Running Your First Half Marathon at 50+

This article was originally published by yours  truly  on

It was an early mid-June morning and I had just taught a Sculpting class for women aged 50 something+. The next class offered was spinning. I was about to jump on a spin bike, when I heard a whisper to my heart, “It’s so beautiful out. Why don’t you go for a run?” Hmmm, I thought. Why don’t I go for a run? The high school is so close. In the next five minutes, I found myself running around a beautiful track. I ran series of stairs, then the track again. At the end of the work out, I marveled I just ran three miles!

I felt so good, I ran again two days later around the track and surrounding trails. I looked online for some sort of training plan. The plans were endless but so was my enthusiasm! I wanted to inspire my daughters and son to always exercise and be fit, so we signed up to do a 5K run through Disneyland! The official training coach for Run Disney is Jeff Galloway, a former Olympian. I checked out his training plans and I was so impressed. He touts a run- walk-run program which anyone can do based on how fast (or slow!) you run a mile. For example, I run for 4 minutes and walk 30-60 seconds. This allows you to use different muscles and not over stress your running muscles. The alternate run-walk also allows you to have short goals to achieve while achieving more stamina and a lower heart rate. I also ordered his program for my Smart phone and listened to Jeff’s coaching three times a week during my runs. He gives tons of helpful tips and motivation. He even talks about right brain and left brain motivation and how tapping into our right brain (our creative side) helps us to creatively solve our challenges while we run. As a side note, I finished writing the last two chapters of my new book Reigning Fire: Discovering Holy Spirit Grace and Hope in Your Fiery Trials in my head while I ran!

This summer, I started to realize through my training runs, I could actually participate in a half marathon while I was still 50! I ran two 5K runs and two 10 K runs in preparation for the BIG day. The day I trained and ran a half marathon was my greatest accomplishment! I knew I was going to make my goal in the half marathon race.

My best tips for you are: stay as consistent as you can in your training runs. Practice everything you will do, wear and eat before your races. If you have not tried it before a race, do not try it on race day! I wear a hydration belt with two 10 ounce water bottles. I use an electrolyte replacement and eat bars at miles 1,  4 and 8. I also drink water at the last water station. I also take as many people’s prayer requests I can in my head and pray for them as I run. If I start to get tired, I start to praise and worship God for making it possible for me to run. I thank Him for the other runners, for the beauty of the day and for the hundreds of volunteers making this run possible.  I thank Him for greater endurance and strength in Him and a lower body fat percentage because He encouraged me to run!

God speed to you! Enjoy yourself and be blessed as you run your first half marathon!

p.s. I have now ran two half marathons! My second half marathon was exactly 2 minutes and 2 seconds faster! Yayyy, God!

I have another half marathon scheduled March 9th! I’ll let you know how it goes! After recently spending 2 weeks in Africa

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100on a missions trip, I ran four or five times with jr. high kids. Boy, they sure run fast! I am hoping the higher elevation will work in my favor!