Jennifer Fontanez is a kindergarten teacher in South Jersey who is training for her first half marathon.
If you told me a few weeks ago that I would be running over 10 miles for a long run, I probably would have laughed and said yea, right. But after my long run of 10.7 miles this week, I had the biggest sense of accomplishment and couldn’t believe my progress!
Some weeks are better than others, and last week I had a few days where I was really lacking in motivation. After working all day, the last thing I wanted to do was run 6 miles. But taking a look at my overall goal and remembering how many hours it's taken to get there help me get ready. Last week’s schedule included three 4-mile runs, a 6-mile, and a 10-mile run at the end. After the second run of the week (6 miles), my knees felt like they belonged to the Tin Man and I decided to take a few days off to cross-train. Cardio wise, I’ve felt great on my runs, but I also didn’t want to risk injuring my knees just a few short weeks before the race. I did skip the last two short runs on the schedule, deciding to save my legs for the long run. I’m glad that I listened to my body because I was able to run my 10-mile over the weekend without any problem.
Now that I’m up to a more significant mileage, I’ve been more conscientious about preparing for the weekend long run. Running 10 miles without any water or support was my biggest concern, so I enlisted my parents to help me with my training. My dad is a long-time marathon runner and has been helping me along the way with some useful tips to having a successful run- including water breaks and maintaining my energy level. I planned out the mileage, figuring out when I would need water and also tried out some Gatorade Energy chews to finish out the 10.7 mile run. I was able to maintain my pace and be consistent throughout the entire length of the run.