This was my first time officially training for a half marathon. The first time I ran a half, it was a last minute decision. I decided to run 13.1 miles instead of the 10K race (6.2). I underestimated how well I would do because I ended up finishing in 2 hours and 30 minutes.
After doing my first half I ran 13 mile+ long runs for marathon training. I didn’t focus on my time as much while training for my first full marathon. I focused more on finishing the marathon strong.
My second official half marathon was the precursor to the LA Marathon. I semi trained in that I had been running to build up endurance for 26.2 miles. My second half marathon was extremely challenging. The course had many hills, inclines and it rained the day of. I still beat my previous time (PR) by 13 minutes.
Now I have completed two halves and two full marathons. My goal recently has been to increase my pace. This has been extremely challenging. While part of it has come natural, the other part has come from pushing myself. I decided to focus my efforts solely on taking each mile seriously. I’ve learned to center my attention on my breathing and my strides.
I set goals before each run. Ex: I will not drop below a 9:00 minute mile. This way when I see myself doing that, I know I need to pick up the pace.
I’ve taken cross training more seriously. I incorporated weight training, cycling, dancing and boxing during this training. I’ve noticed that I have more stamina during my runs and I’m running more efficiently.
I have also used this training time to learn more about myself and to focus harder on reaching the goals I set out.
For this reason, I have chosen to keep this training private. Since I am a fitness blogger and marathoner, my followers have been curious as to when my next race will be.
Those closest to me were aware but I kept the training process to myself so that I can focus solely on the journey.
Getting Outside of My Comfort Zone:
I decided to take risk and do things that I normally wouldn’t do. I ran with different groups, started going to the track to increase speed and did different cross training workouts.
In the time that I started this training cycle, I hit four huge PRs. 10 miles- 1:30 10k- 51 minutes, 5k- 21:34, 1 mile- 6:05.
I never dreamed that I would run this fast. It’s hard for me to believe. I have learned so much about the power of the mind.
I’m mastering repetition and positive affirmations. The mind is so powerful. By repeating positive affirmations while running, I have found that I am able to achieve the goals that I set out before the run. Some of my favorite positive affirmations: “ I am strong” “ I am able” “You got this” “You can do all things” “Keep pushing”
Nutrition has also been a huge component of my PR successes. My plant based protein intake has increased. The only animal protein that I have been eating is Wild Salmon and Poke (Ahi Tuna).
I look at my body like a car that needs to be driven fast and long. It needs premium fuel to keep going. I focus my meals on eating for nutrients. “How can this help me run better?”
Here is a list of some of my favorite running foods:
- Alkaline Water
- Liquid I.V. Electrolyte Enhancer
- Suja Coldpressed Juices
- Chai Tea
- Mango Tea
- Peanut Butter
- Whole Wheat Toast
- Vegan Protein Shake by Vegan Smart
- Brown Rice
- Veggie Burrito ( Black Beans, Corn, Potatoes, Vegetables)
- Sweet Potatoes
- Vegetable Curry with Jasmine Rice (Amy’s)
- Brown Rice Cakes
- Leafy Greens ( Kale, Spinach, Red Leaf Lettuce,
Green Leaf Lettuce)
- Wild Salmon
- Ahi Tuna
Another huge component of this training cycle has been the implementation of meditation. I’m a very busy person. I work 40 hours a week, I take care of my family, blog and train.
Some days I don’t know how I do it all.
With so much going on, I have to rest my mind. I’ve been lucky enough to have guided meditation at work. It’s amazing how great you feel when you force yourself to focus on the present. My mind is usually focused on the future “What will I eat today? Where will I run?, What’s next on the agenda?”
By forcing myself to remove distractions and sit still, I’ve gained so much peace.
It may not seem like it but I take days off to rest. You have to allow your body the opportunity to recover. On my rest days, the only activities I do are walking and yoga. I call this “active resting”. I’m still keeping my muscles active but not overworking them.
On my rest days and workout days, I always make sure I enjoy what I’m doing. Why do it if you aren’t having fun??
I am looking forward to participating in the 40th Annual San Francisco Marathon on July 23rd. This will be my first time traveling and running. I will also be joining Team Tassy in their efforts to end global poverty by raising funds for job programs. I’m excited to share with you my training progress and I can’t wait till the race date. I hope all my hard work pays off on race day. Wish me luck and thank you for all of your support!
Follow me on my Instagram stories @Christal_Lauren for live coverage of the San Francisco Marathon.