Today I’m sharing my thoughts about signing up for a half marathon when I know I won’t PR and how I define health and fitness — and how that’s changed over the past few years!

Happy fall y’all! I started my day with a 7 mile drizzly run. Well, drizzly for most of it – there were about 2 miles of an absolute downpour. I actually don’t mind running in the rain if it’s not cold, and it definitely wasn’t today – 70 degrees!

My legs were crazy sore yesterday after intervals on Tuesday and then heavy back squats that night. I took yesterday entirely off to rest, but my legs were still sore last night and felt heavy this morning. I told myself I could run as slow as I wanted, but to just get out there and start running.

It definitely didn’t feel easy, but it was a pretty slow pace for me. I started out around a 9+ minute pace (I usually run an 8:30 minute pace on easy days), and I kept that pace until the downpour started. And then miraculously, my legs decided they wanted to run faster. 😉 I ended up averaging an 8:40 pace for 7 miles, with the last few miles in the low 8’s.

terilyn hutcheon half marathon PR

Anyway…while I was running, I was thinking about training for and running a half marathon.

But I haven’t raced in over 2 years…

I didn’t take an intentional break from racing, but life just happened and time flew by –  moving to Charlotte, starting crossfit, getting addicted to crossfit, moving back to Winston-Salem, getting a quad strain, etc.

Signing up for a race has been on my mind for a while, but a few things have held me back.

  1. I’m still trying to figure out how to balance running and Crossfit.
  2. I haven’t run more than 7 miles in a long time. I don’t have a running bud for longer distances, and honestly, solo long miles are hard for me — especially after getting used to working out with so many friends at Crossfit.
  3. A PR is very unlikely. My previous half PR is 1:34 (or, 1:33 unofficially), which is an average pace of 7:10 miles. I’m not anywhere near that speed, even for distances much shorter than 13 miles.

That last one is where I’ve really been hung up. I’m nervous to run a race and I’ve been trying to figure out why. I know I’ll be able to finish if I put in the training and am not dumb about overtraining/avoiding injuries. I’ve run over a dozen half marathons (I’ve lost count). So I think what it boils down to is that I won’t PR and that bothers me. For a while, when I was racing so much, I PR’d at nearly every race. And that felt good – really good. I kept making improvements and I loved that.

I was texting with my blog-reader-turned-friend Erin about this, and she mentioned how her running isn’t at her peak but that she’s the happiest she’s ever been. And that really resonated with me. My running definitely isn’t at my peak – but I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, and I think I’m the fittest I’ve ever been. I used to solely define my fitness by my running speed, and now fitness is so much more multi-faceted for me.

It’s more about overall health.

I define fitness by the amount of weight I can squat or deadlift, or by progress towards a tough move in CrossFit, like toes to bars or strict pull-ups. Health is more about the amount of sleep I’m getting and my level of stress. (I talked about nixing multitasking to reduce stress in my last email newsletter!) Health is about strong relationships with God, Tommy, my family and friends. And Maizey, of course. 😉

So, am I the fastest version of me? Nope. But I’m the healthiest and happiest version of me. And that matters more than a PR. 

teri and maizey

(Please remind me of this when I’m upset that I don’t PR at the Mistletoe Half Marathon. 🙂 )

(Photo with Maizey was taken by the talented Holly!)

6 comments // by Teri [a foodie stays fit]

My favorite links from the week and a recap of last week’s workouts, including my workouts while traveling for work and where to run in Midtown Atlanta.

Favorite reads from the last week

  • Zucchini tortillas. Intriguing… have you tried anything like these before? I’m generally very skeptical of healthy substitutes in an attempt to avoid carbs. I want real rice, not cauliflower rice (I liked it at first and now it makes me gag). I want pasta, not zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash. I want to enjoy zucchini, cauliflower and spaghetti squash for what they are – delicious vegetables – not some “guilt-free” substitute. Rant over. I didn’t realize I had such strong feelings about that.
  • Get stuff done via Holly. I LOVE saying no to more things than I say yes to. Your life is too short to say yes to things or people that don’t truly matter to you.
  • A Story of a Fuck Off Fund. Some foul language, but an excellent read. A MUST-read I would say. (Again, another great article shared by Holly that I also have to share.)

Last Week’s Workouts

I was traveling for work last Sunday – Wednesday for work, and when I travel, I ALWAYS take my running shoes since I love exploring a new city on foot. I liked Atlanta more than I thought I would, but I didn’t love it. I think what I disliked most the most was the lack of quaint coffee shops. Seriously, I couldn’t find a good coffee shop in Midtown Atlanta near my hotel. If I’d had a car, there were a few places I could have gone, but the only thing within walking distance was a Starbucks. I guess I’m a bit of a coffee snob, but I also find quaint coffee shops very relaxing and I like to start my day off on a good note when I travel for work. Life is hard without good coffee. 😉
Where to run in Midtown Atlanta

M – 5.2 miles, 7:39 pace (in Atlanta) – I stayed on the main streets to explore the city itself. There were obviously a lot of stop lights and a ton of traffic by the time I got out the door, but I didn’t want to leave any earlier and run in the dark in an unfamiliar city.

T – 6.1 miles, 8:30 pace (in Atlanta) – I went to the BeltLine on this day, which is a multi-use trail built on top of a historic railroad. I loved not dealing with traffic, seeing so many other runners and bikers, taking in great views, but I wish the trail was asphalt and not concrete. (Most research shows asphalt is easier on your joints than concrete since it’s softer.)

W – 5.5 miles, 8:13 pace (in Atlanta) – I explored Piedmont Park this day. I loved the 800m track, the lake in the picture above, and exploring all the roads that wound through the park. However, there were a few areas that started to feel too deserted as a female running alone.

Where to run in Midtown Atlanta

Th – CrossFit (back home in Winston-Salem!)

  • Front Squats
    • 1×5 – 95#
    • 1×4 – 125#
    • 1×3 – 135#
    • 1×2 – I attempted 145# and got the first rep, but failed on the second
    • 1×1 – I attempted 150 and failed
  • Metcon, for time — 10, 9, 8, 7…1 reps. I finished in 15:20.
    • Thrusters, 65#
    • Burpees over the bar
    • 20 double unders after each round

F – Rest, took Maizey on a long walk in the morning

S – Rest, hit golf balls for a couple hours

Su – 4 mile run in Boone, 7:45 pace. I swear I felt the effects of the altitude. I live at at 970 feet above sea level, and Boone is 3,333. That could make a difference, right??

Overall, it was a great week in workouts, considering how much I was out of town!

When you travel, do you run in a new area or find a fun class to take? I really love visiting other CrossFit gyms and taking yoga classes when I travel, but I didn’t pack things for those activities on this trip. And, my work schedule didn’t really allow for it anyway.

3 comments // by Teri [a foodie stays fit]

Hey y’all! I just got back from a quick weekend getaway in Boone, North Carolina with Tommy. When he asked what I wanted for my birthday, I told him I wanted to spend it in Boone. We weren’t able to go up on my actual birthday because of some things going on last weekend, so we made plans to go up this weekend. It was so nice – the weather was perfect, and it was such a relaxing weekend.

On Saturday, we had a lazy morning with lots of coffee and a huge breakfast, playing with Maizey in the backyard, and then we headed to the Boone Golf Club to hit balls for a bit. We swung by Stickboy Bakery for coffee and I somehow resisted all their amazing looking sweets. (Their oatmeal cookies are ALWAYS worth any gluten woes.)

We ate a late lunch at home, watched some of the Miami/App State football game, took a nap (I was so happy I could actually fall asleep – I’m usually a terrible napper). We hit balls again in the afternoon before getting ready for dinner. It was too pretty to not be outside!


Tommy’s gift to me was taking me to Artisanal in Banner Elk, which was ranked on Open Table as one of the Top 100 restaurants in the country, and rightfully so. It was incredible. Gorgeous setting, amazing food, and I had a very handsome date. 🙂 I didn’t take any pictures since I just wanted to be in the moment, but trust me, everything was perfect.

I got up Sunday morning and went on a 4 mile run, and stopped in Earth Fare for a post-run kombucha. Tommy made me breakfast when I got home, and we went to hit golf balls again with his dad. We had a late lunch with his parents at Coyote Kitchen (LOVE THAT PLACE) and then packed up to head home to Winston. It’s always hard to leave! Maizey hates leaving too. She loves running in his parents’ backyard and she loooves Tommy’s dad. It’s really cute. 🙂


I’ve always loved Boone since moving to North Carolina (the mountains make me feel at home!), and I feel so grateful he’s from there so we always have an excuse to go.

Alright, I’m off to the grocery store! My fridge is empty with the exception of a ton of La Croix. I always stock up when I make a Prime Pantry order – it helps fill the box and saves me from having to lug it up to my apartment. 🙂



2 comments // by Teri [a foodie stays fit]

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