Thursday, April 9

Amanda's Race Report

This is a guest post by Amanda on running, training, and the Dallas Rock'n Roll Half Marathon.

I never thought I would be on the other side of a half marathon and have positive feelings about it, because that isn't how I felt about my fist half. 

Amanda's finisher medal!
2013 was a big year for me; I started the year newly engaged, planning a wedding and a new job. My new coworkers were discussing signing up for a half marathon and my husband and I thought that would be great way to workout leading up to the wedding, as well as cross something of our bucket list. We were the only two that hadn't ran one before so we followed their lead, didn't think twice about which half marathon we signed up for or even the training plan. It was just running, seemed easy enough that the more you ran the easier it would be to hit that 13.1 mark. 

Looking back I can blame the fact that the race was in August in Texas, or that the course was 14 miles instead of 13.1, or that it wasn’t the most well executed event, but none of these measure up to the fact that I did not train properly to be successful for a half marathon. When I crossed that finish line I felt terrible and didn’t have the desire to run again. So when a year later the opportunity to work with Brian came up I almost passed on it, but with some encouragement from my husband and conversations with Brian I figured it wouldn’t kill me to try this again.

My training began with Brian and it was obvious from the beginning this was not anything like the training, or lack there of, I had done before. I thought it was too good to be true when Brian expressed that the training wasn’t going to be a huge time commitment, with most workouts being 30min. I caught myself doubting the lack of distance and time needed to workout. Brian had to reassure me that there was a method to the training in order to build my strength and endurance rather than just building up my mileage. So I tried to push out these thoughts and trust the coaching that was being provided.

When race day came along I found that anxiety resurfacing and I kept reflecting on my first half marathon experience. Brian was so supportive in the days leading up to the race and proactive in helping me curb my nervousness, but it seemed like I couldn’t shake the thought that this race wasn’t going to be a repeat. I tried to focus on my pace as I started the race to keep my mind occupied and I was able to keep it right where I had been during my most of my training runs. As I hit mile 7, mile 9, and then mile 11 the more and more people were giving up and walking and I still felt so good! I was so thankful for our hills training as we approached hills in the last couple of miles that I noticed people stopping and I was able to keep pushing through. Then when I saw the finish line I knew I was going to hit my goal, which was to finish the race without stopping, and with a smile on my face!

As I reflect on my experience with training and the half, I am grateful to have finished in a good place but more thankful that I have found a new hobby with running. What I cherish most about this experience is what running has brought to my life. Now I am able to leave the house and go for a 30-minute run without even thinking twice about it. It’s my time to completely unplug from everything in life and clear my head. I may not be the typical runner seeking a new PR but more of a runner seeking a better and healthier life. 

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