My Journey To The AthHalf
October 23, 2023

A Personal Trainers First Half Marathon

Hey there, fellow runners and fitness friends! I'm excited to share my journey as I train for my very first half marathon, the AthHalf, which is just six weeks away. As a personal fitness trainer, I thought I knew a lot about staying active and healthy, but this experience has been a whole new adventure. Strap in and join me as I lace up my running shoes, push my limits, and aim to cross that finish line with a smile!

1. A Beginner's Journey: I must admit, before I embarked on this journey, I had never tried long-distance running. I didn’t have a desire to run, just ask my clients, this time last year I would have said no way, not me! Now, every Saturday is a thrilling adventure as we add an extra mile to our previous week's total. It's safe to say that each Saturday marks my longest run ever!

2. Finding Inspiration: What motivated me to take on this challenge, you ask? It's the incredible Massey Fit community of supportive and encouraging women. We inspire each other to be our best, and together, we're conquering new fitness heights.

3. Training Plan: My current fitness level is advanced, thanks to my background as a personal fitness trainer. So if you are just getting started, I would suggest downloading the couch to 5k app. Start slow, don’t give up, you can do hard things!  The training plan for my group, developed by Fleet Feet in Athens, keeps us on our toes. From 5-mile runs on Mondays to cross-training on Tuesdays/Thursdays and challenging hill runs on Wednesdays, it's a busy week! Friday is a recovery run and Saturday is the longest run of the week. It is so important to rest on Sunday’s. Muscles need to recover so if you just can’t sit still, go for a walk or do a stretch video from my website!

4. Setting Goals: My aim is to finish the race in under 2 hours while running the entire time. But I'm also giving myself grace to slow my pace or walk the hills if needed. It's all about enjoying the journey and not getting in my head. Mental toughness is something I am working on so I can reach my goals!

5. Hydration and Apparel Challenges: The struggle to find the right running gear is real. My thighs chafe all the time! While I love my biker shorts, I would really like to wear the cute running shorts!   Plus, staying hydrated during those long runs is a puzzle I'm still solving. I tried the Camelbak but I don’t love it. I ordered a low profile belt, for which I have high hopes! My favorite electrolyte replacement is the pineapple flavor from Skratch!

6. Running Gear Essentials: One thing that's made a significant difference in my training is the right pair of running shoes from Fleet Feet. They've helped me eliminate joint pain. And let's not forget about Poise Impressa – they're a game-changer! Do you pee your pants when you: cough, sneeze, laugh too hard, jump, run, stand still?!?!? Well, I do! The impressa helps with bladder control better than anything else I have tried. The next step for me will be a pelvic floor therapist!

7. Nutrition Matters: I've upped my protein intake to aid muscle recovery and repair. Complex carbs the night before those long runs are a must. However, I'm still figuring out the best nutrition strategy for the race day itself. I do not like Gu or gels, I can’t imagine chewing something when running. I am just not sure what I will do. I promise to keep you posted!

8. Cherished Moments: What I love most about running is the company of my dear friends. Early morning hours, the sound of our laughter, and the camaraderie make it all worthwhile. We're in this together! When I am feeling weak, they are there to pick me up. An encouraging word from these ladies goes a long way! I highly recommend running with friends!

I still have 6 more weeks of training left in my journey to the AthHalf! I can’t wait to share my experience and knowledge with you. I hope this encourages and enlightens other first-time runners. Remember, it's not just about the destination; it's about enjoying every step of the journey. Stay tuned for more updates as I inch closer to the AthHalf finish line!