My Journey to Running a Half Marathon

When clients come to us to get a nutrition plan, they are eager and excited to get started.  Where it often gets difficult is when the changes actually start to be implemented.  Then begins the troubleshooting, overcoming barriers, brainstorming, and the practical day-to-day consistency.

While I’m a far cry from perfect, I do find the nutrition side of things fairly manageable – most days.  I try and practice what I preach:  meal planning, eating balanced, and navigating the grocery store. These are all areas I feel fairly comfortable in.

Fitness and exercise on the other hand, is a completely different ball of wax.  I have a page-long list of excuses why I “can’t” exercise or fit activity into my day.  So, I bit the bullet in the New Year and set a goal for 2016 – run a half marathon, in my best time, in the heat of Hawaii.

Getting Started

All of this sounded really good at the time. I had a training program developed for me and my goals were mapped out beautifully. It is now six weeks into my plan and I am realizing the challenge of what I signed up for.  Before I started I was lucky to do “yoga” (a.k.a. gentle stretching) once a week, and now I must exercise 4-5 times per week. But I was excited and motivated – nothing could stop me! And oh how quickly I fell off of the plan.  My trainer encouraged me to stick with it, aiming for 90% of the plan rather than focusing on every time I felt I “failed”.

My Biggest Barrier?

TIME! Early mornings and late nights often mean that burpees and lunges are the last thing I feel like doing when I get home. The effort, discipline, and organization it takes to make my workouts happen is way more than I thought. I’m truly understanding what it feels like to be on the other side of a plan. I now know the overwhelming sensation that can happen when I tell new clients to introduce new foods and recipes, grocery shop, plan, cook, prepare, avoid certain foods and only choose others.  This is the equivalent to my plan for circuit training, spin classes, short runs, long runs, warm ups, cool downs, rolling my muscles and stretching.


My short term motivation is to kick butt on this run. My long term motivation is to avoid injuries and illness by being strong and in good shape. But I can’t achieve either one of those goals if I don’t take the first step, and then the 40th, and then the 27,000th.  What surprised me most about my training plan was when my trainer told me how important the little things are. Doing a proper cool down, getting my steps in during the day, my hydration and nutrition, stretching and massaging, and even my posture at work will help me achieve my goals.  Ironically, I have to tell myself exactly what I tell my clients – Don’t discount the small successes you experience along the way.  They are all adding up! Baby steps (a.k.a. running 3km) are going to be much more successful and sustainable than aiming for my end goal on the first day of the plan (running 21.5km).  And trust me, I’m feeling every painful step!


Learn Raina’s 8 accountability strategies during marathon training.