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"Not a Runner”: 10 Things I Learned from Running My First Half Marathon

3 Things We Dive Into In This Episode:

  1. What it felt like to run a half marathon a few years after healing from an eating disorder and compulsive exercise.

  2. The unexpected life lessons I learned through committing to running.

  3. Practical tips and advice on the must-have gear that makes running enjoyable.


📌Episode Highlights

[03:58] Starting Another Nomadic Journey

  • After a year of travel in 2022, I'm again embarking on another nomadic journey.

  • I'll be traveling to Mexico City, Miami, Portugal, Spain, Scotland, England, and Ireland and returning to Denver mid-March.

  • Travel has a lot of benefits. It fills my cup and expands my perspective.

Caitie: “I am not taking the tiniest fraction of this chapter of my life for granted. The fact that I can still continue to do what I do and see my clients and work and live my regular life and travel at the same time is an immense privilege.” - Click Here To Tweet This

[06:47] New Whole, Full, Alive Podcast Structure for 2023

  • I'll make my solo episodes in a list format and answer your IG questions too!

  • Interview episodes are now ‘Survival Guides’ (with a bonus survival bag and toolkit from our guests)!

  • The interview episodes will include actionable survival strategies based on my guests’ experiences.

  • New episodes will be out every other week to ensure you get the finest and most valuable content possible.

[12:20] My Decision to Run a Half Marathon

Caitie: “I am not running a half marathon as someone who's just always had this like lottery draw empowering, balanced relationship with fitness and with food. I'm running half marathon as a recovered person as someone who has a history of using exercise to punish myself and someone who has a history of really restricting food.” - Click Here To Tweet This
  • I embarked on my first half marathon this January.

  • It was a spontaneous design aligned with my healed relationship with exercise.

  • Running the half marathon was an opportunity to try new things and experiment with movement.

  • My physical therapist friend helped guide my decision to run; they gave me health and physical therapy tools for preventing injury.

[18:45] Lesson 1: The Power of Trying

[21:45] Lesson 2: Fuck the Plan!

  • Don’t let your marathon experience be too rigid.

  • Let go of the numbers. You do not need to hit certain mileage or metrics to be a successful runner.

  • Running just to hit specific numbers puts you at risk of developing a rigid, compensatory, and punishing relationship with movement.

  • The important thing is to prevent injury and feel good and present in your body.

  • It is about ensuring that your body is well-adapted to exercise and that you have a good cardiovascular capacity.

[27:11] Lesson 3: Running As Breathwork

  • During my first few runs, I realized that running could be like breathwork practice.

  • You need to tune into your breathing and ensure that you're breathing deeply and fully while running.

  • The repetition of running can give you the opportunity to connect with your body, connect with your breath, and release tension and stress in a way that feels like a breathwork practice.

[30:09] Lesson 4: Feeling Vulnerable

  • Anything new that you want to try will make you feel vulnerable.

  • I felt like I was on a stage during my first run back in Denver.

  • Just be comfortable in your running. Remind yourself that no one cares; it is not as big of a deal as it feels in your brain.

Caitie: “[Trying something new] is a powerful experience because you have that experience of being vulnerable, you have that experience of feeling on stage a little bit, and you overcome it. You move through it and you come out stronger and more capable, and ready to rock like ready to go like ‘I can handle anything.’” - Click Here To Tweet This

[34:20] Lesson 5: Share Your Experience

  • Try to do the marathon with people who give you a sense of support, comfort, and community.

  • I constantly communicated with my friends who recently ran their first half marathon as well. They shared insights on what helped them run.

  • 'Exercise' and 'nutrition' are not good things you should Google. It's best to find professional support for these things.

  • Talk to friends and professionals you trust.

[36:11] Lesson 6: Let Your Body Heal

  • Don't push yourself to run through an injury.

  • Forcing yourself to run through an injury can lead to worse things.

  • Giving your injury enough time to heal can prevent it from getting worse and in my case, potentially leading to an infection.

  • Remember, it is so important — above anything else — to keep your body safe.

[39:18] Lesson 7: Pay Attention To Your Body

  • The best way to avoid injury is to be attentive to how your body moves and feels.

  • Don’t go for a run if you don’t feel capable of being present, if you feel like your brain is tired, or if you’re not engaged to your core.

  • If you're running only to wait for it to be over, don't run.

  • Instead, do other forms of movement that allow you to be present.

  • If you're doing forms of movement where you find yourself constantly dissociating and zoning out while doing them, you're probably not doing a form of movement that feels intrinsically enjoyable for you.

[41:48] Lesson 8: The Right Running Gear

  • Running is mostly about your body, but it’s not all that.

  • You need specific care and running gear such as:

    • Proper shoes and attire

    • A water bottle you can tie around your waist

    • Headphones that won’t fly out of your ears while you're running

    • An electrolyte water you like to drink

[44:41] Lesson 9: Running as Intentional Spiritual Practice

  • One of the most fun parts about running is choosing an emotion to process and listening to a playlist that helps you process that emotion while running.

  • Make your running playlists intentionally.

  • Take time to make running playlists that tap into the feeling you need to process during the run.

  • Caitie also recommends having people you care about curate a playlist for you. Have them recommend songs for you and listen to them during your long runs.

[48:12] Tip 10: Make Running Intrinsically Enjoyable

  • Your run cannot be about the ‘after.’ It has to be about the ‘during.’

  • If you struggle to enjoy the 'during' and can't wait for it to end, running might not be your best option.

  • Know that not every single second of the run is going to be enjoyable. Sometimes, you have to break through the unenjoyable phase.

Caitie: “There's so much power in trying to do the thing that you think you cannot do — not necessarily in succeeding, not necessarily in making it to certain numbers or metrics or whatever it is that you set for yourself... And when you try, and you let the success be in the fact that you tried, it doesn't matter if you end up enjoying it.” - Click Here To Tweet This
  • It's okay if you end up not liking running. You can always move on to a new thing, a new challenge, or a new experiment.

[53:20] Question 1: What might be disordered while you're training for a half marathon that you might not necessarily realize is disordered?

  • Remember Lesson 2: F*ck the plan.

  • Here are a few disordered and unhelpful ways to train for a run:

    • Attaching body image outcomes to running. Humans have unique metabolism, unique genetics, and unique things that will make their bodies have certain changes from doing a certain form of exercise that someone else might not experience.

  • Fixating on numbers. Decide that success is finishing, enjoying, and not injuring yourself versus meeting specific numbers.

[59:23] Question 2: What are your top tips for beginners?

  • Invest in and take time to find good running shoes. Your shoes can make a difference.

  • Stretch, stretch, stretch. Make sure you take time to open up your hamstrings and hips and release your lower back.

  • Caitie also recommends having regular yoga practice if you’re thinking of running.

[01:01:03] Question 3: What bra and shoes do you wear when running?

  • Caitie shares that her friend recommends Nike sports bras.

  • For shoes, look into investing in a pair of Hoka running shoes.

[01:05:41] Question 4: What is your physical therapist friend's advice for running?

  • Keep your effort at 5 out of 10 intensity, especially on longer runs.

  • You do not have to get up to 13 miles in training; 8-9 miles is OK.

  • Run the first 5 miles with the brain, the second 5 miles with your body, and the last 3.1 miles with your heart.

  • Learn to run at a 5 out of 10 intensity. Use the crowd's energy and your music, and let yourself feel good.

  • Trust your training and trust that your body is ready for this run.

Enjoyed the Podcast?

Whole, Full, and Alive is a podcast exploring the art and science of falling in love with your life, with your story, and with who you truly are — underneath your titles, your resume, your relationship status, and your bank account. Whether you’re running for fun or shooting for a marathon, it’s best to listen to your body and align yourself to what you love.

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Have any questions or want to leave a suggestion? Come say hi on the 'gram @caitie.c.rd. You can also sign up for my nutrition coaching program and community, Whole, Full, and Alive, and get a FREE 20 Minute Discovery Call!

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Caitie Corradino: Because I wasn't attached to the outcome, I felt so much gratification and learned so many lessons just from trying to do this thing that I thought that I maybe couldn't do. Welcome to Whole, Full and Alive, a podcast exploring the art and science of falling in love with your life, with your story and with who you truly are, underneath your titles, your resume, your relationship status, and your bank account.

I'm Caitie Corradino, a registered dietician nutritionist, certified fitness and yoga instructor, eating disorder recovery coach, Reiki healer, and founder of Full Soul Nutrition. But underneath my titles and resume, a big fan of kitchen dance breaks, early mornings, all things chocolate truffles, world traveling and serendipity. I'm here to share no bullshit stories and actionable tools to help you feel unshakably worthy. You have everything you need within you to feel whole, full and alive right here, right now. Let's get into it.

Hi, welcome back to another episode of Whole, Full and Alive. We are here today at Episode 30, Episode number 30. I feel as though I didn't take enough time to pull over and celebrate episode number 20, so I am taking some time to pull over today to celebrate episode number 30, because that's a milestone. It's an exciting milestone.

I am so grateful that I have been on this podcast microphone for about 30 hours now, and that you've been here tuning in. I couldn't be more grateful that we're connected in some way that you're here, that you're tuning in, that there's a small community that has formed around this podcast. I love this project so much, and I'm so grateful to be here talking with you and to keep the ball rolling on Whole, Full and Alive.

Before I dive into anything else, though, I want to invite you to get grounded. Let's take the deepest breath you have taken so far today. Wherever you are in the world, whatever you're doing right now, can you take a nice, deep breath in through your nose. Let it fill your body all the way through the base of your spine, feel it filling your body 360 degrees around your spine, and then exhale, release and let it go. Let's do one more.

If you're doing anything but driving, I invite you to also reach your arms up over your head with this next deep breath. So inhale, bring the arms up over your head, stretch all the way through your fingertip, stretch all the way through your spine. I'm doing it too. Then exhale, release and let it go, and imagine just kind of clearing away, pushing away some stress, some tension, whatever it is you're feeling a little bit of relief from right now.

Then maybe roll out the shoulders, shake out the upper body a little bit. Check in with how you're doing today, how you're feeling today, what you're thinking today without judging how you're doing or what you're feeling or what you're thinking today. Just checking in, just taking inventory. I hope if you're feeling like you need a little bit of relief from something today that this episode gives you a little bit of what you might be looking for.

So anyway, I'm coming to you today from the road. I'm not on tour or anything, but I'm on the road again. So if you're new to me, I did spend most of 2022 traveling across the United States and across the world while I was looking for a new home. I ended up settling, landing in Denver, Colorado, and I successfully stayed in Denver for about three, four months until I decided that I kind of want to go on another adventure.

I didn't move out of Denver or anything. My apartment is still very much there, and I have a friend who is staying in it while I'm gone. But I'm currently on another nomadic journey. So I'm still working. I'm still podcasting. I'm still doing all the things that I do in my regular life, but I'm doing so in Mexico City and then Miami and then Portugal and then Spain and then Scotland and England and Ireland, and then I will return to Denver, Colorado in mid March. So that's where I'm coming to you from.

I'm actually on stop two right now. I am in Florida. It is six o'clock in the morning. I am actually staying temporarily with one of my friends from college, and her family members are also here. So it's early in the morning, I'm recording this podcast from the quietest room in the house, and I'm trying not to be too loud. So maybe my voice is a little bit more subdued than normal. But yeah, I am about to take off to my third stop, which is Portugal.

I'm feeling really excited, and of course, I'm stoked to share more legs of this chapter of my nomadic life with you. Travel always helps me bring my fullest, most most overflowing-est cup to all of my clients. Travel just helps me spend less of my day in my head. Most importantly, travel just really blows my perspective wide open, and I'm so thankful to be able to do the thing that blows my perspective, and my heart and my soul absolutely wide open.

I am not taking the tiniest fraction of this chapter of my life for granted. The fact that I can still continue to do what I do and see my clients and work and live my regular life and travel at the same time is an immense privilege, and yeah, gotta acknowledge that. So episode 30, here we are. It's a mile marker. Because we're at a mile marker, I figured I would make some changes to the way I structure my podcast. I've learned a lot through 30 episodes.

I've evolved a lot through 30 episodes, and I've heard a lot from you, thankfully, through 30 episodes about what you want to hear more of, what you want to hear less of, what's working for you. So I've learned some things and I've decided that, from this point forward, I'm going to make some changes to the way I structure my solo episodes and the way I structure my guest interviews.

So just want to break that down for you real quickly pull over for a moment before I dive into today's topic. So the changes that I'm going to make to my solo episodes are that I'm going to keep all my solo episodes in list format, because I've gotten some really fantastic feedback on the episodes that I've done in list format so far. So the episode that I did two episodes ago, not two episodes ago was probably like five now, five episodes ago, about my time in Rome and stepping into an energy of ease and presence and flow, that was in list format and got really great feedback on that, was super tangible and helpful for people.

It was an effective way for me to share my personal experiences while also really sharing super actionable tools throughout the entire episode. The episode I did about like 10 tools for resetting your nervous system wants to hit the fan also got good feedback on that episode. So I'm going to make all my solo episodes kind of in this listy sort of format now. Then after I'm done with the list, I'm also going to answer some listener questions because I have definitely been getting some more listener questions as I start to record more episodes.

Then I especially get listener questions when I ask for them on my Instagram story, and people always respond to those. So I'm going to do all my solo episodes in list format, and then answer listener questions in the back half of the episode. Then, for my interviews moving forward, the new structure of my interviews from this episode forward is going to be inspired by a quote by Brene Brown that I absolutely love, which goes, “One day you will tell the story of what you went through, and it will become someone else's survival guide.”

I love this quote so much, and I think it really speaks to the mission of what I hope to achieve through my interviews with guests on this show. My guests have so beautifully, so vulnerably, so amazingly shared their experiences of what they've been through throughout their lives, how they've built their careers, how they've arrived to where they are today, and they're pretty much sharing their survival guides with you.

So I'm kind of just going to really jump on that theme and make all of my guests episodes moving forward, the Guest’s Survival Guide, and they will be sharing super actionable, tangible, air quotes, survival strategies with you based on the things that they've experienced and the things they've learned and the things they're educated in. At the end, they're also going to be sharing their survival bag, their survival toolkit, what books, what tools, what things would they be putting in their survival bag if they weren't going to share that with you.

So those are the two changes that I'm going to be making to episodes moving forward. All my solo episodes will be in listy format, and then I'm going to answer some listener questions. Then all of my guest episodes moving forward are going to be the Guest’s Survival Guide, because I love this quote by Brene Brown, and I'm feeling inspired to just make that change at episode 30. So you can definitely let me know your feedback as we start to get the ball rolling on these new episode formats.

Yeah, let me know, keep me posted. So the final change that I want to let you know about before I dive into today's topic is that I also am going to move to bi-weekly episodes. So I'm going to be releasing a new episode every other week versus every week, at least for the time being, just because I want to make sure that I'm providing you with the freshest and finest and most valuable content possible.

While I am traveling and bopping around, I think that weekly episodes can get to be a little bit much, and so I'm going to experiment with bi-weekly and give you two weeks to listen to every episode to really squeeze the juice out of it, to maybe go back and listen to episodes that you haven't listened to yet and pop a new one off every other week. We'll see how it goes. You can give me your feedback on that too.

If you miss weekly episodes after like two, three weeks, definitely let me know because it's something I'm open to reinstating eventually. All right, that is all the check in, all the logistical updates for today. Let's dive into today's topic which I have been so friggin’ excited to talk to you about. I already know that today's episode is going to be called not a runner, because I'm talking about running, and I am, air quotes, not a runner.

So I'm coming to you approximately five days after running my first ever half marathon after truly, truly, truly, never running, never being a person that runs regularly in my entire life. This experience I had of training and running this half marathon was so incredibly informative and transformative for me, and I feel like I've got a lot of lessons that I can share. So in the spirit of keeping it listy format, I'm going to be sharing 10 major lessons, 10 major takeaways that I had from this half marathon experience.

But before I dive into that list, let me tell you a little bit about how I ended up deciding to run a half marathon as not a runner. So first of all, I think it's important to remind you, if you don't already know, that I am recovered from an eating disorder. I am almost a decade, pretty much, recovered from an eating disorder, and I am about, I would say, a little less than a decade recovered from a compensatory and not so great relationship with exercise.

So I am not running a half marathon as someone who's just always had this like “ladida” empowering, balanced relationship with fitness and with food. I'm running half marathon as a recovered person, as someone who has a history of using exercise to punish myself and someone who has a history of really restricting food. Now, I live in a recovered body and a recovered brain, and I counsel other people who are navigating eating disorder recovery and navigating exercise addiction and things like that.

So I'm feeling pretty proud to be on this microphone saying that it is possible to recover fully from these challenges, and it's possible to train for a big event like a half marathon as a recovered person. It is possible. I decided that I was ready to do this in May of 2021, so it was a long time ago. I had just moved out of New York City, and I was at a bar with my friends. I was like, “You know it would be really interesting if I could run the New York City half marathon one day.”

I feel like that would be a really meaningful thing because you run through all the boroughs, and it's kind of like a cool way to honor the city and run through the city. It's like a cool New Yorker thing to do. I would love to return to New York one day and just to be able to run that half marathon. I feel like that'd be a fun challenge for my body, a fun thing to train for, a fun experiment to do and see what I learned from it.

One of my friends who was there, he was like, “Well, you know, the New York City half is kind of like, pretty intense. There's a lot of hills and whatever, so maybe you should run like a flatter half before you do the New York City half and see if you like it and see if you feel like you can do it. I'm running the Miami half in January 2022, and it's going to be in Miami in January. There's going to be no hills, because it's Miami. You could run it with me and see if you enjoy the experience, and then maybe if you do, you can plan to do the New York half the following year,” or something like that.

I wasn't super drunk or anything at this bar, but I definitely was a little bit looser, and I was like, “That sounds like a great idea,” decided that in there that I'm gonna sign up for this half marathon in Miami for January 2023. I think I might have said 2022, January 2023, so just a couple of days ago. It felt like a pretty spontaneous decision at the time, but it also was pretty aligned, because I was genuinely feeling like I have healed my relationship with exercise so much that I just love trying out new things now.

I really love giving myself the opportunity to experiment with movement. Like, I, now, teach this strength and conditioning class in Denver when I'm there, and it's a different format than I ever thought I was going to teach for a while. I only ever taught dance fitness and bar and yoga and things like that. If you had told me a few years ago that I would be teaching a strength and conditioning like CrossFit style class, I'd be like, “You're crazy.”

But over the last 5, 10 years, because I have really healed my relationship with exercise, I've just been feeling like exercise is something that can be just like fun and playful and experimental, and I can try out new forms of movement, and I don't have to get attached to them. I could do them for a little bit and decide I don't like them anymore and kind of dip in and out. So I was feeling good about running, about getting started with this thing.

So that is how I ended up registering for the Miami half marathon. My friend who had encouraged me to sign up for this half marathon was a particularly great friend to sign up for the race with because he's a physical therapist, and so he has a lot of great health and physical therapy tools for preventing injury. Then he also had run a few half marathons himself for the first time pretty recently, so he had already run like two half marathons, but it was like something that he pretty recently started doing too.

So he had a lot of clinical experience to draw from and then personal experience to draw from to help me and guide me kind of through this process. So I felt pretty lucky having signed up for my first half with this particular friend. Yeah, that's how I ended up deciding to dive into this experience as not a runner. I really, really never spent that much time on the treadmill. I barely ever been on any runs outside, and I just decided to go for this, to dive in.

So I'm so excited today to share what I've learned with you. So here we go. Here are my half marathon lessons that I learned as not a runner. So lesson number one is that there is so much power in trying to do something that you think you cannot do, and the key is the word trying. There's a lot of power in trying to do something that you think you cannot do, not necessarily doing it fully, but just tapping into the power of trying to do that thing.

There's so much power in just trying, just giving yourself the opportunity to take a stab at it. There's no failure, as long as you try. Sure maybe that sounds like a super cheesy way to start this episode, but I really felt unattached to the outcome of this half marathon. I gave myself the opportunity to just try to train for it and to just try to run it.

Because I wasn't attached to the outcome, I felt so much gratification and learned so many lessons just from trying to do this thing that I thought that I maybe couldn't do, which was running, after not being a runner for my my entire life, after just being a dancer and a strength and conditioning coach and anything but a runner. There was so much power in just buying shoes and getting on the treadmill and getting outside for a run even if I didn't run the distance that I plan to that day, even if I didn't stay on the treadmill for that long.

Just getting out there and deciding to try it and deciding to do the thing was super powerful and really, really beneficial, honestly, for my personal self esteem and for my personal sense of what I was capable of. So this one applies so far beyond running. Remember that there's so much power in simply trying to do the thing that you think you cannot do, and simply trying to challenge yourself, not turning it into a pass fail system, so not saying like, “I have to be successful at this.” “I have to run for a certain amount of time.” “I have to achieve a certain amount of whatever.”

But just letting yourself feel the gratification of trying, feeling the gratification of wow, I actually put the shoes on and stepped outside today. That's something that Maria Terry also talks about in her episode, which is probably like 10 or 15 episodes ago now. But it's an episode called Authenticity, Transforming Your Relationship With Food and Movement, something like that.

Maria Terry talks about how cool it is to just celebrate the person who says, “Do you want to go on a run today?” Not the person who finishes the run but the person who says, “Do you want to go on a run today?” That is, I think, the number one lesson that I took away from training for a half marathon. Lesson number two is fuck the plan. I think this is especially important for beginners.

I got some questions on my Instagram about what would be my number one recommendations for beginners with running, people who are interested in trying to train for running event after not really running very much for their entire life, and I really do think that rigidity doesn't work for any type of exercise and that includes running.

Even though people seem to think that we need to hit certain mileage and certain numbers and certain metrics in order to be successful, I really do think that there can't be anything more important than preventing injury and feeling good and feeling present in your body. If trying to hit a certain number or a certain amount of mileage or a certain metric during a training day is going to cause injury or prevent you from feeling good and prevent you from feeling present in your body.

You absolutely cannot justify working towards that even on the day of the marathon, even on the day of the half, right? Obviously, the half is a certain amount of miles that I want to run. It's 13.1 miles. I had to walk at mile 10, because my left leg started really, really cramping up at mile 10. I was like, okay, if I don't take some time to walk this off, I am going to get injured, and it's going to be really bad. So nothing could be more important, truly, than preventing injury.

Nothing could be more important than actually feeling good from the run. So I think really letting go of numbers as much as possible is very important. Should you have some days where you have short runs, and some days when you have longer runs and set a gentle bar for how much you want to run so that you train appropriately? Yes, that is an important part of preventing injury.

But if you're out there one day and you're supposed to run five miles and your bodies and your knees are really cramping up at 4 or 4.1 or 4.2, stop running. It is not going to make that big of a difference whether or not you hit five. I found myself kind of falling into a trap with that a little bit sometimes.

For a really long time I've been recovered, and I've been letting go of numbers and like calorie counts and like the crazy things that I used to do when I was in a very compensatory relationship with exercise, but with running, I felt almost tempted and a little bit triggered at times to be like, okay, I can't stop until I hit this one specific amount of miles or this one specific time that I need to be running. You gotta let that go.

Because if you fall into this trap of I have to be running for this hyper specific amount of time, this hyper specific amount of miles and you're very rigid about that number, it is such a high risk for falling back into a rigid and compensatory and punishing relationship with movement. So, yes, you can have a gentle plan, and it's important to have a plan that's going to help you train appropriately and prevent injury can help you work up to running a certain amount of miles in a way that your body is used to.

Also, fuck the plan, and also, don't let it be too rigid. Also, don't let yourself get attached to numbers. There is nothing more important than preventing injury and feeling good and feeling present in your body. Getting too rigid about numbers and amount of miles and exactly how much you have to do on this day of the plan is going to get in the way of those things. So when people asked me about my half marathon training plan, they were like, oh, how many miles do to this day, and with which plan did you do.

Honestly, I was a lot looser with the plan than you might think I was. I used the Nike running app, and I did like the road to half marathon plan. They automatically generate one, but I didn't follow it on a lot of weeks, because cross training was also really important to me. I wanted to keep up with doing dance fitness, and I wanted to keep up with the strength and conditioning class that I was teaching in Denver.

Cross training is really, really important. You've got to make sure that you're strengthening your muscles, that you're working your core, that you are stretching. I'll talk about that in a minute. So if you're sticking to this rigid running plan and making that like the thing that your life pivots around, you're also going to miss out on cross training opportunities, which are going to be really important for preventing injury and just feeling good in your body.

Don't forget that training in other ways also makes you capable of being a better runner. It's not just about running. It's about making sure that your body is just overall well-adapted to exercise and that you have a good cardiovascular capacity, which can be achieved in a million different ways. Okay, that was a long one.

Lesson number three is that running can be like a breath work practice. Running can feel like a breath work practice. So I've talked about breathwork on this podcast a lot. I am a certified somatic breathwork facilitator. I love using breath work with my clients, because I really believe it's an incredible way to clear stress out of your body and really facilitate a stronger connection to your hunger cues and your fullness cues and your functional cravings in your body and heal body image and so many great things. I love breathwork.

There's so much amazing research coming out on breathwork and how it might even be a better modality than meditation for a lot of people. I realized within my first few runs that running is like a breath work practice, because you really do need to tune into your breathing, make sure that you're breathing deeply, make sure that you're breathing fully and completely while you're running.

It is also an act of becoming present in your body and tuning into your body and not avoiding your body. Running is probably the opposite of avoiding your body if you're doing so appropriately and in a way that's going to prevent injury, right? When you're running, you've got to make sure you're tuning into how you're feeling the entire time, and you also really can focus on your breath, especially if you are running in Denver, Colorado like I was where it's very dry and very high altitude, and you've really got to get used to breathing there.

I used to think that running was incredibly boring. I used to think what could be more boring than just doing the same exact thing for an hour, especially as someone who grew up dancing and doing all different kinds of exercise like Pilates and yoga where we’re just moving dynamically and doing something different every two seconds. But when I started running this time around, I realized that it's not boring.

The repetition of running really gives me an opportunity to connect with my body and connect with my breath and release tension and stress in a way that feels like a breathwork practice. I, nowlove that about running. When I run I get this opportunity to start in one place and just keep going deeper and deeper and deeper with myself and really connecting with myself and connecting with my thoughts and connecting with my feelings and like I've heard people say this for my whole life and I never believed them because I was like running is just so freakin’ boring.

But if you really are present in the act of running, it's like a breathwork practice. It is a way to connect with your body, to connect with your breath, to connect with yourself. I encourage you to think a little bit more about that. Lesson number four, doing something new always feels super freakin’ vulnerable, and that includes running and that includes anything new that you want to try. You can expect that it is going to feel vulnerable.

I want to share that my first run that I ever did outside in Denver, I felt like I was on a stage. Truly, I went running at this park in Denver, Sloan's Lake that like all of the people in Denver go running out. As you can probably imagine, people in Denver go hard with all sports and all activities, and running is not excluded from that list of activities that people really go hard. So there was a lot of people at this park running that have probably been running for their entire lives and probably have run like 95 half marathons and whatever.

So I'm there for the first time ever, and I started running, and I felt myself get in my head immediately. I was like, I think people might be looking at me, and I think they can tell that I'm new. I think they can tell I'm going at a pace that is not their pace, and I feel like they're looking at me. Yeah, they know, they know, they totally can tell that I'm new.

It certainly reminded me of when I'm talking to a client who's like going to the gym for the first time or going to a group fitness class for the first time, and they say to me like, “Caitie, everyone's gonna stare at me and everyone's gonna know that I'm new. I just feel so vulnerable going in there for the first time.” I personally haven't had that experience of feeling that way at the gym or at a group fitness class, because I have been doing that stuff for a really long time.

I'm a fitness instructor. But I was so grateful to have this experience with the running of feeling like everyone's staring at me, and everyone can tell that I'm new because I'm like, okay, I get what this feels like. I felt like I was on a freakin’ stage. I'm positive, I'm positive that no one could tell I was new. I'm positive that no one, actually, I'm not positive. Maybe they could tell I wasn't new, but like, I'm positive that no one cared.

I'm positive that it wasn't as big of a deal as it felt like it wasn't my brain. But I felt so vulnerable and so new to the experience, and so the act of running that. Like, yeah, my nervous system was just tested. It felt unsafe. It felt like I was treading new water, and I was doing something for the first time ever. It always feels unsafe to our nervous system to try something new to test out making a really big change in our life.

It's crazy to think how far I came from that very first run that I did outside in Denver in August or September to the day of the half marathon where I was just feeling super confident, and I was like no one knows that I’m new. Everyone thinks that this is not my first half marathon or whatever, not because I was fast, but just because I felt more comfortable. Yeah, I think just the takeaway from that lesson, it's just that you're going to feel vulnerable when you try something new.

Whether or not that thing is running, you're going to have that moment where you're like, ooh, can people tell I'm new or people staring at me. That is part of what makes trying something new, such a powerful experience, because you have that experience of being vulnerable, and you have that experience of feeling on stage a little bit, and you overcome it. You move through it, and you come out stronger and more capable, and you come out ready to rock, like ready to go like I can handle anything.

People can think what they're going to think, and I can handle it because I survived that one time when I was so sure that everyone was staring at me. That's tip number four.

Tip number five is when you're trying something new, and obviously this applies to running, this whole podcast applies to running, do this shit with friends.

Try to do it with someone who gives you a sense of support and comfort and community in whatever way you can even if it's just sometimes that you're doing it with a friend, because I ran this half marathon with a friend, like I said, the friend who was like suggested this to me initially at a bar in May 2022. He gave me a lot of support and encouragement and tips and tools along the way.

I was also constantly texting my friends who had recently run their first half, and they shared insights about what they did during their last weeks of training, their last days of training. They shared tips about what shoes and what leggings and what things helped them and what helped them with their mindset and all of those things. I would not have been able to do this without my friends.

Because every time I tried to give a Google to like, oh, running your first half marathon and tips for running a half marathon for non runners and things like that, it was just like the Wild West. There's so much information out there. Exercise and nutrition are not good things to Google. Pro tip, exercise and nutrition are things that you should get professional support with, and then also a little bit of personal and friendship friendly support with because you google this stuff, and it's all over the map.

Not only is most of what you read about nutrition and exercise on the internet not supported by research and science, but it's also just like, all over the place. People have all kinds of opinions. So you might as well talk to professionals and to friends that you trust, and get a support, get community around this stuff.

Tip number six is let your body heal from everything. While you are training, it is very important that you are not pushing yourself to run through injury because nothing can be worse than getting injured while you are training for something.

Nothing can be worse than getting injured, period. It is so important above anything else to keep your body safe. When I say let your body heal from everything, I say that because I had one really specific experience. So even if it doesn't seem like you're recovering from a running related strain or a running related muscle pull or a running related injury, you've got to let yourself heal from everything.

So I had a really weird thing happen to me while I was training, and this is a little bit of a vulnerable moment. But I had this like super annoying ingrown hair on my inner thigh while I was training for the marathon. Who knows why the hell this ingrown hair happened in this particular area, but dude, I did not let this ingrown hair that got a little bit irritated heal before I went on a long run.

Because I didn't give it the time that it needed to heal before I went on the long run, it got even worse. I will totally spare you the details of this experience. But let me tell you that if I had just taken the day off from running and given this ingrown hair some time to chill out, some time to drain, some time to do its thing. Sorry, trigger warning, super gross if you're imagining that, but it would have been fine.

But instead, I didn't give my body the opportunity to rest and recover because I was like, ooh, maybe I should stick to my plan. I gotta go on my long run today, right? Like fuck the plan. That was a lesson I learned that I shared with you earlier. I should have set off the plan that day and just did a yoga class that day because I didn't need to be going on this long run and further irritating my body.

So even if you're not dealing with tight calves or like a running related muscle pull or like super sore quads, even if you're just dealing with a little injury or bodily discomfort, like an ingrown hair, you definitely should take time off of running because nothing can be worse than further infecting something like that, further irritating something like that, further bothering something like that, and then preventing yourself from being able to run for like a week, because that is what happened to me.

I was not able to run for a little bit after that one time I decided to push through this thing and go on my long run anyway, because my body was like, um, absolutely not. We cannot run right now. Yeah, just imagine a skin irritation on your inner thigh while you're trying to run. It's all I got to say about that.

Tip number seven is kind of related to this, and it's really pay attention to how your body moves, how it feels to move, and being present while you are exercising is the most important thing to prevent injury.

So every time I kind of found myself just completely zoning out and detaching while I was running like, of course, you can get into your music and stuff like that, and I'm going to talk about that in a second. But every time I would let myself go down a rabbit hole of thinking about the next thing I had to do or the next day or my clients or my workload or making my packing list or my grocery list and things like that while I was running, I would end up moving my body in a way that wasn't really so good for it.

So if you don't feel capable of being present for a run, if you're feeling like your brain is too tired to give some attention to how your foot is striking the ground and how you're engaging your core and how you're rolling your shoulders down your back, if you don't feel like your brain is up for paying attention to those things on a certain day, don't go on a run that day. Make sure that you are running on days where you're able to really stay fully attuned to how your body is moving.

It doesn't need to be like this extreme meditation and mindfulness practice. Like I said, you can get into your music and things like that. It's important that you are able to stay attuned to the way your body is moving on a given day, because that is going to be the most important thing for preventing injury and also for making your runs feel really good. If you're running, only to wait for it to be over, don't run.

If you're running only to think about your grocery list or your workload or five years into the future or whatever it is the entire time, that's not a great day to go on a run. In general, it is important to do forms of movement that allow you to be present. If you're doing forms of movement where you find yourself constantly dissociating and zoning out while you're doing them, you're probably not doing the forms of movement that feel intrinsically enjoyable for you, and so maybe choose a different form of movement.

If running is something that you have a really hard time being present while you're doing, then maybe it is not a form of movement that really feels good and nourishing and mindful for you.

Tip number eight is that running is not just about your body. So yes, it's important to stay mindful and attune to your form, and you don't necessarily need weights and a yoga mat or a bike or things that you might need for other forms of movement.

Running is mostly about your body, but you do have to get gear for running. Like, it's not a simple thing. It's kind of an involved thing. Like when I became a runner for this half marathon, when I decided I was going to train for it, I was like, well, it's cool, because wherever I am in the world I can run. It's always accessible to me. I don't need any specific form of gear or equipment, and you absolutely do need specific care and specific equipment.

You absolutely do need to get the right shoes. You absolutely do need to get the right fanny pack to carry your phone and your chapstick and, oh my gosh, extra contact lenses, if you're blind like me. The first time I went on a run, I actually ended up losing a contact lens because the Colorado air is so dry, and I couldn't see out of one eye for the remainder of my run, and it was miserable.

You need to get the right pants, if you want to be able to put something in your pockets. You need to get a water bottle that you can keep around your waist. You need to get headphones that aren't going to fly out of your ears while you're running. You've got to get the gear. If you're running a long race like a half marathon, you also do need to get fuel that you can have during the race.

You need to figure out what kind of fuel works good for your digestive system, for your tummy. You need to figure out what kind of electrolyte water you like to drink. There is more to this than just your body. Don't expect yourself to just fly out the door and go on a run, like it's no big deal. If you're doing that, fine, but it is possible that you might not be wearing shoes that are good for your ankles or the soles of your feet and you know the rest of your body.

It's possible that you won't have the most comfortable run, and it's possible that you probably won't like running. Because when I didn't have all the gear that I needed for my first run, like when I didn't have headphones that didn't fly out of my ears, when I didn't have fanny that was capable of holding the things that I needed for that run, when I didn't have a water bottle on my first run, I was like, let's not feeling so hot. I didn't really like running that much.

The reason I learned to like running, one of the reasons I learned to like running is because I got the appropriate gear. It's an involved sport. It's a sport. It's a thing. You've got to buy to gear for it, and that is just another lesson that I learned. Lesson number nine is related to the music. Once you've got the right headphones, once you've got the right gear to get going, this is something fun that I've learned.

If you want to make running an intentional spiritual practice before you go on your run, choose an emotion that you want to process during the run, really tap into how you're feeling that day. Is there some anger boiling up in you? Is there a little bit of stress and anxiety boiling up in you? What is it that you want to process? Make a playlist that will help you process that emotion and listen to it during your run. Now, this probably doesn't apply to sadness.

You can't decide you're sad and like, listen to really slow and piano ballads while you're running. But this definitely applies to high energy emotions, like anger and stress and tension and things that make you feel just like really bound up. I loved doing this. If I felt like I needed to relieve stress or step into a sense of empowerment on a given day, I would make a really specific like Lizzo and Miley and empowering playlist and listen to that while I ran and really, really tap into that energy of empowerment that I needed to get tapped into.

On some days, I was feeling some like breakup grief, and some like feels about my dating life and men and I listened to, not gonna lie, Olivia Rodrigo. What's that song? Good For You while I was running, and it felt so empowering and so good to process the emotions of just like frustration while running. I think that is one of the most fun parts about running is that you can choose an emotion that you want to process and you can listen to a playlist that really helps you process that emotion and tap into that feeling while you're running.

Loved it. So I definitely would recommend doing that. Make your playlists intentionally, take time to make playlists that kind of tap into the feeling that you know you need to process during the run or tap into whatever it is you want to feel during the run, the sense of the desired feeling that you have the desired feeling that you want to cultivate while you're running that day. Yeah, listen to that playlists.

Also for the half, for the day of the half, I actually posted on my Instagram and asked my clients to send me song recommendations for the playlists that I would be listening to that day for like my extra long 13.1 mile run, and it was so so so special to have this playlist that was curated by my clients who are some of the most special people in my life and to have their song recommendations as I was running my super long run.

So I also would recommend that too. That's a sub tip on this tip. Have people that you really care about curate a playlist for you, have them recommend songs for you and listen to that on one of your really long runs, and you can think of the special people in your life while you're running.

Then tip number 10 is I've kind of said this throughout some of the tools that I've shared already, but tip number 10 is it's gotta be fun for you to run.

It's got to be intrinsically enjoyable for you to run. Your run cannot be about the after. It's got to be about the during. If you're having a hard time getting yourself to the place where you don't enjoy the during and every time you start running, you think about okay, well, I can't wait for this run to be over, running might not be the best thing for you to do. Doesn't mean that every single second of the run is going to be enjoyable. Absolutely not.

There is at least at least 15 minutes of every run. For me, it's usually within the first 25 minutes that I hate. There is at least 15 minutes of every run that I'm like, wow, is this kind of hard and sticky and like I don't like love this. I always break through that layer and feel so good. At one point, I actually access runner's high and get to a place where I'm like, okay, this feels really, really good, and I could keep going.

I'm so grateful that by the end of my training, I always access to that runner's high. Like within like 15 minutes of my run and I feel like if I wasn't able to access that feeling, I probably wouldn't have stuck with training and that's just okay, because remember that there's so much power in trying to do the thing that you think you cannot do. Not necessarily in succeeding, not necessarily in making it to certain numbers or metrics or whatever it is that you set for yourself, but there's so much power in trying to do the thing that you think you cannot do.

When you try and you let the success be in the fact that you tried, it doesn't matter if you end up enjoying it, because if you don't, you can be like, alright, I tried running, and I like it. That’s that. It doesn't have to be a big deal, and you get to move on to a new thing, a new challenge, a new experiment. I love experimenting with movement. I think that movement should be fun and playful and experimental, not something that we have this rigid pass-fail system around, not something that we have a list of obligations around, not something that is a punishment, or compensatory.

If you can't find the fun in the run, if you can't find the intrinsic motivation in the act of running itself, there's no shame in that. There's so many people who don't like running, so many people. Like I can't even tell you how many people when I told them, I was training for a half marathon are just like, “I'm literally never doing that.” I'm like, “Cool.” You never have to do it. That's what's so cool about life is that we get to make autonomous decisions, and that's what's so cool about movement is that we can choose to experiment with the things that we want to experiment with, and we don't have to do anything.

So you've got to find the fun in the run, not in the bottomless brunch after, not in the moment when they put your medal around you after you finish your half marathon. You've got to find a way to enjoy the during. If you're having a hard time enjoying the during, please refer back to my first nine tips. Please get the gear that you need in order to be able to listen to music and carry a water bottle and fuel yourself while you're running and feel comfortable while you're running.

Please let your body heal from everything that it needs to heal from, before you force yourself to go on a run even if it's not a running related injury, even if it is an ingrown hair. Maybe you shouldn't be running that day. Please pay attention to how your body moves while you're running and run on days that you're able to be actually present with yourself and with your body. Do this shit with friends. Do it with a community.

Ask people for support, talk to people about it. Go on runs with people when you can. Remember that doing something new feels really vulnerable. Fuck the plan, and don't be too rigid about it. Know that you're going to get the training that you need to get even if you don't hit hyper specific numbers and measurements. Remember that running can be like a breathwork practice.

Remember that there's a lot of power in the trying and try to choose an emotion that you want to process or an emotion that you want to tap into while you're running and curate a playlist around that and let that playlist fly while you run, and let that feel good. Alright, so those are my tips. Those are my tools. Those are the things I really want to share with you today about what I learned from running my first half.

Like I said, I'm going to include a little Q&A session on all my solo episodes now. So I'm going to dive into some questions that I got on Instagram about running and training for my first half before we wrap up today. All right, here we are Q&A part of this episode. So I asked on the day of my half when I posted that I finished my half if anyone has any questions about training and running a half after you recover from an eating disorder and all of that stuff, and I got some good questions that I want to answer here.

So the first question that I received was, what might be disordered while you're training for a half marathon that you might not necessarily realize is disordered. I definitely spoke to this a little bit in the fuck the plan lesson that I learned, and I do think that all that stuff that I said there is important to keep in mind, right? If you're attaching to rigid numbers, and you're not letting yourself stop at 2.8 miles, when you plan to run 3 miles, like if you're getting attached to rigid numbers, that certainly is a red flag.

I think that people have a lot easier of a time justifying rigidity and numbers and counting when it comes to things like running, but it really isn't good for your mental health to let yourself get rigid and get stuck in numbers in any capacity. You do need to make sure that you're training your body appropriately and make sure that your body is adjusted to running a certain number of miles and running on certain pavements and certain things before you just try to run a half, right, because you don't want to injure yourself.

If you find yourself attaching to numerical values in a really rigid way, that certainly is a red flag that you're starting to fall into a disordered way of training. I think another thing is also pretty obvious, but maybe can be subtle for some people is a fixation on your body composition while you're running. I think some people also justify certain body image issues when they're running. They're like, “Oh, I just want to get my body fat down,” or “I'm excited to start running because I think I'm going to lose weight.”

Or people actually will say sometimes like, “Oh, running, it’s cardio. It’s a great way to lose weight. Your body is going to transform.” A fixation on body transformation and on weight loss is absolutely, absolutely a disordered and unhelpful way to train for an event. Can the training be about the achievement, the milestone marker of finishing the race? Can the training be about having fun while you're running as well?

Can the training not be about any results that you might see or observe on your body? Some bodies will change with running, and some bodies will not change with running. We really don't know what's going to happen to someone's body composition when they run, because every human being has a unique metabolism, unique genetics, unique things that are going to make their body have certain changes from doing a certain form of exercise that someone else might not experience.

So we obviously cannot attach to body image outcomes when it comes to running. Another thing that might be, I guess, maybe low key disordered, and you might not notice it, is if you get really, really fixated on meeting a certain time goal for the day of the event and kind of hinge your success on meeting that goal. Yes, a lot of people run as a sport, and sports are something that can be good for the soul.

Setting goals can be good for the soul and watching yourself progress and be able to chop a minute or two off your mile here and there can be really gratifying and there isn't anything wrong with it. Also, I think if you're running as a recovered person, it's important to not set such a rigid goal about how much time you want to finish in, and it is especially important to not hinge whether or not you feel successful on meeting that time goal.

I can share that I did not meet the gentle goal I set for myself to run this half marathon. I set a goal of like, I'd like to run it in around two hours. My brothers were coming to see me at the finish line, and I was like, “You know, I'll probably be done in about two hours or whatever.” I was well over 20 minutes past that, and I didn't feel like a failure in the end, because I had set the goal so gently, and it was just like, oh, I would like to run in that amount of time.

But honestly, the fact that I finished and I didn't get injured, and I felt happy and alive and a runner's high by the end of the race, like that was my success. I think it is really important to decide that the success is going to be in finishing and enjoying and not injuring yourself versus in making it in a certain amount of time. So yeah, I think that's another thing.

Then maybe one other thing too is if you're noticing that you're really contemplating like pushing yourself through injury, if you're feeling really sore on a certain day and you find yourself debating, like when should I go on a run, should I go on a run like, don't leave room for debate, when it comes to pushing yourself through a potential injury. If you are debating running on a day, when it's pretty clear that you shouldn't be running, then that's also a sign that you're maybe slipping into a disordered mentality with training.

Hopefully, that stuff is helpful. There's so much more I can say about it, and there's a lot of nuances, and I'm sure I'll continue reflecting on this in future episodes. The second question I got are like, what are your top tips for beginners? I think my top tips for beginners are a lot of the things that I mentioned already in my top 10 tips, but another thing is getting really, really, really good shoes.

So I started running in Nikes. In the middle of my training, my physical therapist friend that I did the race with was like you should get HOKAs, and I got HOKAs, and it was life changing. I felt like I was running on a cactus when I ran with these Nikes compared to the way I felt running in my HOKAs which was like running on a cloud. The first couple of runs I had in my HOKAs because I felt like I could run forever, literally forever, because of how much better they felt on my feet.

So definitely get shoes that work for your feet. I think HOKAs was really do work for a lot of people. Low key, you want to be sponsored by them because their shoes are amazing and so well designed and just love them. So I really would recommend taking your time to find shoes that feel really good for you, and knowing that the shoe really does make a difference. If you're someone who thinks that you hate running, you might actually like running with the right shoes.

It's crazy how that can transform your relationship with running, for sure. My second top tip for beginners is stretch, stretch, stretch, stretch. I can't recommend enough having a regular yoga practice if you're going to be running. So finding a yoga streaming service that you really like, finding free yoga YouTube videos that you like, finding a yoga studio that you like, nothing could be more important than making sure you take time to open up your hamstrings, open up your hips, release your lower back.

Also, doing just the relaxation of yoga is really important for your nervous system, right, because pushing yourself through a long run or even through a short run really spikes your system and gets you kind of all amped up and stresses out your body a little bit. So actively re-regulating your nervous system through yoga will be a really important part of this process too, so that your body doesn't like freak out and think what the heck are we doing here, especially if you've never run before.

It can feel stressful for your nervous system. Your body could think you're going through a little T trauma or something if you're just all of a sudden flying into running. So taking the time to re-regulate yourself through a practice like yoga and then to just stretch and prevent injury. I hardcore committed to yoga in like the last month and a half before the marathon. When I say hardcore, I just mean I did it every single day.

It wasn't like I went to a 90 minute class every day, but I subscribed to the class by Taryn Toomey that fitness streaming service, and they have yoga classes on there. So I would do at least a 10 or 15 minute one every single morning. It was really helpful because for some reason for the month leading up to the marathon, I had people staying with me in my apartment in Denver and like a bunch of friends rotating through visiting me during that time.

So I just told my friends that were sitting with me that I was committed to doing 10 minutes 15 minutes of yoga every morning. Can you do it with me? So I had like a little accountability buddy every morning that I did yoga with and that really protected my body from injury, that made my runs feel a lot better, that made my nervous system feel re-regulated after running. It was great. So really, really recommend committing to stretching, to yoga, to breathing, to restoring, and also to baths.

I mean, I love baths. I talk about them all the time in many capacities on this podcast, but just really soaking in Epsom salt also makes a world of difference. Your body needs that time to rest, to restore, to release, to relax. The recovery and the rest days are just as important as the running days, just as important, not like they're a nice thing to do if you get time. You need the rest. You need the stretching. You need the relaxation.

The human body is not designed to just run without restoration, and the human body is barely even designed to run these long distances to begin with. You're already forcing yourself to run 13.1 miles which is something that the human body was barely designed for, to begin with. So you've really got to give yourself that time to recover from it, truly. Another question I got was like, what bra did you wear? What shoes did you wear?

I already mentioned that I got HOKAs because I love HOKAs. The ones that I got are called Rincons, Rincon. Oh, I'm saying that right? But I'm sure all the HOKAs running shoes are great. I can't make a recommendation for a sports bra because I'm like a B, C cup at best, kind of like a B cup, and I think that I have a lot of body privilege when it comes to the size of my boobs frankly. I never have to worry about that.

Like, I could exercise without a bra sometimes and be fine. I don't think that I can make a recommendation for people who have bigger boobs than me, because I know that you're going to have a very different experience running than me. But that said, my friend, Nicole, who was on this podcast a few episodes ago, had to get a breast reduction, she ran a half marathon before she had her breast reduction.

She said that the best sports bras for her were Nike sports bras, and she said in particular, like the older Nike sports bras that she had from like middle school were like the best ones. She like found Nike sports bras that she had from a really long time ago, and they were the best ones for her. So maybe check out Nike sports bras. If you happen to have any older ones that you like, or if there's like a access to vintage Nike sports bras, I know it's like such a sketchy recommendation, but maybe, maybe give that a try.

I will continue to research this because I do want to be inclusive in my recommendations, and speaking from my personal experience about that is just not a just not going to cut it. The next question that I got was, what tips did your physical therapist friend that you ran the race with give you? I don't have time to give all the specific tips and things and all the ways that all my amazing friends are helpful for me, but I will share a few things that my friend helped me with, a few of his best tips.

The first one is simple. He told me you got to keep your effort at a 5 out of 10 intensity, especially on longer runs, and that was really important for me, 5 out of 10 intensity, because I'm a very high energy person. I have a tendency to just like sprint into everything, not just runs in life in general, in work and all the things and thinking about. Keeping my effort at a 5 out of 10 intensity was so helpful for preventing injury, for making longer runs accessible to me.

Spending time on my feet was the most important thing, just keeping in mind that spending time on my feet was going to be an important part of training, even if I was run-walking. It was more just like getting used to the distance and the time on my feet. So not putting so much pressure on myself to make every run perfect, 5 out of 10 intensity, even if I'm doing like a walk-run. I'm still spending time on my feet and giving myself the opportunity to train for the race.

Also, remembering, and this is a tip from my friend as well, I'm sharing all the tips from my friend that like I didn't have to get up to 13.1 miles in my training. Eight to nine miles of running is fine. Especially because on the day of the race, you're so amped up from the crowd, and you're so amped up from just like the hype of the cheering people and all of the energy, you don't need to push yourself to a 13.1 mile run during training.

Eight to ten miles is fine for a few long runs during your training. The last tip I can share from my friend that was really helpful was he said run the first five miles with the brain, the second five miles with your body and the last 3.1 miles with your heart. So the first five miles with your brain, just running easy and calm, making sure you keep that eight or that 5 out of 10 intensity, not pushing yourself too much.

Keeping a nice pace, thinking about your form, thinking about how you're running. Second five miles with your body, so really trusting your training, trusting that you've done enough. Your body's ready for this. You've got it. You're good. Then running the last 3.1 miles with your heart really using the crowd and using the energy and using your music and just letting yourself feel good.

I can certainly say that I did this, especially the second five miles with my body because after the second five miles, my body was like, Oh my God. I told you my whole left leg cramped up, and I had to walk for a while, which I felt mildly disappointed about for all 15 seconds. Then I was like the successes and the fact that I'm going to finish this race, and the success is in the fact that I'm able to listen to my body, take care of my body right now, give my body what it needs, shake it off, fuel up, get some salt, get some electrolytes, get some water, and then get back to running.

After walking for almost a mile frankly, I was able to get back to running and finish like the last almost five miles of the race which felt amazing. It felt amazing to give myself what I needed to recover and restore and then run that last couple miles with my heart using the crowd, using the energy and just letting myself be proud and letting the fun be, as I said earlier, in the run, letting the fun be in the process, not in the ending.

So that's what I've got for you today: tips and tools and Q & A after my first half marathon experience. I might do it again if you're wondering, but I haven't decided yet. I would like to probably run the New York half like I initially set out to do and also I'm going to give myself some time to get back to focusing more on the other forms of movement that I really like enjoy the traveling that I'm about to do right now.

Then I'll decide later and not putting pressure on myself to decide right now is, I think, another thing that I've learned too is that exercise can be experimental and fun and a little bit on a whim, just doing what feels good. Letting yourself decide in the moment, not attaching to rigidity, not attaching to I have to achieve this goal and this goal. Yeah, just letting it flow and letting it be through different stages and phases of my life.

I hope that wherever you are, you have a beautiful rest of your day, a beautiful peaceful rest of your week. I'll see you back here on the microphone in two weeks for the first Survival Guide episode with a very special guest. If you enjoyed this episode, please leave a five star review on Apple or Spotify. It means a lot to have positive reviews, and I also want to hear from you. If you found something in this episode helpful, if you have more questions about something I talked about in this episode, I love hearing from you.

I do have some space for one-on-one and group counseling open right now, you can check out my website for more information about the holistic nutrition and body image coaching that I offer. All right, see you next time.


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