I had to refuel with a little “picnic” in the middle of it.
I am on a weight loss journey
I started this journey with the realization that I was at a turning point. At 100 pounds overweight, I had to make a choice. Did I want to continue to gain weight, get more obese, and become less mobile? Or did I want to move towards a healthier, happier me? I chose to walk towards health and fitness.
I’m only on step 15, which should make me feel like I’ve barely started the journey. But even though I’ve only lost 32 pounds so far, I feel like I’m well on my way.
I love my family
I have support from everyone in my family. My husband, my two sons, my in-laws and out-laws, and my mom and dad, to name a few. But the one person who truly convinced me to take that first step was my daughter.
I want to be strong for my daughter. She needs to know that circumstances should not dictate happiness. I want her to be proud of who I am, and to feel like she has a rich legacy. Obstacles can be overcome, and health is worth fighting for. I want her to know that to be a woman is to be strong.
Lots of questions
I completed the Dallas Rock n Roll half marathon this week. It was the first true race I’d ever participated in, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had questions about everything from how to properly fix the racing tracker on my shoe to whether or not I should wear the official T-shirt. Although I’m sure most of you are much more sophisticated in your racing knowledge than I am, I assume that some of you might have a few of the same questions. So here goes the first installment of my “newbie’s guide to running a half marathon.”
The Racing Newbie’s Complete Guide to a Half-Marathon Set a goal
I chose to sign up for the Dallas Rock n Roll half marathon because I love music. Local bands set up and play at almost every mile marker along the course. The course also went through the heart of Dallas, and I wanted to see some of the city’s landmarks while on foot.
But the real reason I signed up for the RnR is that I’m a very goal-oriented person. I have failed on previous attempts to lose weight, because it was all about the scale. When the needle on the scale wasn’t moving fast enough, I would grow frustrated and eventually quit. Making my goal about something tangible, like finishing a specific distance, helped me to refocus on something I could completely control. Weight may fluctuate from day to day, but I can still lace up my shoes and go.
There needs to be a reason you’re running. Maybe, like me, you’re trying to lose weight. Or maybe you want to support charities. Maybe you are running to honor the memory of someone you loved. Whatever the reason, it needs to be a compelling one. It has to be important enough to you that, when you feel like giving up, you will still get out of bed in the morning.
Make a commitment
You can have the best training plan in the world, but if you don’t truly commit, it won’t matter. If you decide to do this–DO IT. There is a reason Nike made millions of dollars with the “Just Do It” slogan: it’s good advice.
Throw away your excuses. I don’t care if you’re sick. I don’t care if it’s raining. If it’s Christmas, or Thanksgiving, or Spring Break, run anyway. You should only pause your training (notice I said “pause” instead of “stop”) because of an injury. In case of an injury, you need to seek the advice of a health professional. But otherwise–just do it.
Get up, lace up your shoes, and go.
Go towards those health goals you’ve set. Move toward that new “you” that you envision. Run toward something that will make you proud of yourself again. Just lace up your shoes, and go. The rest of your life awaits–and it’s thrilling and beautiful.
*Look for the rest of the Racing Newbie’s Complete Guide to a Half-Marathon series:
(3) Newbie Training For A Half-Marathon: Managing Wear And Tear On Your Body
(4) Newbie Training For A Half-Marathon: Finding Your Tribe
(5) Newbie Training For A Half-Marathon: Preparing For The Final Week
(6) Newbie Training For A Half-Marathon: Rock n Roll Race Recap