Category Archives: Run

Half Marathon Journey: Week 17

May 12, 2016


This week we ran 10 miles, which means only 3 more miles to go! I can’t believe it. And to be completely honest, I’m really ready to finish this thing.

I want to clarify something with y’all that I recently realized I haven’t shared. When I say the word “run,” it doesn’t necessarily mean we run the whole way. From the beginning of this training, we have been doing walk/run intervals. And I love it! Some people might argue that stopping and starting makes it harder for them, but it works really well for us. Our favorite interval and the one that we have been doing for the past couple of months is 15 minute run, 3 minute walk. Mentally, this has been the biggest help. Instead of thinking “let’s go run 10 miles,” I only think about the next 15 minutes. It gives me a quick goal that makes the time go by faster. It’s also been easier on my body and the injuries I have been dealing with. During the walks, Jamie and I are able to check in with each other, drink water, refuel or do a quick stretch or celebratory dance. We’re planning to run the whole race this way!

So if you want to be a runner and don’t know where to start, I want to encourage you to try doing intervals. Start doing them of the same time (2 minute run, 2 minute walk), and slowly decrease your walking time until you’re at an interval that challenges you. Don’t forget I wasn’t a runner when I started training and I promise you, if I can do this so can you!

Miles this week: 18 Miles
Total Miles: 242 Miles

Half Marathon Journey: Week 16

May 4, 2016

HalfMarathonWeek16 This is the week that I have been dreading. The week that has made me second guess committing to this half marathon. This is the week that I didn’t know how to make work and was worried was going to cause me to fail.

This is the week that I was completely blown away.

When I was contemplating about signing up for and training for this half marathon, the biggest question I couldn’t wrap my mind around was How am I going to be able to do this during wedding season? Up until this point, I haven’t had any weddings to shoot, I have enjoyed having my weekends to do my long runs and recover properly. I have been anticipating this double wedding weekend for weeks, and what I can tell you is that God made His way and everything went incredibly well. Unlike my type A personality, I had to rearrange my usual running schedule – switching our long run from Friday to Wednesday. At first, I wasn’t happy about it, but after we finished, I was relieved to have our 9 miles finished so that I could focus on my weddings. Thursday was a great rest day for my body and standing on my feet for 12+ hours the next two days was not anywhere as bad as I thought it was going to be. If anything, I felt stronger! Hallelujah!

Here’s what I’ve learned through all of this: if you want to make something happen, you can. Evaluate what’s holding you back, and ask yourself, what’s the worst thing that could happen? Sometimes when you recognize those things, it helps you understand that you can actually do more than you imagined you could – like run 9 miles on Wednesday, then shoot a wedding on Friday and Saturday. Moving forward, I’m not concerned about training and shooting weddings because we will make it work, and if we don’t, then we will evaluate what went wrong and try again next week.

Miles this week: 17 Miles
Total Miles: 224 Miles

Half Marathon Journey: Week 15

April 27, 2016


45 days until our race.

People have asked me a lot recently “when you’re finished with this half marathon, are you going to keep running?” Honestly, I’m not sure about my answer to that question and the answer could change in the next 45 days, but right now yes. I’m looking forward to leisurely running (if that’s even a thing in my life). Now that we’re up in the higher long run numbers – 7, 8, 9, 10 miles, we can’t just go out and run. It’s got to be planned, according to our schedule and the weather. We have to prepare days in advance drinking tons of water, dedicate time to stretching and eating foods that we know will sit well in our stomachs. It’s a lot and then of course our long runs are taking anywhere from 1 – 2 hours. Simply put, this training is taking up a lot of our time, but it’s supposed to and I’m so thankful that Jamie and I are doing it together.

Nutrition while running is something that I have learned a lot about through this whole process and I still have a lot to learn. Your body only needs water for the first 90 minutes of exercise, but after that you have to begin fueling your body. Jamie and I went to Capital Run Walk and bought a bunch of different running “treats” to see what we liked. When I first read the different flavors of Gu, I got really excited. “Ooooh blueberry pomegranate, cherry lime, and raspberry.” I thought they were going to be like eating a Starburst. Let’s just say that I was rudely awakened when I tried one for the first time. Everyone has different preferences, tastebuds and opinions about what they like and works for them, but here’s what works for us:

Long Run Day:

Wake up, stretch, drink water and eat 1 energy shot (My favorite is the Strawberry Cliff Energy Shot and Jamie prefers drinking a Nuun Energy Tablet) I can’t eat normal food before running in the morning or it makes me sick and I also don’t drink coffee until after our run. The energy shots that I eat have caffeine in them which helps me not to get a headache and gives me an extra boost! I also run with a fuel belt which is awesome. There is a small pocket for my “snacks” and it holds two water bottles which I keep filled up with water. When we drop Bokeh back off at our house around mile 4 or 5, I will eat another energy shot and we refill our water bottles. Depending on the mileage we are doing, I’ll eat another energy shot around mile 8. After our run, I eat a big breakfast and drink coffee. I’ve learned that it’s super important to eat within 30 minutes of your run and I look forward to my delicious breakfast while I’m running the last couple of miles.

Again, everyone is different and has different preferences, but this is what seems to work for us! Through this process, I feel like I’ve learned a ton about my body and the key is learning to anticipate when you need to refuel and do it 15 minutes before you actually get to the point of needing it. If you have any nutrition suggestions or want to share what works for you, I’d love to learn from you!

Miles this week: 18 Miles
Total Miles: 207 Miles

Half Marathon Journey: Week 14

April 18, 2016

HalfMarathonWeek14 Running in different cities has been one of the best parts of this training. This weekend we got to do our long run in one of my favorite cities – Charleston! Although it was raining, windy and quite cold, it was an awesome run. Mixing up our running routes is refreshing and keeps me more distracted, and who wouldn’t want to run by the water and through historic, charming Charleston neighborhoods! Our whole weekend was quite active, as we walked everywhere and went on two amazing bike rides which was a good cross training activity.

This week was a reduced load week which was so good for my body, which has been quite bruised and sore from my weekly dry needling and physical training exercises. As simple as it might seem, I’ve learned that becoming a runner is more than just going outside and running. You have to take care of your body with the proper nutrition, hydration, stretching, strength training, rest, cross training and gadgets. This week I added a running box of all my gadgets to my closet filled with our fuel belts, massaging balls, foam rollers, garmin watches, extended power sources for our music – the list goes on and on. Next week, I’ll be sharing more about these gadgets and the nutrition that I’ve learned for longer runs!

Miles this week: 14 Miles
Total Miles: 189 Miles

Half Marathon Journey: Week 13

April 12, 2016


And then it all became a mental game.

This week we ran 8 MILES and it felt awesome. If you know me, you know that I’m a “tell it like it is” girl. Since training began, I’ve had a hard time mentally pushing myself through this, convincing myself that I can keep going when it hurts, and talking positively to myself. I shared on Instagram the mantra that I’ve been telling myself and that I wrote on my arm this week – wonder. I ran 8 miles in complete wonder (you can read more about what this means here). I also continued to get dry needling done and I’m pretty sure from here on out, I can just expect to be getting it done every week. While it’s not fun in the moment, it has been tremendously helpful for my tight muscles and I’ve definitely seen huge improvements.

We also had a really fun weekend! Jamie and I ran/walked in our Young Life 5K with tons of our friends (and dog friends) on Saturday. On Sunday, I got to cheer and run 2 miles with my best friend, Mary Courtney who ran in the Raleigh Rock and Roll Half Marathon. Goodness, I’m thankful for this girl who has been one of my biggest cheerleaders through this whole process. We have been sending each other encouraging selfies and videos throughout our training and we’ve gotten the chance to train together a little bit. I’m so proud of her and the success she had at her race this weekend! Also, although I was not running as a participant in the race and I only ran two very hilly miles, being in the race got me PUMPED for our race. All the excitement and people made me feel like I was in an Olympic event and I can’t wait for our time to shine!

Miles this week: 19 Miles
Total Miles: 175 Miles