How I Scored a PR at this Weekend's Half Marathon

posted by Sara Jean -

On Sunday I ran my third half marathon. 

My first attempt at 13.1 was the Spokane Half Marathon in October 2016. I followed a strict training schedule, running four to five days a week 3-5 miles each run with long runs every weekend. It hurt. It wasn't fun. But I was determined to mark half marathon off my bucket list. I documented the whole process on my blog for my listeners to follow. I wanted to prove to the general public I could do this. I was doing it for all the people who, like me, never thought they could. 

Crossing that finish line was the most incredible feeling I had ever felt. And at that moment I knew all the hard work was totally worth it. 

Official time: 2:26:34.

Spokane Half Marathon - October 2016

My second attempt was the Windermere Half Marathon in May 2017. It had been two months since I quit drinking. I expected to be superwoman. I bought my pup a running leash and we were about to take on training harder than I had the time before. Then she broke her leg. And my spirit broke with her. Training became something that made me feel guilty, but I got it done. And I realized early on that even being hangover free and not sweating fireball...running wasn't easy. 

Over the course of the six weeks I trained I suffered unbearable shin splints and hamstring pain. My IT band threatened to flare up on me every time I ran hills. I felt weak. I felt defeated. Then my Grandma died. 

So I ran for her. I ran for Cricket. I was finally running for SOMETHING. But I wasn't running for me. I wasn't there yet. 

I staggered across the finish line and was out of commission for weeks with injury. But it was worth it. It was always worth it. 

Official time: 2:30:59.

Round three. Determined to beat my PR at the Negative Split Half Marathon and determined to do it 100% for me, I started training SIXTEEN rather than SIX weeks out. 

This time I knew I wasn't superwoman. I knew injury could strike. I knew sharing my struggles with the world would take my focus off the goal. At 12 weeks out I joined a gym. I incorporated weight training into my preparation and eased back on the running. I wasn't going to stress myself out over this race.

I started running with a Tuesday morning run group. And on Thursdays I ran with the Flying Irish as well at six weeks out. And at five I started my long runs. Only three days of running a week. Two to three days at the gym. And on my rest day I hiked.

I changed my diet. No more "carb loading" before runs. No eating at all. I started intermittent fasting and runs were now done on an empty stomach and at the end of my 16 to 18 hour fasting window. I was burning fat for energy now. Not calories. And as each week passed I got stronger. I got faster.

I crossed the finish line on Sunday two days after my birthday. A birthday that landed me closer to 40 than it did 30. And it was pretty darn symbolic. I beat my PR. Actually no, I DESTROYED my PR. My best friend surprised me multiple times on the course to give me the boost I needed to keep going. My parents and my pup greeted me at the finish line. But I didn't do it for any of them. This time, I did it for me. And let me tell you....I've never been so proud of her in my whole life. 

Official time: 2:11:25.

Negative Split Half Marathon

DO IT FOR YOU.

xoxo,

SJ

Comments

Sara Jean

Sara Jean

Want to know more about Sara Jean? Get her official bio and social pages here! Read more

title

Content Goes Here

This ad will close in X seconds.