Half Marathon Training: Changing up the purpose of this blog 

How the heck did I get here? I’m becoming someone who blogs about running. RUNNING! This exercise that I’ve avoided for at least two years. I’d do anything — spinning, barre, step classes — anything but run. And yet, somehow, I just decided to re-purpose my site to track my newest journey: half marathon training.

When the CEO of my company told me that anyone could train to run, I argued saying, “Anyone, but me.” Little did I know that a glass of red wine and a sushi boat later, he had mentally prepared the beginning of my training plan.

Monday morning I was starting up my computer and making coffee when I got a text: “Will you stop up to my office when you get in? I have the phase 1 of your marathon training plan for you.”

Luckily, I had already flown home from our corporate headquarters and was safely 1,300 miles away. Still, I thanked him for his willingness and picked up the phone…I was curious about what he prepared.

We reviewed a 16-week plan. It would take me through summer and get me up to four miles. Keep in mind that the .25 mile warm-up lap in high school track was always tough for me. My only experience in running was sprinting, and only at the shortest distances possible!

And yet — something made me want to try this. Something made me think that even though this was the toughest form of exercise for me, I had enough ambition to at least give it my best attempt. Plus, he had included a disclaimer that said if I got to the end of Phase 1 and wanted to stop, I could.

So, this is the story of my journey. I’m going to share the good, bad, and painful with you as I train to run 13.1 miles. Let’s all take a moment to recognize that the distance of a half marathon is comparable to a short drive.

Here’s to stepping out of your comfort zone and being your authentic self!


Barre3: Get Ready to Feel the Burn on Main Street

Barre3 Lakewood Ranch Instagram: A hallway with cubbies that leads to the studio, shower facility and lockers.
Barre3 Lakewood Ranch Instagram: A hallway with cubbies that leads to the studio, shower facility and lockers.

Lakewood Ranch, Fl — It’s here. The long-awaited and much-anticipated Barre3 has officially opened on Main Street and it brought cute yoga pants and kickass workouts with it. Following the grand opening, and free week of classes, Lakewood Ranchers can now purchase memberships for the yoga-pilates-ballet-infused classes.

Dubbed “a workout that works for anyone,” Barre3 brings intensity, cardio, low-impact and relaxation to a total-body workout like you’ve never seen before. As someone who has never attended a barre class, but has been anxiously wanting to try, I took advantage of the free week of classes and attended two.

Barre3 Instagram: a seating area located near the front of the studio where guests can browse clothing.
Barre3 Lakewood Ranch Instagram: a seating area located near the front of the studio where guests can browse clothing.

Since I reside at The Venue, the walk to and from the studio made it super easy to roll out of bed on a Saturday and Sunday morning. But what made it even easier was the welcoming atmosphere and encouraging instructors. The beautiful wood floors and clean white walls and furniture made the studio the perfect venue for a feel-good class. Each person in the class is set up with a rubber workout ball, 1 or 2 pound weights, and eventually a yoga mat which the instructor distributes during the class for you.

The upbeat, top-40s soundtrack was enough to get my heart pumping, but the cardio warm-up raised it even more. The warmup is a series of stretches followed by to-the-beat cardio moves done in place in front of a large dance studio mirror.

Following the warmup we dove right into the intense workout where I learned about the Barre3 “shakes and quakes” or “earthquakes.” As you complete a series of isometric holds that work your muscles to their deepest point followes by a series of controlled 1-inch movements, you may begin to feel your legs shaking. Don’t be alarmed! According to the instructors, this is normal and means you’re making changes. After the hold and 1-inch movements you tax the muscles and flush out the body with functional, large, dynamic moves. Designed to lift the heart rate, the cardio moves improve circulation and energizes the body.

While most of the class was done on the mat or standing up, the barre was used throughout and was always there to be used to modify any moves. The modifications offered for each move are only one of the amazing things about this group exercise, but hearing the instructor say, “Listen to your body. This is your hour. Do the moves that feel right to you,” was the best part.

Barre3 truly is a workout that works for everyone as the modifications offer a thorough full-body workout for individuals at any exercise level.

I’ll say that after two classes I was hooked and became a founding member. I attended four classes the following week and plan to attend four this week. With several class times offered each day of the week, there’s always something for everyone.

Barre3 offers membership plans, and even childcare, so that there are no more excuses to get back to being active. For information on pricing and class schedules, go to: barre3.com.