That Time I Ran 13.1 Miles!

My journey to accomplish this goal and a guide

to essential {long} run gear


I crossed a big item off my bucket list last Saturday –  I completed a half marathon!  The funny thing is, I. AM. NOT. A. RUNNER!  Yes, I can put two feet in front of each other and run, but not for long distances, not so much my thing.  BUT, I love a challenge, I love crossing things off my bucket list, and I love a sense of accomplishment.  I also love an excuse to buy new clothes {yes, even work-out items}.

I have been pushing myself at the gym for the last two years very hard.  I wanted to make changes to my body after having my second baby, and enough was enough.  There were no excuses.  Other moms and women were doing it and so could I.  I added one class to my regular workout schedule at Princeton Club, called Les Mill’s Body Attack.  It’s a HIIT (high intensity interval training) type class that will bust your butt.  I can’t do all of the class well, I struggle, I swear, I sweat (really bad), and sometimes I pee myself (jumping jacks after kids are torture), and look stupid but I sweat, burn a lot of calories and getting more fit week after week!

Adding this one class into my regular routine totally changed my fitness ability.  So much so, that I hopped on the treadmill one day at home to get a quick sweat in before going out and before I knew it I had run three miles.  That had never happened to me.  Usually after one mile I was huffing and puffing and counting down the boring minutes of running.  A light went off in my head and I knew I had changed my fitness level over the last months by busting my tail.

My workout buddy at the gym is a runner, and in conversations before classes we started talking about running the Berbee Derby, a local 10k on Thanksgiving Day.  I accepted the challenge of the Thanksgiving Day run as it was ONLY double the distance I could easily do on a treadmill. Thanksgiving came and went and so did the 10K.  I did it!  I was proud as I had never run over five miles.  This race evolved into the next running challenge (which apparently happens to runners), my workout buddy said, lets challenge ourself again and run the half marathon in August.  I was up for it, on the outside, but scared sh*&less on the inside.  13.1 was a long way!

The road to the completing the half marathon was not easy.  The hardest part for me was finding the time. When you get to the eight-mile-and-above training runs, you’re dedicating around two hours to that run.  Training through the summer with the heat and humidity means you want to get out early.  My daughter was on swim team and the meets took place early Saturday mornings, and Sundays are our family morning with church and brunch.  I needed to complete my runs when my husband was home so someone was watching the kids. Coordinating all of the schedules was hard, but when you are determined and have a goal, you make time!  I knew I had to get in my training miles, if I didn’t, I was only cheating myself.

Time was one factor, but also the mental stamina to get through the long runs was something else I needed to work on.  I will tell you that most of distance running is mental.  Your mind plays crazy tricks on you.  When I did my first five mile run, I thought it was hard, that last mile got to me.  The next week when I had to do six miles, I did five miles easily, but that sixth mile was the hardest.  It’s your mind knowing you’re almost done, and it mentally and physically gets to you.  This had happened each week as I added the next mile.  I could run my distance, but the last mile was always the hardest, even on the race day itself.

Doing something like this would be really, really hard alone.  Having someone to train with and hold you accountable was very helpful {and was necessary for me}. Thank you to my work-out buddy for pushing me to achieve this goal, and to my ever loving and supportive husband who was by my side the whole race cheering me on {and setting my pace}.  Plain and simple, I couldn’t have done it without them.

The mental and physical aspect of running are most important, but so is the gear {which I wasn’t expecting until I got going on some longer distances}.  Being that I am style blogger, rather than a fitness blogger, I am not going to give you tips on how to train for long distance running, I don’t have many fantastic tips (just don’t give up). I DO have some great gear suggestions for long runs that are tried and true.  You don’t want to worry about chafing, sore feet, not having water easily accessible, oh yes, and how can we forget about adding some bling to those shoes {Not So Plain, Right?!}.

The Not So Plain Gear Guide for Runners:


1.Lululemon Movement Crops

 I can’t wear shorts working out.  I have large thighs, they rub together, shorts ride up – they just don’t work for me.  Crops it is for me!  These crops are super silky, a bit of compression to hold everything tight, super moisture wicking and quick drying (training in the heat and humidity of summer this was truly tested).  They have a tie inside the waist band to ensure they stay in place.  I wore a printed pair, but are available in multiple colors.

2.  Tank Top

Not overly exciting, but super functional.  Really light weight, fantastic at wicking away moisture, minimal seams as not not have to worry about chafing and a little on the lose side.  This is a great top for any type of workout. Comes in multiple colors and fits true-to-size.

3.  Sports Bra

This by far, has been my favorite find as far as new gear for working out!  I have other sports bras from Lulu and I don’t find them the most supportive.  I knew I wanted {and needed} more support for running, especially long runs.  The Elite Bra is not only supportive, BUT also ultra comfortable. No seams, no chafing, and keeps everything where it’s supposed to.  It comes in bra sizes rather than clothing sizes, which I think is very helpful.  It is made for up to DDD sized bust.  If you’re looking for comfort and support this bra will not disappoint!

4.  Shoes

I am sure no matter where you are reading this from there is a running store that specializes in fitting running shoes near you.  Weather you get on a treadmill and they watch your running motion or have more safisticated technologies to understand your foot and how you move while walking/running, I think getting properly fitted is SO important.  In Madison, I went to Fleet Feet and was blown away by the knowladge and service I recieved to get me set for this half marathon.  I ended up in this Saucany shoe and LOVE it.


5.  Water Belt


Running over six miles without water on a hot day is not advisable.  So you’ll need something that allows you to carry water with you.  This belt did the trick for me.  Not the cutest thing, but held my water, phone, is easy to adjust and has washed really well.

6.  Entertainment

I HAVE to have music when I run.  I can’t stand the sound of me huffing/puffing.  I need to get lost in the music.  The beat keeps me going.  My fantastic husband surprised me with these wireless headphones as I was training, a total game changer for any type of workout where you want headphones! I also love wearing my Apple Watch to easily change songs and track my milage.

7.  Sneaker Charms!

Are these not the cutest little charms? I had no idea anything like this existed until I received this adorable package in the mail from my bestie (she is a runner, and one of the most thoughtful people in the world!).  These little bits of bling added some sparkle to my shoes and more importantly, while staring at my feet for two hours, reminded me of my best friend and gave me some motivation to keep going.  These truly are the perfect gift for a runner!

With long distance running, it is important to feel good, and having the right gear is definitely part of that.  All of these items have withstood many many miles and were comfortable each time.  I know running is not for everyone, trust me, I have been there.  All I can say is that ANYTHING is possible with hard work and a lot of determination.

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As always, thank you for following and make it a great day!

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