Half Marathon Training: Pros and Cons

Wow, you all had some great things to say in regards to choosing happiness. If you haven’t checked out everyone’s comments and tips, I suggest you do so. We’ve got some inspiring ladies in our midst :)

At the risk of sounding super creepy and lame, I saw a tweet from Bob Harper yesterday that inspired me to write my first post about half marathon training.

When I first mentioned that I had made the crazy decision to commit to running a half marathon, a good handful of you told me that you were excited to follow my progress (thank you!)

To be honest, this training process has confirmed the fact that running comes as naturally to me as a fluent conversation in Japanese.

Pros

Two weeks ago I ran five miles for the first time in over a year. I was shocked when I completed it in 50 minutes without walking, crying or falling off the treadmill.

My approach to “long runs” has been simple: Do not – I repeat – do not think about the distance. I get so mentally tripped up on distance. Five miles? Are you effing kidding me? Three weeks ago, I would have laughed in your face if you asked me to run that far.

But now, I don’t think about it. I just do it. <— I tried to sounds less ‘Nike’ but I’m at a loss.

Cons

While my hatred for running has simmered, I’m still not a true fan. I still feel like a running impostor.

I still flail about on the treadmill and I curse during outdoor runs.

I’d love to tell you that when Cory and I run together at dusk, we glisten and exchange words of motivation, but a 5 mile run normally sounds like this:

Me: (huffing and puffing) God damnit. Why…are…we…doingthis?!

Cory: You can do it.

Me: Shut up. I can’t do it. I…can’t…breathe.

Cory’s British iPhone app: 1.5 miles completed.

Me: UHHHH. She’s mocking us. Turn…that…bitch…off.

Cory: You’re a peach.

So you see, running makes me a little ornery. But afterwards, things get better and we high five.

Curse words and sore legs aside, I’m pushing myself and it’s proving to be worth it.

Let’s chat –

When is the last time you felt like you pushed yourself in a workout or training program?

Am I the only one who’s not a happy butterfly when I run?

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37 Responses to Half Marathon Training: Pros and Cons

  1. Hahaha…I’m not the best running partner in the world. My boyfriend just jogs along without a care in the world, while I over analyze every step I take, silently wondering why I didn’t bring my iPod to muffle the sound of his loud breathing or conversation with me. I know that sounds so bad, but he knows I’m like this…I have to get myself in a zone, and it’s hard to do that when I’m running with someone else!

  2. Haha I love that his phone goes off in a british accent. I am not generally a happy butterfly when I run either! I’m doing a 10k in a few weeks and for some reason my training has me running 8 miles several times- that’s freaking killer!

  3. I’m with you! I guess I’m hoping that time will turn me into a ‘real’ runner.

  4. Jamie says:

    I go back and forth with running… sometimes it’s really hard. Sometimes it’s easier and that’s what keeps me going. I am training for my first full marathon (Richmond – woohoo) and I’m running it alone (first race I’ve run alone)… and I’m freaked out… but hey, we can do this, right?!?!?

  5. Sam says:

    Lol aww I love bob harper. I think he is a cutie :) I can understand your woes…I just ran my first 5 miles yesterday! I just try to listen to some pumpin music and TOTALLY don’t watch the clock or how far you have gone. For me personally the beginning of the run sucks more than the end so I just try to power through.

  6. I don’t think my husband would ever want to run with me – and I’d probably scare him in my post-running, red faced sweaty state.

  7. This is really inspiring, because I’m not a natural runner either. I’m trying though! I’ve got my sights set on another 5K next week and an 8K in November.

  8. Caitlin says:

    You’re most certainly NOT the only one. Last summer I went through a phase where I was running just because I was trying to be a runner and I thought it was what athletic people do. Now I know it’s not for me (I get SO bored) unless I’ve got a running partner or once-in-a-lifetime scenery to accompany me. So I prefer fitness classes and ellipticizing with magazines, but PROPS to you for taking on this training plan and sticking to it! I wish you luck!!

  9. Heather says:

    I’m totally with you on this one. It is all I can do to drag myself out the door to run. Seriously, I’m like 2 weeks behind on training for my November half. And yet I still keep signing up for distance races…obviously I have a problem!

  10. Suzanne says:

    Haha, this is so honest and true and I bet there are a lot of people who feel that way!

  11. Not going to lie, I have that exact same conversation with my running partner every day. I was never a runner, I quit soccer because there was way too much running, and I took up sports that were low on cardio like volleyball. I’m training for a 5k (which isn’t half a marathon, but hopefully one day I’ll get there!) and I totally feel your pain. I sweat, bitch and complain until it’s done, then I absolutely love the feeling I get!

  12. Diana says:

    I love running, but there are most definitely days during which I question my status as a “runner” because I am cursing every step and a 10 mile training run magically turns into a 4 mile jog…woops! How did THAT happen?!?

  13. I loathe running just as much as you do, so I totally feel your pain. I cursed like a sailor when I ran cross country in high school. Worst decision EVER!

  14. Millie says:

    Ha! Your typical conversation while running hit close to home and cracked me up! It sounds just like me and my hubby. Sometimes I even get mad at him because he can not run at all for months at a time and come out and still literally run circles around me!

  15. that’s totally how i ran too. to be quite honest i never really liked running…

  16. Coll, does it make you feel good to hear that I used to have the same exact thoughts about my long runs? ;)

    and that’s exactly how I approach the long ones, too! focus on each stride, not on how many miles you have to go.

  17. WOW this post was screaming my name!

    Funny story… My friend convinced me to run this half marathon with her. No seriously she convinced me (after we both swallowed a bottle of wine). I definitely knew I wanted to run a race, but I wasn’t sure if I was ready for it. It all happened so fast, I woke up the next morning, looked at my bank account & BAM! I spent waaay too much money to make myself run 13 miles!

    Anywho- my friend backed out and now I’m in it on my own. Even though I’m a former collegiate athlete, running does NOTcome easy for me. I seriously have to force myself through every run. Of course I love how I feel afterwards, but getting out there is the hardest part. I’ll be running my half marathon in Disney in exactly 9 days. Yes, I’m crapping my pants I’m so darn nervous!!

    Good Luck with your training…at least you have a running buddy!

  18. hahaha! I have the same “don’t think about it” mentality when it comes to long runs!

  19. Jackie says:

    I definitely just sent this to my fiance so he will know that I am not the only whiny runner.

  20. Don’t be discouraged! I curse myself on long runs. Longer than about 6 miles and I get cranky. I trained for and successfully completed a half marathon in June and ever since I haven’t felt like running. I used to love it and lately I just don’t feel like doing it. I strength train, so I’m not concerned about getting exercise, so I just decided that when I feel like it again, I’ll just do it and keep it to 5Ks and 10Ks! You’ll feel so good when you cross the finish line though :)

  21. I’m no runner either. I love the runner’s high, but not the actual aching, tiring, agonizing act of running. When I used to run cross country in high school, I saw a kid with an XC shirt that said, “I hate running.” I thought that was so funny since I saw it at a XC meet.

    • Colleen says:

      Haha that is funny! I need that shirt ;) I’ve actually never experienced runner’s high – I’ll be so excited when I do!

  22. Omg I almost laughed out loud at the mock convo you and the boo have while running. I hate running too..HATE IT. I feel you on that one. Buuut after I do it I feel great and to me it’s the best workout so I do it. It helps to have someone with you though…atleast you aren’t running alone! Keep on truckin’ knowing you’re not the only one who isn’t a fan of running, but pushes through and does it anyway! CONGRATS on the 5 miler!

  23. Mandy S. says:

    I feel your pain Colleen! Running doesn’t come naturally to me either, but I always feel so good after a big accomplishment like running 5 miles (it’s a big one for me!). What iPhone app does Corey use btw??

  24. Colleen. You are hilarious and your blog makes me smile every single time I read it. You are a runner and I’m sorry I’m not allowing you to say anything else. Anyways-you are doing great.

    The last time I pushed myself is now. I haven’t run in two months because of my stress fracture and I feel like I’m going into cardiac arrest everytime I run.

    • Colleen says:

      Oh, Hollie. You make me smile :) I know, you’ve been injured for a while now! I can’t only imagine how much it hurts when you try to run. Take it easy ;) xo

  25. Laura says:

    I have to say, I’m SO glad you’re laying it all out there about your training progress. Posts like these give me a good giggle, but also a ton of reassurance that I’m not the only crabby pants while running (most days, anyway). I recently decided that I wanted to find a way to enjoy running more than a mile without getting winded or distracted, and it was the best feeling when I finally made it 4 whole miles without stopping!

    Keep up the great work with your training! :D

  26. I am a terrible runner. Terrible. I curse. I whine. I usually trip. I end up bruised and battered, and that’s just my ego. Not to mention my knees & hips. And the palms of my hands (did I mention that I usually trip?). You’re not the only one. You can’t trip swimming!

  27. Gina B. says:

    You’re not alone! :) When my husband and I run, we take turns being the crabby one! (not intentionally) If he starts complaining or faltering, I’ll make it seem like it’s fun and we’re doing great, and then if I start whining, he’ll become all strong and motivated! :) It’s a good thing, though…that we naturally do this, or I think we’d both just start walking and planning where to have dinner when the going gets tough!

    • Colleen says:

      I find that we do that, too! I’m usually the one bitching and moaning, but when Cory is like “Ugh, I want to stop” I find it easy to say “No, we’re doing so well!” Which is always odd to hear come out of my mouth :)

  28. haha omg I clicked that friday link and as soon as I saw what it was I immediately x’ed out!! haha :-) that’s so funny and I feel like I push myself everyday when I workout because I do Insanity and it’s a challenging workout! I’m not always the happiest girl when I run either, and I prefer to run alone!

  29. kristen says:

    i completely agree. I would MUCH rather be biking or swimming than running. But today I ran three, and I just ran. I didn’t bring my garmin, just me and my tunes. It actually went really well

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