The thought that keeps creeping into my mind…

Let me preface this by saying that I am not a runner.  Running has always been hard for me, and last year was the first time I ever enjoyed running.  Growing up, I ran only for sports practices, and I hated every second of it.  It felt like pure torture for me.  Since I’ve been teaching Zumba (about two years), my legs have gotten used to be in constant motion, and my cardio endurance level has increased exponentially.

I think I want to run a half marathon.  Actually, I know I want to run one.  I think this year may be the year!  I know that I’m determined enough to do it, and I can’t even fathom how rewarding it will be to cross that finish line.  I’ve only run a few 5k races, and I’ve never run more than six miles at one time.

I know the training will be hard, but I feel ready for it.

I would like my first half marathon (see, I didn’t even think about what I was typing there – my brain is already secretly planning for multiple races) to be a “fun” race with a big crowd.  I bet the energy would be awesome!!!

Here are some options I’m considering:

Chicago Half Marathon – September 9

Music City Half Marathon (Nashville) – October 2

St. Jude Half Marathon (Memphis) – December 1

I already have a million questions…

Can I do it?

Will I need to cut back on my Zumba classes?

Which race should I choose?

Which training program should I choose?

How will I need to change my diet?

Do I need to add any supplements?

What shoes should I buy (I must have new running shoes)?

How can I get faster?

Who would want to run with me (or could be persuaded bribed to do so)?

Help me, friends!


18 Responses to “The thought that keeps creeping into my mind…”

  1. 1 agirlrunner April 17, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Yes, you CAN do it! You won’t need to cut back on Zumba (it’s actually cross-training). Definitely choose a fun race with lots of energy, even lots of participants (you’ll feed off their energy as well). I use the smart coach on It has gotten me through a half AND a full marathon injury free. Your diet will only need to change in that you’ll need carbs (to fuel the runs) and slightly more calories. I wouldn’t recommend supplements beyond (maybe) a multivitamin. As for shoes, go to a local running store and have them do a gait assessment; but beware wearing brand new shoes for an endurance event such as that. Break them in for about a week or 2 prior. Speed comes with training; tempo runs and speed work. I am doing my second half here in Tulsa in November; if you were to come to that one, I’d LOVE to run with you. If you want, you can contact me on Twitter @agirlrunner or my blog here. GOOD LUCK!! You WILL get addicted.

    • 2 natalie @ southern fit foodie April 18, 2012 at 7:04 pm

      Thanks for all the helpful tips! I should’ve clarified in the post that what I’m worried about with Zumba isn’t the actual workout, but the time commitment that I have to it right now. I teach 6-7 classes per week, which doesn’t leave me with a lot of time for running and other cardio workouts. I’m headed over to your blog now! Thank you again!

  2. 3 pintofgoals April 17, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    Yeah – so exciting! You are definitely able to run a half! From my experience (which isn’t much), I have found running three times a week to be just right and I supplement it with BodyPump and yoga. Zumba would be great for cross training. Also, finding friends to do long runs with helps so much. Looking forward to following you work towards this new goal!

    • 4 natalie @ southern fit foodie April 18, 2012 at 7:02 pm

      Thanks, girl! I’m not really worried about the actual workout of zumba, but the time commitment aspect as I teach 6-7 classes per week (Monday-Thursday). I want to be sure to have enough time to devote to proper training (and still be able to get a full night’s sleep!).

  3. 5 Jennifer April 17, 2012 at 10:21 pm

    Kim an I are both doing our second 5K here in Jackson May 12th. You are so brave to do the half marathon. I think the Nashville one would be fun, I have a friend who has run in it. He does a race almost every week. I think he has a blog bout running I’ll have to look it up for you 🙂 Good luck and I’ll be thrilled to cheer you on! Plus if you do the Nashville on there is a very strong chance I’ll be up there then and can actually come and cheer you on 🙂

  4. 7 ittybitsofbalance April 18, 2012 at 4:02 am

    YES YES YES! Do it! And quite frankly, thats honestly how I decided to do my first half. Randomly woke up one morning and set my mind on it. I followed this plan: (the easier one) and loved it! Would you be running for a time goal?

  5. 9 notsodomesticated April 18, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Can I be 100% honest? Training for a half isn’t nearly as challenging as I expected. As you know, I’m doing my second half in a couple of weeks, and I really haven’t had to do anything crazy to prepare.

    Go to a running shoe store that will take the time to fit you properly. Choose a running program that only has you running 3 days a week … 2 short runs and 1 long run. Don’t start out running too much too soon. SLOWLY build up. Take some time off if anything starts to hurt. I wouldn’t suggest worrying too much about speed for your first one. Just build up mileage and endurance. But that’s just my opinion. 😉

    You know you can text me anytime … I just started running less than a year ago (May 2011), so I’ve definitely been in your shoes recently!

  6. 11 Nicole April 18, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    You CAN definitely run a half marathon! Zumba is great for cross training.
    As far as sneakers, you should really go to the store and get professionally sized, but NEVER race with new shoes. Make sure you break them in.
    They put you on a treadmill and watch your stride or something like that and then fit you with the right shoe.
    I’ve heard once you do a race you will be hooked! You will do great, I know it. 🙂

  7. 13 Catalina @ Cake with Love April 18, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    I am an amateur running but I wish you luck and I am sure that you can run a marathon, try HIIT to get faster!

  8. 15 Andrea @ Andrea out loud! April 18, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    I wish i could help!! You know i am NOT a runner, but i am excited to her about your endeavors and that is awesome you are going to do a half marathon!! So exciting! I hope to find the running love soon!

  1. 1 Chocolate Coconut Smoothie « southern fit foodie Trackback on April 18, 2012 at 8:50 pm
  2. 2 Half Marathon Training: Day One « southern fit foodie Trackback on May 23, 2012 at 5:04 am

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