13.1 Things Learned Running a Half Marathon

13.1 Things Learned Running a Half Marathon

Wait what does this have to do with websites? Well, it doesn’t but it has to do with one of Color Fire’s own, Paige Kelly. Recently, Paige ran her first ever half marathon and we couldn’t be prouder. That is why we interviewed her to see what it takes to run a half marathon and how the rest of us could start preparing to join her!

Who is the Amazing Paige Kelly?

Paige Kelly Half Marathon

Paige at the end of the Half Marathon with her medal!

When energy meets laughter, you will find Paige Kelly somewhere in between. Always good for a smile, this Virginia Beach native, signed up for the 44th Yuengling Half Marathon in Virginia Beach during St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Paige had been training for several months leading up to the race and was fully prepared for the race ahead. The big surprise for her was the horrendous weather she ran in that weekend. The weather forecast for the half marathon was 44 degrees, north to northeast winds steady at 20 mph with gusts to 30 and torrential rain. While this could intimidate the most avid of runners, Paige was committed and ran through it anyway. She even reached her goal of 1:58:16 – a personal record! Paige had been training and preparing for months, and when she returned to the office after her race weekend, we asked her to reminisce about her training and pass along some tips on how to train to run a half marathon.

Running a Half Marathon

  1. Goals
    Make realistic goals for yourself for the race you have ahead. I knew I wanted to finish my half marathon under two hours so I trained as such. I slowly moved up in miles and in speed. This helped me train smart and injury free!
  2. Discipline and Time
    In order to reach your goal, know it’s going to take discipline and time. In my running group, we ran every Saturday morning at 7:30am for 3 months. Which meant I had to be in bed early on Friday nights and I was.
  3. Join A Run Club
    I joined the Annapolis Striders of which my mom is a coach. I met some new people and I made a lot of running friends. Now I have people I can go on training runs with if I ever want a runner buddy. It’s also nice to surround yourself with positive people that share the same values and inspirations as you.
  4. Make A Sleep Schedule
    Make a sleep regime and try to stick with it. You can usually find me in bed by 9:30pm and asleep by 10pm. I run early on Saturday mornings and although every runner is different, I have found that I need at least 7 hours the night before to run successfully.
  5. Buy A Nice Pair Of Running Shoes
    Invest in a great pair of running shoes. Sometimes the shoes that look the coolest or prettiest, aren’t the best for you. Take the time to go to your local running store to have your running form assessed. They will equip you with the best shoes designed specifically for your legs and feet.
  6. Eat Healthy
    Eat what you want, but in moderation! A healthy running diet can help you achieve your goals easier. I used to eat big three meals a day. Now I eat several small meals throughout the entire day. Eating more smaller meals a day, varied what I ate which lead me to try different food groups I normally wouldn’t be eating.
  7. Positive Mindset 
    Having a positive mindset about yourself when you’re working out is essential to running happy. Tell yourself that, “you can do this.” I find it important to remind yourself that each workout you do is one step closer to your goal. When I was standing in the freezing pouring rain before the half marathon, I was miserable. I thought I couldn’t do it, I wanted to turn around and go home. But then I kept telling myself, “you can do this. You’ve done the miles, what’s a little bit of rain?”
  8. Paige Kelly at Shamrock Half Marathon

    Paige celebrating at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront Boardwalk with her medal and other running swag!

    Training in Bad Weather
    Sometimes you have to train in miserable weather. Running in different precipitations will help prepare you for any odd weather you may experience during race day. It will also make you a stronger runner for running in the wacky elements!

  9. Don’t Judge A Run By The First Mile
    Your first mile in any training run will never be your best, especially on race day. On race day, it’s going to be slow – and that is okay. The start line of every race is going to be crowded and so is the first mile. Every runner has to weave through the crowd and to get up to their racing pace.
  10. There will be Good Days and Bad Days
    Not every training run is going to feel good. There is no need to be discouraged when you have a bad running day. I just know that I got back out there and tried again no matter what happened on the run before.
  11. Running Solo vs. Running With People
    Running with people that you know can be fun, but it’s just as important to train on your own every once in a while. I’m glad I have running friends that push me in training runs. However, when you’re training for a race, you have to remember that it’s you against yourself.
  12. Rest Days
    A long training run is just as important as a rest day! Seriously, when you’ve had a tough workout week, rest. Your muscles will thank you. I recommend having one rest day per week!
  13. Running Fuel
    During training runs, it’s important to refuel your body of energy you have depleted. There are multiple foods and “gu” people eat to replenish their body while running. Each runner is unique, but a lot of runners eat “gu”, “gu blocks”, running jelly beans, Cliff Bars, etc. It is encouraged to find what works for you so on race day you have a running snack on hand.

13.1 Run Happy – Running is kind of fun. No seriously, it is. Take in the world around you and be proud of yourself, half marathon or half mile.

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