Real Life Runner: Preparing For Your First Race With Kat

November 2, 2012

Real Life Runner Kat from Sneakers & Fingerpaints


I was asked by my lovely pal Shannyn over at Frugal Beautiful to write a post about me & running & my upcoming half marathons.

The funny thing is, I haven’t officially run a half marathon just yet. I plan to start running a monthly consecutive half marathon starting this November 2012 through next April 2012 (check out my detailed post here.) Not a humongous running goal if someone reading this is an avid runner, but if you were or are a beginning runner you can see that it takes time to build up to such a lofty goal. Training is a mega-beast!


So, How Did I Start Running?

Back in 2006 I was becoming more of an avid runner. I was weight training and working out around 5 times a week. I was newly single; I had a lot of free time. I then began running because some friends of mine showed off these flashy medals and spoke of numbered bibs and competition – my ears perked right up. I began running with a girlfriend of mine who worked out at my gym and we slowly build up mileage week to week (about .50 a mile each weekly run session.) Eventually I’d built up enough mileage to run an actual race. I got a rush from that first race and was definitely hungry for more. Over the course of 2006 & 2007 I ran over 5 5k races. I loved that distance; it was just enough for me to feel a great sense of accomplishment while also keeping me winded by the end. Then, I ended up in a ‘not-so-great’ relationship and my healthy and fitness took a backseat…bad Kat. By the time our clock ran out and we parted ways it was 2009, I was 25 pounds overweight and clueless about how to get my old self and body back.


I got back to the gym. I did some elliptical machine work. I jammed to my ipod.  That was a start. I also did the Insanity Program – which helped me peel off 15 lbs. and gain muscle tone that I didn’t have before. I’d gained newly found strength and it pushed me to want to do more and try more workouts. I did Zumba, TRX, Crossfit/Crossboot…I’d found my passion and it was a positive outlet for me. I even met my [now] husband in the gym – he’s a much better and healthier match for me, of course.


At the end of 2011 I decided to take my training up a level. I befriended some new running friends through a local organization – I met them through another friend who invited me out to local 5k fun runs. I began running with them once, then twice, then three times a week. Before I knew it I found myself with a 15k plan. In March of 2012 I ran my farthest distance race: the Gasparilla Distance classic 15k. From that point on, I wanted more…I wanted to keep running farther. I, first, had to take into account the many lessons I learned from that 15k … they were plentiful…and looking back, I wish I’d known better but feel better knowing I can help others learn from my newbie runner mistakes. You can read the full race report here, but I’ll spare you the picture-proof and give you a Cliff’s notes version:

Lessons learned from my first distance race:


As I’ve begun half marathon training after the 15k, I’ve tacked on a few more friendly pieces of advice for myself and others:


I have 3 weekends until my first half: the Women’s Half Marathon in St Petersburg, Florida. I am so excited. In between the 15k and the training I also got married back in May of this year and started my blog right when the planning stopped…genius timing, I know.

It’s been a great motivator and accountability piece for me. I don’t think I’d have the 6 in 6 goal if I didn’t start the blog. What do I want out of it? I want my story to inspire others to stop saying “I can’t” and ask themselves “Can I?” and just give it a shot! Life’s too short to let self-doubt or regret seep in – live it up and to the fullest!


Kat's Before & After


Kat blogs at Sneakers And Fingerpaints and has worked herself through an amazing transformation with her life and fitness.  

She also has an adorable pug named Jaeden &  has an amazing fitness wardrobe.  You will adore her as much as I do, thanks for posting Kat!


7 comments so far.

7 responses to “Real Life Runner: Preparing For Your First Race With Kat”

  1. Kat says:

    Thanks for letting me write a post, girl! xo

  2. Good luck with the half! Half marathons got me totally addicted to running…

  3. Lacey says:

    Good luck with the 13.1! I love halts!

  4. indianhair says:

    That’s a amazing question! I’m not an expert on this subject but I’m going to try to find out for you


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