Shape Half Marathon Recap + NYC Eats

Back in December, I made two big announcements. One being that I signed up for a half marathon. It feels like it was just yesterday when I promised myself I’d do such a crazy thing, but it’s done and over. I will be writing a separate post with more details on the half + our half marathon training plan, so there is more to come! For now, I want to share our memories from our trip to NYC, our half marathon adventures, and some eats. I’m happy we decided on a destination half because I’m always up for a little getaway!

I want to warn you; there are a lot of photos in the post. I couldn’t stop all of the pictures because NYC is so fun and photogenic.

We left New Jersey around 10:30 am on Saturday morning. We decided to catch the train into the city.

We made it to Penn Station at 11:30, and decided to walk a couple miles to our hotel. The weather was gorgeous!

We stayed at the New York Hilton Manhattan hotel. It’s super close to the race start! We spent all day fueling properly and HYDRATING to the max.

After getting settled into the hotel, we headed out to pick up our race bibs and shirts. We were so hungry, so we stopped and ate cookies and bananas in the hotel lobby. No shame πŸ™‚ The oatmeal raisin cookies were so good!


We donated to Care and then took our photo for the wall! We were so excited to be running the Shape Half!

After grabbing our bibs and bags, we headed to Central Park for a little walk.

Central park was filled with people. There were groups of people playing music, ballerinas dancing and playing frisbee, people having birthday parties, and so many puppies!

It’s crazy that such a large city has this beautiful mile on mile park in the middle of it. I think Central Park is my favorite part of NYC, and I was so excited to run it.

Meighan and I wanted to grab a quick bite to eat, and head to the hotel room to relax for the night. Our goal was to be in bed by 7 pm. We had done a lot of exploring in Jersey and wanted to rest the legs before the race.
We were both in the mood for french fries and a burger. Having potassium and sodium in the fries was the perfect pre-run carb load. I was drinking a lot of water to stay hydrated for the race, so I needed sodium and potassium to hold onto all the fluids I was taking in.

We walked around for about two miles looking for a good burger place, but everything had a long wait, and we were too hangry for that. We hopped into Benash, a little diner (hole in the wall) for our burger.
After our burger, we needed a sweet treat. We stopped at Buttercup Bake Shop for their delicious macaroons and a cappuccino.

We chose the Nutella macaroon and pistachio!

I know a cappuccino isn’t a great idea before a race, so I only drank half to get a little fix! I chugged enough water afterward to make up for it.

When we got back to the hotel around 5:45 PM, I set out my race day outfit.

Running Shoes: ASICS GEL-Nimbus 18 (I trained with this style for 8 months)
Running Capris: Athleta Capri (loved that it had pockets on the side for my phone and a zip pocket in the back)
Socks: Asics Running Socks (with heal tab & grips)
KT TAPE: Black KT tape to wrap any aches Β & pains. Β I used it on my knees.
Running Shirt: Under Armour Tech V-Neck Tee. I have this shirt in seven colors. I am obsessed with the fit, the material and how light it is. All the air comes through and you never burn up.
Sports Bra: Ryka
Chews: Bolt Energy Chews
Post Workout: Muscle Milk

After getting everything ready for the race, I showered, threw on my yoga pants, and hopped into the hotel bed. We hit the jackpot because there was a Nicholas Sparks marathon on E! We watched Safe Haven, The Last Song, and The Best of Me.Β We are going to have a wine & Nicholas Sparks marathon soon!

We got hungry around 8 PM, so we headed out to grab a bite to eat.
We picked up pizza at Herb N’ Kitchen, and it was one of the best pizzas I’ve had in a long time. Looking at it, you wouldn’t think so, but it was perfection. Everything from the sauce, the cheese, the pepperonis, and the crunchy/soft crust! I wish I could have this pizza every night πŸ™‚ I didn’t want to make myself sick, so I had one slice, finished off another bottle of water, set my alarm clock, and headed to bed.
I need to be awake at least three hours before a workout, or I’m miserable. This is why I hate going to 6 AM boot camp classes or running before the sun is up. I need at least 6 ounces of coffee, and a bite to eat. I set my alarm for 4:45 am so I could have my morning wake-up time. I even wrote a blog at 5 AM race day to relax.

I chugged a bottle of water with electrolytes and potassium and then headed downstairs to pick up a bagel, banana, and coffee. Half a bagel, banana, coffee, water, and half a granola bar was a safe breakfast pick before my practice runs, so I stuck with it. You don’t want to change too much the day of your race.Β 

Meighan and I left the hotel at 7:25 am. The race didn’t start until eight, but we wanted to find our corral and maybe use the restrooms if we had to. The park was filled with runners, and the bathroom lines were about a mile long. Luckily, we didn’t have to go, so we headed to our spot to do a little jumping and stretching.
Β We were in Corral J.& so were the Good Morning America anchors!

I had a bit of race anxiety, but I knew it would go away eventually. The anxiousness mostly came from the fear of my aching hamstring. I was upset that I had trained for months and months, and the week before my race, my hamstring was achy. I iced it, wrapped it, took Ibuprofen, and rested it the night before. I decided to go into this run with the attitude that I was going to finish. I didn’t care about the time, and I would just slow down if my hamstring gave me issues.
We finally took off.

The first seven miles feel like they never happened. I remember listening to The Weeknd on my playlist, exchanging excitement smiles with Meighan, drinking water at mile four, and chewing mint gum because my throat was dry. We kept our pace around ten minutes for the first seven miles. When we made our first loop around the park, I was confused. Why did everyone tell me this was going to be extremely hard and hilly? About ten people tried to talk me out of running Central Park for my first half. The routes Meighan and I ran during training were 3X harder. Meighan and I looked at each other on top of Harlem Hill with a confused expression, “was this the hill people warned us about?” It was nothing. I’m not saying this to sound egotistic; I’m saying this to make the point that everyone’s training routes and definition of “hard” are entirely different from your own. Don’t psych yourself out before a race based on someone else’s opinion. Trust your training and don’t let anyone get in your head.
I felt a pop in my groin on the ninth mile. I ran to the side and did a couple of lunge stretches and then ran right back out into the race. It felt better for a mile and then the pain came back. I decided just to slow down my pace. We had a couple of nine-minute miles towards the middle of our run, so it wouldn’t be too bad to slow it down.

Around mile ten, the worst thing happened. The reason I could never run a half marathon is that I suffered from runner’s knee about two years ago. It was so bad that I couldn’t walk at times. I spent a year rehabbing it. I stuck to swimming, walking, strength training, and told myself I’d do everything right to get back into running, and I did. At mile ten, runner’s knee made a grand appearance. I know this pain, and I’m very familiar with how it creeps in, creeps out, and how I’d be feeling when this race was over with. The most upsetting part was that I never had an ounce of pain during our training, and it decided to make a comeback on race day. It was frustrating to have such high endurance, I hardly broke a sweat, and I could have run for miles, but that knee felt like knives slicing through my cartilage. I was grateful that it didn’t happen at mile three because there would have been no way in hell I could have finished with excruciating pain. And if you’ve had runner’s knee, you know the feeling. It’s so painful that it makes you want to chop off your own legs (sorry for the dramatic vision.)

The last three miles I repeated prayers to God, in hopes that he could give me the strength to finish. My knees were quitting, and my groin was popping in and out, but I was not going to quit with only two miles left. Meighan kept giving me positive encouragement, and I kept trotting along. If I could just keep trotting for the next couple of miles, the race would be over in no time. The rule is to stop immediatly if you feel any signs of runner’s knee, but I didn’t have a choice in this case. I worked way too hard, spent way too much time invested, just to stop at mile eleven. I added a couple of minutes onto my last three miles, but I still ran across that finish line.Β 
I was definitley dissapointed in my knees and the fact that my body did this to me, but I was also proud of myself for compelteing a half marathon, something I never thought I’d ever do. I used to skip the mile runs in gym class, and do everything I could to get out of any physically activity.

I do have a doctor’s appointment today for my knees, and I’m hoping we can look at surgery or a new rehab method to fix the issues. I do not want to give up running, so I’ll do anything to get everything under control. I am giving up running for the next two months, and exchanging it with strength training, yoga and walking.



This girl wasn’t’ going to let me fall behind. She pushed me so hard to get to the end, and I am so grateful for her! I told her to run, and I’ll meet her at the end, but she wouldn’t go ahead. She is the best motivation, and I wouldn’t/couldn’t have done this without her! We have a half marathon in December, so I’m praying I can get better by then, and we can try this again.

After the race, I headed over to the icing station and got ice for my knee. The pain was so bad that I couldn’t bend my knee on my right leg and hardly move my groin on the left leg. I was a mess.

Meighan’s family came to the race and it was so nice seeing them at the finish line.

We all walked across the park to Le Pain Quotidien for breakfast. I felt so bad because it took me so long to walk, but there was nothing I could do about my mobility. I was pretty miserable.

It felt so good to just sit down. When you’re sitting, you don’t feel the pain.

I was ready for coffee, water, and food!

I ordered the goat cheese and seasonal vegetable frittata. This breakfast is what inspired me to make frittatas on Thursday night.

Breakfast was so good. I’ve been to Le Pain Quotidien in D.C., so I knew it was a safe choice for good coffee and delicious breakfast.
After breakfast, we headed back to the hotel to shower, pack, and get ready for the day. I ended up taking Advil, putting icy hot all over my legs, and wrapping my knee with KT Tape. My knees were so inflamed, and it was very frustrating. I just wanted to have fun, but I couldn’t. I was on the verge of tears because of the amount of pain. I kept telling myself in my head that it’ll go away, because runner’s knee does, but when it’s bad…it’s bad.

We slowly walked down to Bibble & Sip later in the afternoon for coffee and a snack. Luckily I had my roller suitcase with me, so I leaned on that for support.
The Bibble & Sip bakery cafe was adorable. I loved the rustic and earthy decor. I was excited to have a cappuccino!

They are known for their Cream Puffs, and I ALMOST bought one of their matcha flavored ones, but the little matcha parfait looked a bit healthier for a post-race recovery.

Meighan ended up getting one of their cream puffs and we all split it. IT WAS SO GOOD!

I ordered a small cappuccino with skim and an extra shot of espresso.

We walked a few blocks to Barnes & Noble to relax and read. We planned on visiting the Brooklyn Bridge and doing a couple of touristy things, but with my condition, it wasn’t going to happen. We will plan another NYC trip for just that.

The matcha parfait from Bibble & Sip!

Chia seeds, matcha Greek yogurt, granola, blueberries, raspberries, and honey.


Later Sunday night, we headed to Meighan’s friend’s house. She lives in Upper East Side and she was so nice to host us!
We had dinner at Canyon Road, and it was SO GOOD. I ordered the chicken fajitas!

After dinner, we headed back and went straight to bed.

I didn’t sleep much on Sunday night. I’ve never been a person that takes Advil or any pain medication, and my body wasn’t reacting too well to it. I started experiencing some of the side effects, and I was pretty worried. I had extreme nervousness, restlessness, and my heart was racing. I ended up re-falling asleep at 1 am, but then woke up in tears an hour later because the pain was excruciating. I was scared that I messed up. At that point, I was afraid to fall back asleep. I just sat up with my laptop and fiddled around until I could close my eyes comfortably. I woke up at 8 am, with my laptop still in my lap. Fortunately, the pain was now an eight and not a ten. I could at least bend my legs.
Meighan and I had a few hours to spare before heading to the airport for our flight home. We packed up our belongings, said our goodbyes, and decided to slowly walk to Sarabeth’s for breakfast.Β 
The walk was so pretty and I couldn’t help but take a billion photos. This little bookstore reminded me of the movie You Got Mail.Β 

We finally made it to Sarabeth’s.

Sarabeth’s first bakery opened in 1981. Sarabeth and her husband opened a little spot to make and sell their baked goods and the 200-year-old family recipe for jam. The little spot became a huge success and hit to New Yorkers. A couple of years later, Sarabeth’s started serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner in multiple locations. Now there are locations throughout the U.S. This just goes to show that if you have talent and can create something great, go with it, and you’ll go far!

The breakfast spot was so cute, and I’m so glad we found it!
We started with coffee, and boy was it good! The smooth dark roast was the perfect way to end the New York note.Β 
We sat at a little table by the window. It was a great spot for siting adorable NYC fashion and lots of dogs!

I ordered a goat cheese and spinach omelet, a side of fresh fruit, and seven-grain toast. The food, the jam, the fruit, and everything on my plate lived up to it’s rumored greatness.
After we had breakfast, we sat around for about forty-five minutes having our final cup of coffee. We didn’t want to leave this little spot.

We had about an hour to spare before heading to the airport, so we just trotted along the Upper East Side. We went in and out of stores, stopped to take photos, and enjoyed the fresh air.
I love the character of all the homes and apartment buildings.Β Β 
NYC’s flowers were breathtaking, especially the tulips.

We headed across to Central Park and walked a little. I was slowly, but surely getting better. I was still in a lot of pain, but at least I could walk and bend the knees. I took “walking” for granted, and having this injury made me realize how lucky I am to be able to walk and explore every day. I won’t be complaining about walking anywhere anytime soon.

After walking the park and visiting a couple more shops, we called an Uber and headed to the airport. We drove past the Met GalaΒ and watched them set everything up, so that was pretty neat.Β 
When we got to the airport, they delayed our flight by three hours because of the storms in Charlotte. I was starting to have a bit of Deja Vu, and all I could think of was the little mouse I saw running around last time I was in the Laguardia airport, and we were in the same gate.

I spent the time working and cleaning out my inbox before getting on the plane. I picked up some snacks while we waited at the gate, and then finally boarded the plane at 6 pm. I was sitting by an older couple and you could tell the lady was afraid of flying, the older man held her hand and said “if we go down, we go down together,” and I just melted. It was adorable.

It felt really good to be home, but I was still proud of finishing something I never thought I could. It was definitely a battle, but I made it through, and I can’t wait to post our training plan + more details on the half marathon. Thank you guys for all the support this year and I couldn’t have made it through without you all either! XO

Also update on my pains. I’m offically back to normal, but NOT running and risking the injury to get worse. I’ve been walking and weight lifting a lot. I WILL BE BACK! πŸ™‚

Questions for you.

  1. What was your first race experience like?
  2. Has an injury ever affected you?
  3. Ask me anything about the race/what you’d like to see on the training plan.

My Relationship With Running

Comments

  • Anonymous

    Nice job!

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Christine

    I haven’t checked your blog in a while, and it’s been nice catching up! It looks like you are doing so well! You seem very happy and healthy.

    But, I am so sorry that your knee pain returned at mile 10. My heart broke for you reading this! I’m so happy that you finished, but I know how frustrating it is to spend SO MUCH TIME training, and then to have something go wrong the day of the race.

    I hope that plenty of rest and recovery will help you heal. Best wishes, Tara!! Take care!

    Reply to Christine
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you, Christine!

      I’m just happy I got to finish and that I’m doing ok and now still limping! I am going to try to get back into running in June! πŸ™‚

      Thanks for stopping by again! & all of your kind words made my day!

      xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Rachel

    I’m really late in reading this post, but congrats on your half! I’m so sorry that your knee gave you issues but I’m glad you’re doing better. Just focus on healing and getting better before the half in December. You’ve Got Mail is one of my favorite movies and that bookstore totally looks like The Shop Around The Corner! Glad that you had a safe trip and made it back safe!

    Reply to Rachel
  • Carly

    I love all of your photos! You’ve got such a great eye for interesting and fun shots!

    I’ve visited NYC a couple time and Central Park is ALWAYS my favorite part!

    Pizza and a Nicholas Sparks marathon sound like a great way to spend the night before a race! carbs and relaxation!

    I’m so proud and impressed that you finished the half! Even if knee conditions weren’t ideal! Your strength and determination is inspiring!

    My first race (a half marathon on a whim) was exciting at first, and very painful the second half. I was lucky like you and had a great supportive friend who kept me going until the end!

    I think sometimes injury is my middle name unfortunately. Between a bad foot, an easily dislocated shoulder and general clumsiness I think something is always slightly off kilter. Although seeing you come back from injury has inspired me to focus more on strength and recover, which helps a lot!

    Congrats again on finishing your first half!

    Reply to Carly
  • Danielle

    This whole post made me cry. Multiple times. I am SO proud of you!! I’m sorry you were in so much pain, but your dedication and endurance are so inspiring! I couldn’t possibly be more proud!

    Reply to Danielle
  • Mirna

    hard work always pays off… congrats!! to proud!! but I am really sorry for your struggles. I wish you had enjoyed more in your race, accomplishments and New York. but hey… you did it!!!!!

    <3

    Reply to Mirna
  • Lace

    So proud of you! Your blog is my favorite because of how real you are.

    Reply to Lace
  • Nika

    Hi Taralynn – Congratulations on your first half marathon! I’ve loved seeing your updates through your training. I want to get back into a running schedule again!

    Where did you get your sandals in that book picture? I need them! πŸ™‚

    Reply to Nika
  • Jessica Kortz

    Congrats on completing your first half marathon! I hope you have a speedy recovery and can run another in the fall!

    I am a distance runnier that has delt with my share of injuries the last 4 years. I used to run full and half marathons, but after a slew of injuries that started after I slipped on ice and broke my ankle, I’m happy to run any distance at all, however short. You really do learn to appreciate being able to run or even just walk after an injury, so I can relate to your post.

    The thing that stuck out to me is that you said that your opposite hip was bothering you before your knee started to hurt again. Please mention this to your doctor/ PT. I’m afraid that your knee flared up because you were overcompensating on the other side due to your hip. I think your hip issue may be just as important to address. You usually don’t even realize that you were overcompensating until an injury arrives. After I broke my right ankle, I ended up damaging my left knee because of this. I eventually had to have surgery because of it. So please mention this to your PT and strength training is the way to go to be as even as possible. Good luck! I hope you have many more happy years of running!

    Reply to Jessica Kortz
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Jessica!

      I actually did mention that because I figured that was EXACTLY what had happened!! Thanks for the inspiration to get back out there!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Brittany

    Congrats on finishing your first half! I did one last weekend as well and ended up needing to walk a few intervals in the last 2 miles because of my on-again-off-again hip injury. I’m looking forward to seeing your training plan, this was my 3rd half marathon but the first one I ever actively trained for and I felt like it made a huge difference. My first half marathon was super hilly and I had bronchitis so I walked quite a bit during that one! This one was much better πŸ™‚ hope your knee is doing better!

    Reply to Brittany
  • Brittain

    Congratulations!!!

    My first half marathon was the Rock n Roll in Savannah,Ga. I didn’t train enough for it and was in so much pain afterwards I could barley walk! Kt tape has been a life saver for me! Being able to run without bulky knee braces is amazing.

    Hope everything goes smoothly with your rehab!

    Reply to Brittain
  • Jessica

    Congratulations! A half marathon is a big deal!! I cried running across the finish line when I ran a half. It feels so good to accomplish something that you have been putting so much time, energy, blood, sweat and tears in! I’m sorry to hear about your injury, but don’t let it tarnish your thoughts about your half. Finishing is still amazing and you had a good time!

    I had aches and pains while training, but me and my boyfriend are both physical therapists so we are able to do a lot of self treating, which is helpful! I also had some dry needling done and that was helpful too.

    Reply to Jessica
  • Wit

    Good Job lady!!!!

    Reply to Wit
  • Carlee

    Congrats girl! So sorry to hear about your pains/struggles, but YOU DID IT! No one can take that from you.

    Running can be so addictive because of the feel good endorphins and it can be so hard to back off or stop all together if it your main source of working out!! I struggle with weak hips which leads to referred groin pain and tight a IT band. A couple years ago I had these pains come back and had to stop running for a few months while I did PT to strengthen my glutes and hips. I continue to do a few of those exercises to this day! I’ve noticed a huge difference in the way I run, too!

    My main obstacle is being too in my head! Running is so mental and I find it difficult to really get into the run sometimes. Your post about bad runs hit the spot with me and I reread it often to know that a bad run doesn’t mean I’m a bad runner! So thanks:)

    Reply to Carlee
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks, Carlee!!

      Great you took a break to work on strengthening. That’s what I’ working on now!

      Yes, the mental part is everything, and it’s crazy how ONE BAD run can mess with us! I wrote a post about that once. BUT, you just have to beat those thoughts πŸ™‚

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Gabby

    I can’t wait for your next blog. I’m addicted.

    Reply to Gabby
  • Gabrielle

    Bravo Taralynn!

    I’m so proud of you! Reading your post reminds me my first half marathon in 2013.
    It was one of the most amazing moment in my life! After that, I feel that I can do anything. It’s so great for self-esteem!

    As you, I had an injury after the race : a plantar fasciitis. So painful… It was so difficult to walk. Running is amazing, but it comes with some injuries sometimes.

    I sincerely hope that you will heal quickly!

    (I’m sorry for my bad english, i’m a french canadian :p )

    Reply to Gabrielle
  • Nicole

    So sorry to hear you were injured, but so glad you were able to finish. It would have sucked to put in all of that hard work only to have it go to waste. Sending good vibes your way in regards to your doctor appointment, hopefully the news will be what you want.
    Side note: New York is on my list of places to finally see this year.

    Reply to Nicole
  • Rebecca

    So sorry to hear about your injury! I used to run half marathons until I got a back injury, but I remember feeling similarly about taking my ability to walk for granted. Anyways, congratulations! Any race but particularly one you’ve committed so much time training for can be such a rewarding and emotional experience. I’m so happy to see you’ve signed up for another one!

    Reply to Rebecca
  • Carrie

    Way to go girl!! You finished and that is amazing!!

    I have only ran 5ks so far. My first race was great, my second was horrible and discouraging, I was early in my pregnancy, so early I didn’t know I was so because of that I didn’t feel well/prep well enough for running while pregnant. I have been walking daily with my two kids and dog and miss running something terrible but have not tried it again while pregnant. Can’t wait to start again once the baby is born!

    I have dealt with IT band issues, which is HORRIBLE. I would try to run and half a mile in was in so much pain I couldn’t hardly walk. That is extremely frustrating and discouraging however, rest and stretching and finding a pair of shoes (different brand than I was used to wearing) it got better and I could run without much pain, still sore sometimes but proper stretching took care of that!!

    I can’t wait to see your training plan. I have never followed a specific plan, I just start running and continue to run until I hit my goal. I need advice on adding mileage and speed I get stuck and can’t seem to get past 4 miles or speed up the 4 I am running.

    Thanks for always positing great motivating things. We are worlds apart and totally different lives, in my 30’s, married, almost 3 kids but I find everything you post relevant or I can make it relevant in my life! I have started later in life with running and super healthy lifestyle so you are a step ahead and keep it up!!!

    Reply to Carrie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you, Carrie!!

      5ks are actually my favorite. I think running when you’re pregnant is incredible! KUDOS to you!

      Stretching is great for IT bands!!

      I can’t wait to write all about our training and to be honest training so so much fun and maybe even more fun than the race )

      Thanks for the kind words!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kimberly

    Why is a burger, fries, and pizza good fuel for a race?

    Reply to Kimberly
  • Joanne @ byjoannevirginia.com

    Congrats on your race! Finishing two miles in such pain is pretty dang impressive, but hopefully you get it figured out so you don’t have to deal with it again!

    I’ve been racing for about four years and I’ve steadily gotten faster (though I’ve lost some speed recently). My only real running injury was a bout with plantar fasciitis about 2.5 years ago that caused me to miss running my first 15K. I got to the last week of training and realized I couldn’t race on my foot — super frustrating! I definitely want to get back there and am gunning for a half marathon sometime hopefully in the near future. I just hope it’s not that my foot can’t handle longer distances.

    Reply to Joanne @ byjoannevirginia.com
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks, Joanne!!

      I pray I can recover and come back from it all!

      Congrats on all of your accomplishments! Sorry about PF πŸ™ it’s a pretty common running injury!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Katie @ Katie Wanders

    Way to push through it! So sorry you had to experience that pain, so frustrating! Usually, these races are a mental struggle and that is no fun you had the physical as well πŸ™

    My first half was a great experience! I had some mental battles towards the end (one foot in front of the other!) but I was runner number 1 which was pretty awesome (bib 1!)

    blogged all about my first race here πŸ™‚ http://www.katiewanders.com/2012/03/1313-miles.html

    Katie Wanders

    Reply to Katie @ Katie Wanders
  • Jessica

    Firstly!!! YOU GO GIRL!

    I honestly don’t run, I am like you and always wanted to skip gym days that had the mile runs. I am actually starting to get the itch to try though.

    I get something called jumpers knee or knee tendonitis. I got it when I started playing volleyball in high school and ended up in physical therapy and wearing a brace a lot of the time. I learned from physical therapy that it was treatable with strengthening the muscles around it. I like you started working on making sure I never gave up on rehabbing my knee. Now I really don’t have issues with it because I am almost always active now. I try to never take for granted it doesn’t bother me anymore and I work out when I don’t want to so it doesn’t come back. Knee pain is no joke, way to go fighting through it at the end.

    I am interested in seeing your running plan. I would love to get some tips on just how to start. I would love to at least try to get in some miles and say that I do so comfortably and enjoy it!

    Reply to Jessica
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks, Jessica!

      Once you get the itch, you can’t stop the scratch πŸ˜‰ BUT BABY STEPS TO GET THERE!

      Wish we could get an injury free pass for at least working out πŸ˜‰

      Have you checked out my “how I got into running” post? you may like that one for starting out!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Deanna Perry

    Congrats on finishing!! That’s so awesome. I feel your pain with the knee letting you down, I have the same issue with my left knee. I stretched my leg wierdly water skiing several years ago and then reinjured with a trainer doing jump rope. It has this crunchy “crepitus” feel now and I do PT off and on. It wont get better and running is in my past. But, I focus on what I can do and I’m really into spinning now. I loved your stories about the marathon. So glad I stumbled on to your blog.

    Reply to Deanna Perry
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks, Deanna!!

      Sorry to hear about your injuries πŸ™ Spinning is AMAZING!! I always do classes when I can’t run!

      Glad you stumbled on my blog as well! xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kelsey

    CONGRATS LADY!!! I love your blogs so much and I appreciate all the work you put into them! This is why you have become my favorite blogger. Did you hear Lady M Cakes closed?

    Reply to Kelsey
  • Lauren @ Following the Path of Life

    Congratulations, Taralynn!!! I’m so glad you were able to finish the race…and what a beautiful course to be on! I’m so sorry about your runner’s knee and groin though; I understand how frustrating it is when injuries keep setting you back no matter how carefully you train. I’ve suffered from IT band syndrome the last few years; usually I couldn’t get past the 5/6-mile mark without it flaring up and if I kept training on it, the pain would simply persist (and increase) until I backed off my weekly mileage. Going into my half-marathon training this spring, I upped my mileage very slowly and tried to run only 3 or 4 days a week, hoping that would prevent the IT band from flaring up (it had healed over the winter). Unfortunately, it came back on the long runs and I, too, was frustrated because I just wanted to run and because I’d already agreed to do the half with a friend. But then, God showed me all the resources I needed to realize that my running form was weak — I dropped my hips when I ran and I relied on my quads rather than activating the glutes. Now, after incorporating new strength training exercises into my routine and purposely adjusting my running form on all my runs, the IT band pain is gone!!! Even on hills, which would especially flare it up. πŸ™‚ God is so faithful, and I am so grateful.

    All that to say that there is hope for your knee, too! I would encourage you to assess your form (or have someone assess it for you) to see where weaknesses might be — it’s amazing how incorrect form in the torso can impact the lower body. Keep talking to doctors, keeping doing your research, and, most importantly, keep talking to God to guide you in how to heal and correct the issue. He can definitely give you wisdom in this matter.:)

    <3
    Lauren

    Reply to Lauren @ Following the Path of Life
    • Taralynn McNitt

      THANKS, LAUREN!!:)

      It sounds like you’ll be back to running long distance in no time and you’re putting so much work into it! You can do it for sure!!

      I will be getting checked for all of that and going through a little running rehab this fall!

      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Harriet

    A Massive Congratulations on your race! And completing it with runners knee shows your dedication! Hopefully you knee is back to full health and movement asap.

    I am counting down to my first race only 3 days away! Getting very excited but a little nervous at the same time.

    Early this year I had a knee injury that ended up effecting both knees as I was transferring my weight to ease the pain, I saw a specialist who got me to strengthen my vastus medialis ‘teardrop mussels’ which has worked extremely well. He also told me not to give up crossfit or running just alternate my days.

    What’s the one thing you did every day to help prepare yourself for the race??

    Have a great week!

    Reply to Harriet
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Harriet!

      Thank you very much!

      I’ll do everything it takes to get back to full health!

      You got this!! Did you know that the human brain can’t tell the difference between excitement and nervousness? πŸ˜‰ My boyfriend always tells me that.

      Turn that into energy! πŸ™‚

      Yeah, cross training is great and should never be given up! I’m glad I can still stick to it.

      One thing I did was mentally tell myself I COULD DO IT. Your legs will only go as far as your brain tells them to.

      xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Mackenzie

    I have been SO eager for this post!!!! Yay!! I actually just read it twice I loved it so much. I am a BIG believer in eating sweets the night before a big race- so I’m glad ya’ll found those yummy looking oatmeal raisin cookies & macaroons. Oh my goodness, that burger & pizza place looked like the bomb. I am SOOOO beyond impressed with you for seeing the race through. When there is any pain in the body taking one step can be brutal, nevertheless finishing out those miles! I’m not surprised though, you are one strong chica! (I’m trying really hard not to write a book this time, but there is way more I could comment on- the pictures, the adorable elderly couple, the fact that you just planned my next trip to NYC with those restaurant suggestions!). I just ran the Big Sur race last weekend, and I know I’m always recruiting you to come to northern Cali, but GIRL, you would die. It’s amazing. You have to check it out and do it sometime. Seriously the most gorgeous place ever (I have the deets in my blog if you are ever interested). Anywho- I still wrote a novel. I hope you having a beautiful week and basking in this amazing victory. You.did.it, love! <3

    Reply to Mackenzie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Mackenzie!

      Thank you so much & it made me smile that you read it twice!

      If I’m going to eat sweets, it better be before a race! lol (actually that’s never the case)

      & THANK YOU for the kind words. It was extremely tough, and it was even harder to get out of my own head. I think saying prayers over and over made it easier for me to move forward.

      NYC is never a bad idea!!!! & congrats on your race! What a great weekend!

      You don’t have to tell me twice, I’ll be visiting California this summer/winter/fall and so on…! My brother is moving to LA, so I’ll have a ton of time there!! I’ll check out your blog and see all the places, or maybe you can just be my guide! πŸ˜€

      Have a great week & weekend!!! xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Mackenzie

        No way!!!! How fun that your brother is moving out here!!! LA is amazing- I just went there for the first time a couple months ago—Urth Caffe is a must! I have a foodie list about a mile long, so feel free to ask if you ever need a suggestion- but you also seem to have an internal compass for finding all the good spots! Annnd if you ever find yourself in SF I can definitely give you the grand tour! Have such a great weekend too, Tara! <3

        Reply to Mackenzie
  • Katrina

    Good for you Taralynn! Running is definitely a love hate relationship and it is a good thing to take breaks. You have earned it! I myself am training for a half and it can get pretty hard sometimes, I admire your courage. Random question, how do you like living in the south vs the midwest? I am from the midwest and am consider moving to the south for nursing school. Can you tell me a little about the differences?

    Reply to Katrina
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Katrina!

      Thank you so much for the kind words & good luck on your half! You got this.

      I REALLY love the South, but there are ups & downs! I think it really depends on where you’re located. I love Charlotte because I get all seasons, but the cold ones are mild, but the hot ones are HOT. I loved the midwest because of all of the land, but you can get that here too! Again, it’s about location! I love the pace of the south and the quaint little towns, beaches, mountains and so on! If I were to move to the west it would be Montana or Colorado, but I don’t see myself leaving the south anytime soon. It’s just a bit more relaxed down here and there is always something going on! Where would you be going to nursing school? Maybe I can tell you a little bit about that area.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • hannahh

    I didn’t think you’d do it. Coming from someone who tends to snark a little at your posts, congrats.

    Reply to hannahh
  • Casey the College Celiac

    What an amazing adventure! I’m so sorry to hear of your injury. I badly strained my IT band three years ago and I don’t run very much anymore because that injury always comes up when I run long distances. I’m hoping to one day go back to running…but we’ll see! The only race I’ve ever done was a mud run 5K with my dad and sister. Even though my injury was painful at times, it was still amazing and I have great memories of it.

    Reply to Casey the College Celiac
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Casey!

      OH, no! πŸ™ Sorry to hear that. That is a nasty injury considering the IT BAND pretty much controls it all.

      I’d love to do a mud run one day! Keep pushing through! xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jennifer

    Girl I’m SO PROUD that you were able to finish even with the runners knee! You worked so hard and you’re going to kill the December half! P.s. I hope you liked my snap of my unicorn bitmoji crossing the finish line haha

    The first 5k I ever did was a struggle because I didn’t really know how to train.. I had never really run before and only had been doing it for a few months.. a year or two later I signed up for a second 5k and I CRUSHED it! (slowly) but it was an amazing feeling! I’m slowing building back up again and can run 3 slow miles… without doing it for a race! I’m super proud of that.

    Girl, yes. Two HUGE ones. First is I was walking across a cobblestone street in San Fran and twisted my ankle SO BAD. I could hardly walk. I was having the same issues as you but with my ankle with the walking in San Fran! Luckily it was the second to last day… second injury was my left knee. I had been using the elliptical and afterwards I felt a sharp pain in my “knee”. It ended up swelling to twice its size and turned really red! The urgent care took an xray and refused to do an MRI even after I asked them to do it… of course nothing showed up on the xray because I ended up not being able to run on it at all for a year without pain! My doc sent me to do PT and she’s thinking it was a tendon, because the pain was right below my knee to the left of the center bone down the front of your leg (can you tell I’m not a doctor haha) It finally started to feel better and I haven’t had pain for at least half a year now. πŸ™‚

    I think that if I ever got to the point where I think I could physically run a half.. I would just love to know what plan it was that you used, and how you modified it to fit you! Also what kind of strength training you did. I noticed less strength training and so much more running (obviously) compared to before you started training! (from what you show us anyway)

    Have a great week!

    Reply to Jennifer
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hey, girl!

      THANKS so much! HAHAHAHA LOVED IT!!!!!! I wish I could fly like a unicorn at the time.

      I think it’s important to learn how to love running without doing it for weight loss or a race! That is what I did.

      SAN FRAN is dangerous hahaha but I’m glad you’re doing better!!!! no fun.

      ALL will be included in the post!!!
      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Danielle

    wow girl, what an amazing recap! You are such an inspiration. Btw I’m so disgusted by some of the haters against you. Never let me them get you down and thanks for motivating me! πŸ™‚

    Reply to Danielle
  • Tiffany S

    Congratulations on your race! I’m so proud of you for finishing! I ran my first 10 mile in October, and I pulled my peroneal tendon on the base of my heel during that race. I felt the pain in my foot around mile 6, but just figured I would run through it. I took it easy, of course! It attaches to the muscle that goes up the side of your calf, so eventually a few days later it started to hurt there too. I did PT for it and worked back into running for my first half marathon (in disney world!!!) in February. I wasn’t able to get my mileage back up in time which was so frustrating, but of course I ran it anyway because who doesn’t want to do the princess run? I was great until mile 8 and I knew it was hurting again. I had to stop and take some breaks unfortunately. I was running with a friend, and I kept telling her to go on without me! She and Meighan are such great friends, because she of course wouldn’t leave my side.

    I know exactly how rough it is after the race to want to go do fun things (I was in Disney World, after all!) and just be hurting and unable to walk lol! So sorry you had to experience that. I hope your recovery goes well and that you find some options for long term healing.

    Just know you are not alone, and don’t be discouraged that you couldn’t do the race as fast as you’d have liked. Can’t wait to see your comeback!

    Reply to Tiffany S
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks so much, Tiffany!

      Sounds like you have a great friend as well! Hopefully, you’re feeling better!!!! Ugh, not being able to walk at Disney World would have been so sad!:( Hopefully you can go back (without a race) and enjoy!

      xo xo ohhhhh can’t wait for a comeback either, but happy to rest lol

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Susie

    You go girl! A half is a HUGE accomplishment and you killed it! Kudos for pushing through that level of pain, that says worlds about how mentally strong you’ve become πŸ™‚

    Good luck with your recovery – I recommend lots and lots of yoga and massage. You deserve it! And you might as well start planning your next half, because you’re officially addicted (even if you don’t know it yet haha)

    Reply to Susie
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you, Susie!

      That means a lot πŸ™‚ Lol it was a fun half, but the pain may have affected the addictiveness! lol Massages, walks, and yoga are on the schedule!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Siobhan

    I’m so sorry to hear about your knee! But I’m glad that you are back to normal now.
    Your pictures of NYC are gorgeous; one day I hope to make it there to explore, and to eat haha.
    I wish you lots of luck in your rest and recuperation xo

    Reply to Siobhan
  • Brooklyn

    Yay I’m so happy for you that you completed your race! I’m sorry you were in so much pain though, that must have been really hard.
    le pain quotidien looks so incredible. I love fresh baked bread. It tastes so much better than other breads.

    Reply to Brooklyn
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you, Brooklyn!

      It was hard, but it’s over with and I’m so happy. If I didn’t finish, it would have hurt more than the pain.

      Ohhhh it really is tasty! I love going there when I’m in D.C.!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kathryn

    Congrats on completing the half marathon!

    You may want to look into Muscle Activation (https://muscleactivation.com/) to help the knee injury. It’s a newer therapy, sortof a combo between massage and full body physical therapy. The theory is that as we recover from injuries, muscle strength gets out of balance so they go in and reactivate muscles that aren’t working well. It’s been a miracle cure for me with some lingering injuries – clearing up tendentious in my legs, a bad shoulder, tightness in my neck. In hindsight I think I could have avoided a knee surgery if I had tried this earlier. Might be worth a shot before considering a surgery.

    Reply to Kathryn
  • Rachel

    Hi πŸ‘‹πŸ½! I have Patella-femoral syndrome which is sometimes called runner’s knee (mine is congenital though). I had a lateral release on my right knee when I was 16 and I now am having the left knee done at 20. It has drastically changed my quality of life to have that procedure done. The recovery was not bad and physical therapy really helped. I would do it over again and I am doing it lol. If you do have to have surgery look for a cooler leg wrap on Amazon. It helps ice the knee all the way around and is amazing. Good luck, I know exactly the pain you describe!

    Reply to Rachel
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you, Rachel! Happy to hear you are doing better and had a positive experience with surgery! My doctor did some Xrays today and I’ll be seeing a specialist next month! The pain is so hard to describe, but if you’ve had runner’s knee, you know! It’s not an “ache” it’s like a ripping feeling!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Ann

    GOOD. FOR. YOU!!! And what a wonderful friend Meighan is, there’s not many of those out there!

    Reply to Ann
  • Imogen

    You did amazing you should be so proud of your achievement no matter what happens on the day! I know it can be disheartening to get injured and it makes you realise how much you take for granted your mobility and freedom to run, walk, jump wherever you want. At the time of the race you feel miserable if you’re in pain but afterwards you are so happy to have done it. I did my first 10k race yesterday and the heat got me bad and I was 2 mins off my best time but afterwards I realised the atmosphere, support and whole general experience made up for it and now i’m signed up for 2 more this month! Take time out to relax and let your knee heal, you have all the time in the world to get the running bug back but you deserve the rest now!

    Reply to Imogen
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you, Imogen!!

      I never realized how much walking meant to me until I couldn’t walk. That sounds awful, but now I’m thanking god every time I stand up. Congrats on your race, and so sorry you had to deal with the heat! NO FUN. Luckily, we had the perfect weather in NYC! Overcast, breezy, & 60 degrees.

      Relax and have fun training for the upcoming races! Keep me updated on how they go!!

      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jessica

    Congratulations on completing your half marathon!!! I kept up with your blog posts while you were training and you’ve helped me fall back in love with running!

    I ran my first half marathon in Oct 2016, I ran the Brooklyn NY Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon. It was a fun experience, because there were live bands playing every mile, which helped the time go by. I also suffered from runners knee while I was training and had so much anxiety before my race. I remember doing a 6 mile run once in Central Park as part of my training and my knee gave out, I could barely make it home. The morning of my race I made sure to take extra strength Tylenol and wear my knee brace. My two friends also running were so supportive too!

    It’s good to see you’re doing strength training because that’s what i was going to recommend. I tried to do 100 body weight squats every day to strength my knees, as well as lunges, and deadlifts for my hamstrings.

    Reply to Jessica
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi Jessica!

      Thanks so much πŸ™‚ & I’m so happy you followed along with my journey!

      Glad your supportive friends were there and congrats on pushing through. Runner’s knee is awful, so the fact that you even did the race blows my mind! You’re a rockstar.

      I am doing all kinds of strength classes and barre now! That’s the plan going forward! πŸ™‚ I have a class today! lol

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Linda @ the Fitty

    Was the expense of this trip all paid for by Shape?

    Also, are all Hilton hotels the same?

    Last question! What are some KEY TAKEAWAYS you would give to someone who wants to train for a half or full marathon like me?

    Much appreciated!:3

    Reply to Linda @ the Fitty
  • Shelby

    Congratulations! It’s a huge accomplishment to push through the pain to finish the Half Marathon! Glad you will be able to take care of your knee so you can get back to walking around without pain.

    Also – I recently finished Two by Two and you will LOVE it. I literally couldn’t put it down.

    Reply to Shelby
  • Kim

    So sorry to hear about your pain during race, that’s horrible πŸ™ But congratulations on finishing, that is such an accomplishment!!

    My first (and only) race was a 5k, which I loved. I’ve been lucky to not have any injuries. I’m excited to see your training plan! I have tried and failed to train for a half marathon for years. I would love to finally complete that goal in near future lol.

    Enjoy your break from running!

    Reply to Kim
  • Carrie

    Sorry about the runners knee! I had to give up distance running because of it. I stick to 5ks now which sucked at first but I know is better in the long run. Congratulations on finishing your first half! It’s a great accomplishment!

    Reply to Carrie
  • Jess

    I’m so proud of you for running your half marathon!!!!! I hope you heal quickly! Take care and thank you for sharing your journey.

    Reply to Jess
  • Molly

    Congrats to both of you on your half!! That’s such a big accomplishment. Now I want to do a destination half. I feel like they seem more fun than doing them in your normal hometown (which is all I’ve ever done)! I’m so so sorry to hear about your knee. I hope you can get it figured out and nurse it back to health, and am glad you made the best of the situation you had!<3

    Reply to Molly
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you, Molly!

      Sign up for one! It’s such a fun thing to train for and plan. Plus, if you can run 13.1 miles, you deserve to treat yourself while doing it! I’m doing well now, but would love answers!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Anonymous

    Hi, Tara!
    Congratulations on the half marathon! Injuries are frustrating to deal with; I know. I’ve run two halfs. The first one was a pace similar to yours and like you I had also been dealing with an injury (my heel, though most of the issues occurred during training rather than the actual race). However I’ll tell you that my second half went a lot better (more than 20 minutes better than my first!) and I was injury-free! So, keep your head up, keep at it, and keep your accomplishments in mind! You’re awesome!

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Lauren

    Congrats Tara!!! I’m so sorry your knee did that to you but congratulations on finishing! It’s truly an accomplishment.

    Reply to Lauren
  • Angie Kocerka

    Wow, I am definitely inspired to run a race in a different city. Great job girl! You completed a half marathon, that is a major accomplishment. Regarding your training program/plan I would like to see info on stretches if possible and what you do in between runs. Congrats again!

    Reply to Angie Kocerka
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks Angie πŸ™‚

      TOTALLY run a destination half. Will totally do that! I am actually including a pre-run stretch video and post stretch in the plan!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Emilyyyy

    When I ran my first full, I felt pain I never felt after. Maybe because I went from a 5k to a full, with training in between… but still, it was horrible! I am proud that you pushed through and finished – I know you’ll be back! Every full/half/ultra after my first was much easier… I think my body got used to it! And I’m sure yours will too. It’s an accomplishment to cross that finish line and you did something not many people can say they’ve done!!

    Reply to Emilyyyy
  • Ariel LaVenture

    Reading this post was incredibly inspiring. I always appreciate your honesty and that you’re willing to share the rough/hard stuff along with the good – thank you for that!

    I’m not really a runner, so my first race was a fun color-themed 5K and I was nervous! But I had two friends who pushed me to run the whole thing, which was amazing.

    No injuries, luckily, but I do get headaches and it’s crazy how they can keep me from wanting to work out. I’ve tried to switch to more peaceful stretching/yoga-style stuff when that happens. I hope your feeling better!

    I’m curious to know more about your race diet, in general. I thought it would be REALLY fun to do a Disney World race, and not being too familiar with running, I wanted to get a feel for what you eat pre/post-run!

    Thanks, Taralynn!

    Cheers,
    Ariel

    Reply to Ariel LaVenture
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Ariel!

      Thank you very much & that is what my blog is all about. I could tell you the race was amazing, I finished, and everyone should it because it’s so easy, but that’s not the case at all. You go through challenges and that’s the relatable part! I don’t want to make myself sound like a superhero runner because I’m TOTALLY NOT! lol

      The color run is a great first race! It gets you in the routine, allows you to have fun, and can prepare you for a more serious 5k! I think you chose the right one and it’s great your friends pushed you forward. What would we do without them!?

      Headaches can come from not having enough water, enough potassium, sodium, fuel or the sun may be too bright! I get headaches sometimes too, and it’s usually one of those factors!

      My race diet was pretty healthy, but more carb based and protein based. My diet now has completely changed! I wanted to make sure I was strong and healthy so A LOT OF nutrients and healthy/calorie rich foods like nuts, banana, avocado, whole grain bread, nut butter, protein powder, eggs and so on! I’ll make sure to add it to the training plan!!

      xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Carol

    Congrats on your race!!!
    I loved reading your post and your pictures are amazing. It was hard for me to read about your knee pain but I’m so glad you were able to finish. Our bodies are crazy! You trained so well I can’t believe that happened. I would like to run the Disney Half Marathon sometime in the next few years, or just a race that’s really pretty.
    I hope your MD appointment goes well today πŸ™‚ I work in physical therapy and there are some great therapists out there who use a lot of manual techniques in addition to rehabbing, I’ll be curious to see if that’s what they recommend for you.
    Keep on keepin’ on and I hope to see you 100% back on your feet soon.

    Reply to Carol
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you, Carol!

      Sometimes you can’t control what the body will do, it’s what you do with it when it happens.

      My friend, Meighan, ran the half and she loved it!!! Thats a great half to do! It’s very casual.

      I’ll find out some answers on Friday about my knee!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Leianna

    Congratulations!!! It wasn’t exactly what you were expecting, but you prevailed and got through it. What a wonderful accomplishment!

    Reply to Leianna
  • Meghan

    I’ve never ran in a race before, but I’m hoping to at least do a 5k this summer. I’m going to start training for a 10k now that I can easily run a 5k, so hopefully by fall I could run one of those too! When I first started running, I had awful plantar fasciitis which made it hard to try to increase my mileage, I could barely run a mile because it hurt so bad. Luckily KT tape helped, and after a while I didn’t need it anymore. Now I don’t have any issues. I’m excited for your training plan so I can use it in the future to work up to a half marathon!

    Reply to Meghan
  • Caileigh

    congratulations!!! I know how horrible it is for old injuries to sneak back up on you and affect performance, but the mental stamina you showed by finishing the race is incredible. You’re an inspiration. I have only ever run a 5k (i’m not a runner but I pretend) and I actually got butterflies before it started, which I didn’t expect. My stamina wasn’t great, but it was such a cool experience to have people cheering me on and I felt amazing when I finished. I’ve had loads of injuries, but the worst for me was tendonitis in my hips. I was a dancer for 20 years and when I was 16, I started to get pain. I managed it with physical therapy (and tons of ice) until the end of my competitive career. When I dont stretch or take care of my body properly, the pain creeps in. It really is all about maintenance and listening to your body. I’ve learned the importance of proper stretching, warming up, strength training, and rest. Congrats again Taralynn!!! and good luck with the recovery

    Reply to Caileigh
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks, Caileigh!

      When you’re hurt that bad, it’s all about mental stamina.

      If you can run one mile, you’re a runner. Don’t forget that!

      You’re so right about warming up and stretching! SO RIGHT.

      Thanks for the kind words!

      Have a great week.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Mercedes

    Congratulations, you should be so proud of yourself! I began training for a half marathon in March and unfortunately, just developed runners knee for the first time two weeks ago. I was really disappointed and am just now coming to terms with it. It’s so frustrating to spend years doubting your ability to do something, finally gather up the courage to sign up, and then be shot down by runners knee. Hoping I can take another shot next year. Congrats again, looking forward to reading about your next journey πŸ™‚

    Reply to Mercedes
    • Taralynn McNitt

      That happened to me the first time I started training for my half marathon. I was disappointed and somewhat embarrassed, but it’s ook! We HAVE to listen to our bodies and tuck our pride in. Keep babying that knee, ice, cross train, walk, swim, yoga, and so on!!!

      Keep your head up! xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Lisa

    Great job on the race! A half marathon is a great accomplishment. I know it sucks when you train hard for something and then an injury pops up. The second half I ran I had problems. I didn’t get injured but I was unprepared for the hills (unlike you in your race here ;)) It was hotter than I expected and it just drained me. I felt so defeated afterward. However, I bounced back from it. The last half I ran was fantastic. I trained hard and kicked ass. Give your knee the time it needs to rest and then some. Don’t push yourself back into running before you’re ready. And when you do get out there, ease back into things. Again, great job!

    Reply to Lisa
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks, Lisa!!

      We were BLESSED with perfect weather, so I think that played a role in or success.

      Thank you for the advice and that is exactly what I plan to do!

      Taralynn

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jacqui

    I just ran Broad Street (10 miles) in Philly yesterday and I felt a twinge in my knee during the first mile! it sorta stretched itself out but by mile 10 I was just ready to be DONE and now today it’s pretty sore. I hope you’re feeling better and better every minute – can’t wait to see your training plan!

    Reply to Jacqui
  • Jenna

    Woo Hoo I’m so proud of you for reaching your goal. You inspire me! By the way, I have read both The Rosie Effect and Two by Two. Both great books!

    Reply to Jenna
  • Jaime

    Oh my god “if we go down, we go down together.” That is SO sweet I got the chills lol. Congrats on your first half, I’m glad you didn’t let your injury ruin your experience and hard work training! That goat cheese and spinach omelette looks amazing…I love that combo for omelettes πŸ™‚

    1. I ran a 5K. I’m stupidly blanking on which 5K was my first. I remember being super nervous cause I was also one to skip the mile runs in gym class, but everyone around me was so positive and encouraging and although I didn’t get my best time ever, I really enjoyed it!
    2. YES. I’ve mentioned it on your blog before but I broke my foot nearly 2 years ago and then sprained the same part of my foot a few months ago. I have had to be so patient after this sprain and it’s so frustrating. I’m not in as good as shape as I used to be but I know it’s for the best in the long run. It’s so true, we really take walking for granted. I felt like such an inactive lump for a while, but I’m losing the weight I gained during the first month after my sprain. When I broke it, it was after I lost 30 pounds. It was so discouraging but I got back on track after physical therapy and lost the last 10 pounds to hit my goal weight. Nowadays, I don’t go by my weight but how I feel because I got a litle too obsessive, but I feel great despite some occasional foot pain after harder workouts! I just make sure to rest and ice when I do higher impact things.
    3. This question doesn’t apply to me as much since I don’t plan on running anytime soon because of my foot πŸ™‚

    Reply to Jaime
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Jaime! THANK YOU!

      Goat cheese is so good in omelets. I mean…it’s good in EVERYTHING! Sweet or savory!

      Time is nothing, it’s all about finishing and you did it! That mile in gym class was terrifying. I mean high school was bad enough! lol

      Sounds like you made positive changes and are on track to a healthy lifestyle! Thanks for the inspiration. Breaking a foot or hurting your legs is so scary and it’s so frustrating when you can’t want, especially if you’re addicted to walking and exploring!

      Hope all is well! xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Stephanie Conner

    Congrats!! you did it!! And no one can ever take it away from you :).

    So sorry about your knee– I dealt with injuries on injuries (knees, shin splints, hip issues, ugh!!) when I first started running. Nothing is more frustrating than putting in all that work & experiencing that crap!! Probably a dumb question for how much running you do but its always what I go to when people have injuries that happen over and over. Have you ever been fitted at a running store for your shoes? It was lifechanging for me. That & glute exercises!! Still took me a lot of phys therapy to get back to healthy, but now I rarely experience injuries.

    Reply to Stephanie Conner
    • Taralynn McNitt

      You’re right, Stephanie & thank you!

      It can be extremely frustrating. I actually have! & it does play a big role! I always tell people to do the same!! I’ll be getting REFITTED & working on all kinds of new exercises and therapies to get better.

      XO

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Nina

    Hi!

    I hope you’re going to feel better with your knee, it must be so painful. And congratulations for the half! Mind is really everything in finishing a race sometimes πŸ™‚

    What was your first race experience like?
    Painful! It was the end of my training at military academy, a 5k. I had two (undiagnosed at the time) tendinisis so my legs were just a giant pain. I don’t talk about my back, I had an injury due to the intense physical training. But I was very happy to finish it.

    Has an injury ever affected you?
    After the academy, I had back issues for months and couldn’t run as much as I wanted because of the tendinisis. I enjoyed running again when I started to do some stretching and relax more.

    Ask me anything about the race/what you’d like to see on the training plan.
    I’d like to see how you adapt your meals for running (quantity…)

    Reply to Nina
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Nina!

      You’re right. MIND is what tells you to keep going.

      Nice job pushing through your race as well.

      Tendinitis is awful! I dealt with that in the Achilles years ago.

      I’ll definitely talk about running & food!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Aly

    You did it!! Way to go! I definitely know how you feel, I ran a half a month ago and my hip popped two miles in and progressively got more painful. Never happened during training either. But I finished! Love your blog. You go girl!

    Reply to Aly
  • Amanda

    Yaayyyyy you did it!! Your pictures from the trip are gorgeous – I just love NYC!

    Reply to Amanda
  • Stacy

    Congratulations Tara!!!!!!! I’ve been following your training since you announced that you were doing a half marathon. It’s been fun and inspirational. I’m really sorry about your knee, and wish you a healthy and full recovery! Congratulations again! Job well done!

    Reply to Stacy
  • Katie

    I was so excited to see this recap was up! I’m so proud of the both of you for kicking butt at the marathon; you both worked so hard.

    You definitely earned some time off from running and I hope that knee gets better!

    Reply to Katie
  • Hayley

    CONGRATS on your half!! I’ve always loved running but have never actually signed up for a race- it’s on my bucket list to do a half marathon though! Absolutely love your blog, I only found it a few weeks ago and LOVE the way you write your posts & everything you write about!! I’d definitely love to read about your weight lifting workouts as well (how often, what you do, etc.).

    Reply to Hayley
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you!!!

      Totally sign up!!!& I’m so happy to hear you love my blog! WELCOME!! πŸ™‚ If you have any questions on where to find things, don’t hesitate to ask! I will certainly be writing about my weight training. If you go up to the top under fitness, there is a tab for “workout challenges” and I have a lot of workouts that include cross training in them:)

      Have a great week!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Joslyn

    Tara – (sorry for my long post!) first of all, you did AMAZING on your first race! I can’t imagine what the pain must have e been like. So proud of you for finishing though! I ran my first half marathon yesterday! (2:35:50) I steadily kept up between the 2:20:00 and 2:25:00 pacers until my 11th mile. I was so exhausted at that point I started to drift behind. Then I noticed my family and fiancΓ© on the sidelines at about 12.7 miles right before reaching the finish line and it gave me such a boost to keep running all the way through! I will definitely be doing it again next year and determined to beat my time.

    Around 6-7 weeks into my training, I was having HORRIBLE right hip pain. I could barely walk. I got a sport massage and bought new shoes (the ones I had been using were 2 years old… whoops) and that changed everything and I was good as new.

    I’m interested to see what your training plan was! I just followed the “Hal Higdon” marathon plan suggested to me by one of my coworkers that is an avid runner.

    Again, great job on the race!

    Reply to Joslyn
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Joslyn!

      Congrats on your first race!!! SO PROUD of you and it’s crazy what a little cheering and familiar faces can do!

      Glad you had your pain fixed and under control! Massages and shoes make a big difference.

      THANKS SO MUCH & I’ll have that training plan up soon!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Juliette | Namastay Traveling

    Congratulations on your race!! I’m so excited for you and so glad I got to follow along on this journey! I completely understand the surprising pain that can reappear out of no where. I had to give up running for a couple years due to a torn muscle from overuse. I started running half marathons when I was all better…until I wasn’t. The injury reappeared even after I followed all the rules about taking it easy so I had to slow down for awhile. Nevertheless, I’m back on the track again and taking baby steps! Hope you’re feeling better really soon <3

    Reply to Juliette | Namastay Traveling
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you so much, Juliette!!

      Thank you for following along and giving me wonderful advice along the way! Means so much to me & the support definitely pushed me through. It’s inspiring to see that you’ve gone through the struggles and picked yourself back up. I needed to read that today! I can’t wait to recover and get back out there!

      XO

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Elisa

    you probably started way to fast. I have had this problem before, and my coach has told me to slow down, because by mile 10-11 im burned out and start feeling all everything. it would of been better if you had started with the pace you finished in and finished the race and the pace that you started. I hope you feel better! and I hope this wont be your last race!

    Reply to Elisa
    • Taralynn McNitt

      You’d think that would be the issue, but we maintained our pace at a comfortable speed and around the same time as training. We actually started slow. I wasn’t burned out at all and that was the frustrating part, it was just my knee that quit. I know it wont be my last race πŸ™‚

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Whitney

    So sorry about your knee and groin. You finished the race and you will be back! Very proud of you and your strength and courage. You have been through this before and know that you will overcome it. Rest up as you deserve it!!!

    Reply to Whitney
  • Amanda|The Kitcheneer

    I am SO SO proud of you! YOU DID IT *in Reese Witherspoon’s voice in Legally Blinde* but seriously congrats!
    And I know how frustrating being injuried can be. I have sprained both my wrists in the past year and I have had to modify EVERYTHING at Crossfit but I love it so I still go and do what I can! But it gives me more time on the trails too. Always a bright side to everything πŸ™‚

    Reply to Amanda|The Kitcheneer
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you so much, Amanda lol

      Love that you’re still fighting through! I always love seeing your inspiring posts!!!

      Hope you have a great week!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    I’ve been waiting for this recap for a LONGGGG time, finally it’s up! New York looks amazing and congratulations for finishing the half marathon! Super admirable!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
  • Nicole

    Congratulations on your race! Just came across your blog and Instagram.

    I had a calf strain/slight tear that put a damper on my training for a race but being able to cross train on the elliptical kept up my fitness and I was able to run the race.

    What half are you training for in December? Will you do anything different for the December half in terms of your training?

    Reply to Nicole
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks, Nicole!!!

      Nice job moving forward and running the race! Cross train is so important!

      I will be able to answer that as soon as I talk with my doctor about my knee. Still praying I can do it! Meighan and I will be running a half marathon in San Diego.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Hayley

    Congratulations on finishing! That is an AWESOME accomplishment πŸ™‚ Last summer I got into running and would do a 3 mile loop on my old college campus. I remember the feeling of such pride and joy when I finished it in a time that I would have never guessed! Of course now I will admit I haven’t been as into the habit but hope to get to that point again sometime! Kudos to you for pulling through and completing it! Also, I love the pictures in this post! I haven’t been to NYC in about 5 years!

    Reply to Hayley
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thank you, Hayley!

      Crazy what the body can do when you work hard and connect it with the mind.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures. I can get a little overboard sometimes, but it’s hard to stop! I love the visuals. lol

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jennifer

    What a remarkable accomplishment. So glad that you were able to power through and reach your goal!
    New York looks so amazing, would love to plan a trip here πŸ™‚

    Reply to Jennifer
  • Emily Weir

    I’m sorry to hear about your terrible knee pain! When I started increasing my distance I suffered from runners knee. I worked one-on-one with a trainer for a while to build up more strength in my legs and now I NEVER have an issue with my knees. It has made all the difference in my knee strength.

    My first race was a 5k about 7 years ago. I’d been training for months with my dad and managed to finish is under 30 minutes!

    Most recently, I ran a trail half at the beginning of February. I will NEVER run another trail race again. The first 7 miles were perfect, but all of the up and down wore out my hip flexor to where I couldn’t even life my leg to get up the hills by the end. It was miserable.

    I can’t wait to see your training plan. I was somewhat following one for my half this year, but it wanted me to run 5 days a week which just isn’t realistic with my schedule. I’m interested to see what you two did!

    Reply to Emily Weir
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Yes, I definitely did the same and incorporated more strength training, but I think ten miles was the max lol Hoping to get a new game plan with my doctor today!

      Nice job on your 5k!

      Ugh hate a miserable run, but good job completing it!

      Ours was really laid back! less running but longer training! We didn’t feel rushed to hurry up and run!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt

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