Making Habits

What I’ve Learned From Training for a Half Marathon

Making Habits

My tracking calendar. The longer the run, the bigger the princess sticker!

Pursuing habits can be a challenge. Habits aren't easy things to start or continue. But there are ways.

At the encouragement of my sisters, since June, I've been training for a Disney Princess 10K/Half Marathon. (One day it is a 10k and the next it is a half marathon.)

Running this distance is no small feat for me since I've never run 13.1 miles. I did, however, this past Saturday, run 8.4 or so. ;-) That was awesome! (Even though I'm very sore.)

Run Your Own Race

I've also learned another vital lesson. But to make sense of the experience, we have to travel back to the last time I was running. I was running in the Chili run in Albany, Georgia, and about halfway through the race, an older woman – I'm guessing 70 or older in a nun's habit ran past me. She “smoked me,” as we say in south Georgia. Getting left in the dust by a super fit older nun was upsetting to me, and so I went back and tried to train to get faster. I was in my early forties at the time, but when I did, I decided to lengthen my stride and hurt my knee. My doctor advised me to stop to heal up my knee for a while and I just didn't start back until recently.

So, now, I'm not worried about nuns, and I do my runs.

I'm racing myself.

If you're looking to build habits this new year, I thought I'd share a few practices and pics of

We're going to be the sleeping beauty princesses. ;-)

what has helped me add this training program to my life since June. Indeed, it isn't easy to make a life change to train like this, but I'm so excited to have support and encouragement.

Building Habits

Several things have helped:

  • Timing and Wisdom – Before starting any of this, I prayed over it. I made sure it was a calling and something that needed to happen in my life at this time. In the end, it came down to now or never. Now is the time.
  • Accountability – My sisters and I are running together. They are encouraging me and holding me accountable. My pace has picked up considerably as they have run with me.
  • Tracking –  I have a two-month calendar (shown above) where I write my distance and put a princess sticker on each day I run. It is in a prominent place in my office.
  • A Plan – We settled on the run/walk method, so I don't get injured. I'm not a spring chicken, so we're using the Jeff Galloway 13.1 half marathon app. I started in June with the 10K app. Three times a week, I run and sometimes more. It has worked for me. (See below.)
  • A Goal – We are excited and going to run this 10K/Half Marathon together. We have outfits that we're going to wear together.
  • Organization – Below is a picture of my “running closet” that has things organized and ready so that I can pack or go for a run quickly. Everything is prepared to go.
running closet

No, my closet isn't elegant and beautiful, but it helps me quickly get going and run because teaching is a busy job, and I've worked to make running as frictionless as possible.

So, we all need a life change. We have things to do. Life changes aren't easy. Consider the reality of what happens if you don't change.

Sometimes the journey is far more important than the end result. The end result motivates us to take the journey. And we need to intentionally set ourselves up and enlist the support of others.

Training to run has been a challenge and a sacrifice. It has also been a blessing from God and I'm grateful that He answered my prayer to let me run again.

And finally, I feel like I'm running my own race.

And it feels good.

How about you? Do you have a race you need to start running?

This race like most is one you do yourself. None can do it for you (even if a nun can temporarily distract and you and make you think it is about beating others – it isn't.)

Run your own race.



Tracking the run

Tracking the run in the app is encouraging. Finally, I'm running my own race. And yes, I want to continue.

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere