1/2 Marathon Re-cap!

I'm linking up with Amanda from "For Love of a Cupcake" for "Motivate Me Monday" to share my re-cap of my 1/2 marathon that I ran at the end of August. The Race was the Madison Mini Marathon in Madison, WI. It was a gorgeous race route, and if you're from the mid-west, I would definitely suggest running it!

If you have never done a race, my advice is to DO ONE!
I loved having a goal to work for and reach throughout my summer vacation.
I had a love/hate relationship with running before I started training, but now I have an addiction to it! No weights, jump ropes, workout videos, or medicine balls. Running is all about you and the pavement!
Besides the confidence and gratifying feeling that comes with running. You also get some killer legs! Seriously, my legs have never been so lean and strong. I love what running does for your body and mind, and I think you will too :) So just go out and run!!

Up at 4:30 to eat breakfast and get ready for the 7:00 am race!

At the start line all ready to go

With my biggest fan, my mom, before the race :)

Getting excited!

Okay...so my mom didn't get any pictures of me actually running but here's me after finishing my 13.1 miles!
Post Race! Time: 1:57:44

It's Wisconsin, of course the medal is in the shape of a beer mug...

After the race by the lake with my mommy :)

As far as training is concerned, I followed a 10 week program for beginners. It is advised that you be able to run 3 miles consistently or be able to run for 30 minutes 

       10-Week Half Marathon Training Schedule

103Rest3Walk 2Rest13.1Rest21.1

 On the days of rest, I tried to do "cross training" exercises. These exercises consisted of some type of aerobic exercise other than running. I loved to bike, go on the elliptical, do some interval training, or a HIIT workout! 

I also found that working out in the A.M. worked best for me. I went to work at 8 in the morning, so I would usually get up around 6 a.m. and get my run in for the day. Not only is it great to start the day with a workout, but the weather is fantastic! It's cool and perfect for a long distance run.

Before my morning run, I usually wouldn't eat anything. I know a lot of runners will "fuel up" and many running magazines suggested it, but if my run was under 6 miles I would run on an empty stomach. My reason for this is that I was also trying to lose weight this summer (which I did successfully! More on that in another post) so eating for "fuel" wouldn't necessarily show results on the scale. When you work out on an empty stomach, your body is searching for something to burn off. When it can't find food to burn, it hits up the fat storage. That's right! You burn more fat!! If I was running a longer distance, I would usually eat some oatmeal, a banana, or a small granola bar so I had some more energy for those extra miles.

Another piece of advice: STRETCH! I will admit that I was a culprit of failing to do this well enough after my runs. Your muscles and entire body will thank you for this, and there will be a better chance you'll steer clear of injuries.
I hope I inspired and motivated you to get off of that couch and see how amazing running can be, and how much you can truly enjoy it!
If I can run 13.1 miles, trust me, YOU CAN TOO!

Happy Monday :)