Half Marathon Recap: The Personal & The Physical
Hi lovers! How are everyone’s weeks going? Mine has been nice and mellow over here in Sactown with the exception of that little 13.1 miler I ran on Sunday — along with at least 4,000 other Nor Cal rockstars decked out in green from head to toe and staying motivated by way of signs promising, “Beer is Only 4.1 miles away!”
First thoughts about the race: It. Was. Awesome.
Second thoughts about the race: I am so freaking sore.
Third thoughts: I have, have, haaave to train properly next time because if I can run the whole thing with very minimal training then my competitive little self could have a lot of fun with this.
Fourth thoughts: When’s the next one I can sign up for?!
Yes, this is my third half marathon in a row that I didn’t train for (by definition that makes me certifiably insane by now, right?) and I was SURE that the third time would be a charm training-wise. I was on my A game in January, but February flew by in the blink of an eye while I finished up writing my memoir, and come March I shrugged off the training telling myself, “Ehhh, whatever distance training I do now won’t even matter!”
All I have to say is thank god for Orange Theory Fitness keeping me on my cardio game, because even though I didn’t train distances for this race, I was still running pretty much every day. At OTF we do crazy intense HIIT like sprinting on the tread at an incline and then hopping off to do weight training before even catching our breath, so I had been bumping my endurance wayyy up without me even realizing it.
And I have them to thank for the race being surprisingly easy for me to do without fully training. The last two times I ran a half marathon I ended up walking 3-4 miles throughout. My goal this time was to just run the entire time — I had no goal time or anything to prove. I knew I had it in me to just keep moving, so that’s what I set out to do.
It’s been a rough year — for reasons I’ve written about on the blog and reasons that I haven’t. It’s also been an amazing year, between writing the book, releasing the app, growing the blog, launching the clothing line, moving back to LA, getting the chance to meet countless people who inspire me and more. But between all of that mayhem it has sometimes been hard to focus on myself… On what I needed in order to feel good about myself, my relationships, my body, my eating disorder recovery, my fitness, etc.
This half marathon meant a lot to me for those reasons and beyond. I am a very driven person. Some people would even say too driven — too headstrong about what I believe in, too unwilling to make certain changes, so very determined to stick to my willpower that sometimes I crack and it all comes undone. It’s the messy truth but it is the truth at least.
So of course I signed up for this half marathon and didn’t train. I was in over my head with work and life in general, and running 10 miles on my Sunday mornings never sounded like the best use of my time. Not because it wasn’t actually a good use of time — it would have been an amazing accomplishment had I done it, but rather because I was so caught up in making sure everything else in my life was moving and that I was on top of work and the people in my life. I had to whittle it down to those two things: work, people. People, work. The only two things that really seemed to matter in order to stay afloat.
And maybe that’s what I needed to do to keep my head above water, and I don’t regret doing it that way. But when March 15th rolled around and it was time to get out there and run that race with my three siblings, I had a few thoughts in my mind: A) I wish I had trained more, and B) I am finishing this thing while running the whole time if it’s the last thing I do. (You know I’m extreme like that.)
So I ran, and I had the support of my amazing family waiting for me at the finish line. My sisters Lisa and Melissa and my brother Christian all totally killed it, finishing in well under 2 hours and reaping the benefits of the hard work they put in to training. Knowing that they were there at the finish line made it much easier to keep my legs moving when I hit mile 11 and I thought my feet were going to fall off. And coming around that bend with the finish line in sight, high-fiving both of my parents with less than .01 mile to go and hearing them screaming my name, was the COOLEST feeling in the world.
I knew, even if I didn’t put in the time to train, that where I was mentally throughout the race was so much stronger than I had ever been in the past. Other than the intense cardio work I put in at OTF and the short distance running I do because I enjoy it, finishing that race without walking was very mental.
I kept drawing inward and going back to the reasons I was running in the first place… Yes, because my family was doing it and doing it with them was super fun, but also because challenging myself and having goals to check off and look forward to keep me motivated in every aspect of my life. Those 13.1 miles were the goal, and I knew if I worked hard and ran through it then I would feel amazing afterward.
Annndddd I was right. I needed something like that, and now I am motivated and re-dedicated to training for REAL this time (I know no one believes me, but when I do it you’ll see!)
My legs are still sore as F and the mental concentration it took from miles 10 onward were insaaane, but I am so beyond proud of myself for doing it. I am sooo very proud of my siblings as well– I feel super lucky to have a family that values fitness and health and who are also SO good at something like running that doesn’t come as naturally to me.
Also, (and lastly I promise), I fell even more in love with my beautiful hometown of Sacramento. Running through the streets in the early morning light with so many people who love this town was truly remarkable, and I saw parts of the city I had never even seen before! I would describe where but I don’t exactly know because I felt a little turned around from mile 8 onward (lol).
SO, there is my very stream of consciousness recap of the half marathon– more personal than physical, but I guess that’s what you can usually expect from me.
Sending you all so, so much love. Happy Tuesday!
P.S. Happy St. Paddy’s Day! If you haven’t seen my St. Patrick’s Day inspired Green Dream Cashew Butter recipe with my BFF Sophie yet, check it out here and tell us your thoughts!