Why I decided to Run the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon

Running is really, really hard. Like, really hard. 

I don’t just mean physically. 


Running has been such a mental challenge for me. 

When I started my running journey, it was challenging to run more than 3 minutes without my mind taking over.

I would just stop and tell myself “I’m bored”

No part of me is exaggerating when I say 3 minutes.

I would go on a run, start running, and then 3 minutes into it, just start walking.

No rhyme or reason besides “I’m bored”, “I’m bored”, “I’m bored!”

To get through this challenge, a few elements were required; mental toughness , self-compassion, and gratitude. 

I believe everyone has their own mix of special ingredients to help them endure a challenge. 

Oh yeah, discipline as well.

Discipline, mental toughness, gratitude, and self-compassion. 

Hang on tight and I’ll explain why I chose to sign up for a half marathon. It’s such a fun story and makes me smile every time.

Before I go into juicy details of how I’ve successfully trained for the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon, it’s important to share that I did not enjoy running when I committed to 13.1 miles. 

I wanted to enjoy running but at the time, I DID NOT.

Running was hard for me.

Running was BRAND NEW for me.

Running was very scary to me.

Running was not a sport I was familiar with. 

All I knew was that I was ready to get over this fear of the unknown that was right in front of me.

Here’s how I trained:

The only way I know how to get through something is by understanding it. 

So guess what I did? 

  • Number 1. I hired a running coach
  • Number 2. I hired a Meditation guide. 
  • Number 3. I had massages every 2-3 weeks
  • Number 4. I tuned out the noise

I had to know everything about running and the way I was running. I needed a plan that would bring me to race day success (and by success I mean feeling good running through the race), and I really needed to control my thoughts.

Finding a Coach was FUNNY!

I went through 3 Coaches before matching with my current Coach. 

The 1st Coach had a lot of success as a runner and as a Coach. However, when we got on our first call, I felt like my goal was intangible and so far away. 

This Coach was using a lot of “running language” and I didn’t speak the language at all. 

To be clear, I don’t even think I speak the running language now. (I still don’t know what a fartlek is and think that is the funniest term. Fart.)

Anyways, that’s a really common Coach move. It’s the “I know all of this and you know none of this. That’s why you need to hire me NOW” approach. I’m glad I didn’t fall for it.

The 2nd Coach and I never spoke. She sent me an email with a 24 hour time limit to respond otherwise my “Coaching Spot would be forfeited” I’m out. Bye. 

Then, the 3rd Coach was an E5 Coach for a brief period of time but then she moved on and I had to start from scratch with my Coaching hunt. 

When I found my current Coach, it was one of those things “when it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be”. She came highly recommended, as an experienced runner, and an experienced Coach. 

Finding the RIGHT Coach for you will take time.
It’s kind of like a therapist.
You’re lucky if you meet your match on your first try.

It was more like Mentorship with Mel vs Guided Meditation

I wanted to gain more control of my thoughts to help me overcome this imaginary brick wall I was running into. 

So, I reached out to the best guide I know, Melenie!

Melenie is E5’s Meditation guide and Yoga instructor.

Within our time meditating, we got into really specific details that would help me understand.. ME!

Here’s a really fun and gentle lesson I learned: 

A lot of people run to clear their minds. It helps them. 

My brain does not work like that. 

I am a thinker and an immediate do-er. 

When I have a thought, my body craves action. 

For example, right now, it’s 4:34pm and I decided to write this blog 3:27pm. As soon as I made up my mind, I had to act. 

I learned that “I’m bored” was just a story I was telling myself and It had become a habit. 

“I can’t run long distances” was another story I’ve told myself for years. 

The thoughts will race quickly and now through some breath practice, I have the tools to slow it down.

Gratitude became my favorite focal point on runs. Not allowing space for the negative thoughts to flow because your mind is filled with gratitude feels so refreshing.

Massage? No need to tell me twice!

I had massages every 2-3 weeks.

The most epic experience happened when our body work therapist at E5 was able to tell me about HOW I was running based on my musculature. 

Literally, which leg was pushing more, which was pulling more, and what to do to balance it out.

These massages helped me learn about myself as an athlete and performer.

We also talked about breathing and the mechanics of the sport. It was a total game changer.  

Tuning out the noise 

This one goes without saying.

With anything NEW, everyone will always want to share their experiences and their opinions.

For the most part, there is no harm in it. It’s about learning to keep what serves you and letting go of what doesn’t. 

Digesting everybody’s opinions; how to train, how to eat, shoes to wear, where to run, when to run, and even what to listen to when running, was a lot for me. 

So, I really honed in more to my meditation guide and my running coach. I tuned out what didn’t serve me. 

There you have it!

My magic ingredients to accomplishing half marathon training: hire coaches and get massages. 

Here’s why I decided to run the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon 

Well, one of our E5 members, Nuria, participated in the NYC Marathon and shared what an epic experience she had. 

That was it. 

I promise. That was it!! 

The very next morning, I went online and signed up for the half marathon LOL! I am nuts. 

Here’s what I didn’t realize. Getting over this fear and committing to this huge physical and mental challenge was transforming me into the Coach and Mentor I want to be. 

That is the absolute greatest takeaway. 

I am able to look back now at who I was before training began and who I am now; more self aware, more control of my thoughts, and way more control of my emotions. 

By the time you are reading this blog, I would have already ran the half marathon. 
I can say with much confidence the number that clock shows when I cross the finish line will be the last thing on my mind. 

I have already conquered my personal challenge of accepting the challenge fearlessly and doing what I needed to do to show up as my best self on race day!

I committed. I showed up. I put the work in and I am feeling nothing but excitement and readiness. 

I cannot wait to run the New York City Half Marathon!!! 

I cannot even believe those words are coming out of my mouth. 

To become the person you want to be, you must overcome and work through. 

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