Utah Valley Marathon Race and Discount

I need to be very clear about something right up front. I am not a runner. It’s not a natural desire or thing for me. I try to exercise semi-regularly to support (or maybe that’s offset, not sure) my love of food, but running? Yeah, it’s hard and painful and I kind of tend to glare at people who live, love and breathe running, especially when they run fast and with a smile on their face. I used to run. I think. In another lifetime after college and before having a bunch of little kids running around me but it’s been a while since I’ve run more than, say, a mile or two. Despite all that, I’ve always, always had a half marathon on my bucket list. Even as a non-runner, it kind of calls to me.

So a few months ago, I decided that 2015 is my year. I’m running a half marathon this year if it kills me (and it probably will)!

Here’s the fun part, though. I figured, if I’m going to go to all this effort (training, healthy eating, trying to find the cutest running shoes on the planet, etc.), why don’t I invite you to join me, too? Can you even imagine what fun that would be to run this together? Eeek! It makes me so, so excited!

No matter your running ability, there is time to get ready for this race. I promise. Even if that means you run-slash-walk…or run slowly (hi, that’s me back there running slowly)…or race to the finish for a PR.

Here’s a little extra incentive: I’ve teamed up with the Utah Valley Marathon (voted one of the country’s top 10 races in 2014) and they are giving an exclusive 20% discount to all Mel’s Kitchen Cafe readers! I’m ignoring the fact that I’m willingly signing up to run across a small country (ok, a very small country) and focusing on the positive: free t-shirt. I don’t know about you but I’ll do just about anything for a free t-shirt.

Utah Valley Marathon Race and Discount

This is just the motivation I need to get my body in shape, my legs to run a little faster (ok, just run), and get my sights on a goal that I’ve had in mind for forever.

Here are the important details:

-The race is Saturday, June 13, right smack dab in one of the most beautiful spots in Utah (Provo Canyon).
-Not only is there a half marathon (the one I’ll be running) but there’s also a full marathon, a 10K and a free kid’s 1K.
To register, go here and use the code mkc20 for your 20% discount!

I’m not sure who we are or what’s happened to us, but my family has been bitten by the running bug; Brian, Jackson (10) and Walker (9) are officially signed up for the 10K (they’ve been running a couple times a week and the boys are in heaven they get to stay up a bit late to go running with dad), I’m running the half, and all the kids are running the free 1K. And after the race, we are going to spend the rest of the day in a hot tub. Somehow, somewhere.

Utah Valley Marathon Race and Discount

I know this race may not be in everyone’s neck of the woods (I’ll be driving 5+ hours to get there myself) but if you have a hankering to join in the fun, please comment below and let me know!

Believe me when I say, if I can do this, so can you! 

187 Responses to Get Ready to Run! Half Marathon {Want to Join Me?} + A Discount Code To Sweeten The Deal

  1. S.P.Bowers says:

    My rheumatologist won’t let me run anymore but good luck to those who are trying! When you want to swim or do other non-weight bearing, knee crushing things I’m in!

  2. Heather bell says:

    Utah is a bit of a 20sh hour drive so count me out but I could get motivated to do a half out here;) way to go!!

  3. Yay! Running is exhilarating and exhausting all at the same time! I have committed for 2015 to be my year for my first half as well. I’ve running for about 4 years and still haven’t done it yet.

    We can do this together! Obviously I’ll be doing a local one in PA. But I’ll be thinking of you in my heart.

    Praying you finish strong Mel!

  4. Joyce says:

    Ha ha ha…..not a chance,

  5. Joanne says:

    So excited for you! You go girl. Part of me would jump at this opportunity but not sure these rusty 56 year old knees feel the same. How does the saying go…the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. You have motivated me though to maybe take some baby steps in 2015. Have always been curious about running and those shoes are awfully cute!

  6. Teresa R. says:

    No running for me. I was an avid runner when I was younger and my knees paid the price. Now Good luck!

  7. Lisa says:

    I would if I could! I am having my third baby in June and I am so so so sad to miss all the running going on this summer. HAVE FUN!!! It’s so worth it!

  8. Rachel says:

    I’m in. I started running last spring, and I have never EVER enjoyed running before, but something clicked this time and I’ve stuck with it. I was thinking about doing the Canyonlands half marathon, but it’s at the very tail end of winter, and I started thinking I’d rather have all that hardcore training take place in the spring than in the dead of winter. I’m signing up for the UT Valley half today!

  9. Nicole H says:

    Hooray!! I’m in Utah County so I can totally be in on this! I have a sad story of training for their 2012 half, then not making it to the starting line. We just had a baby, so I might have to stick with the 10k so she doesn’t end up starving for one reason or another 🙂 I love that this is a family goal for you guys, that is so neat! Good luck with your training!!!

    • Mel says:

      Nicole – you and I may have similar sad stories (I trained for one a decade or more ago but never actually ran it either). If you end up running the 10K (or half!) with this race, let me know!

  10. Yes…..I will encourage you!
    No…I’m not doing it.
    I got into running a few years ago and then had an injury that has never completely healed. I can’t afford another year of PT.
    You go girl!

  11. Candela says:

    Utah Valley Half Marathon! You’ll love it! I ran that race some years ago and enjoyed every step of it… and that says something because I’m not an athlete. I just took it slow and it was a great experience. Hope you enjoy it as well. You can totally do this!

  12. Sandy M says:

    Congrats for taking that first step. I started training for a 1/2 two years ago and suffered an injury that kept me out. I was quite bummed. I love the idea of running but with I had never done it before. Needless to say, i fell off the wagon. I’m looking forward to giving it another try, but maybe I’ll start with a local 10k. Good Luck!!!

  13. Becky says:

    Just signed up for my first half marathon as well! I’ve always loathed running, but some how got talked into this one. However we are in Scotland for the hubby’s grad school, so I will literally be running across a small island and back… Here’s to training!

  14. Stacy says:

    That’s awesome, Mel! Good for you guys. I just started running and it’s not easy, but has been quite rewarding. Hope you all have fun!

  15. Yvonne says:

    Thanks for the code!

  16. Kristen Norby says:

    I’m running my first half marathon this year too and I’m excited (and terrified)! I would love to run this one as well! I”d have to drive 9 hours to get there but I’m game!

    • Mel says:

      I’m so glad I’m not the only one running my first half this year, Kristen! That’s awesome you are going for it, too. If you end up making the drive down to this one, let me know! I’d love to say hi and as I mentioned in response to other comments, for anyone that’s interested (seriously, no pressure), it would be fun for us all to wear something that identifies us as people on the same “team” – I’ll get something in the works, even if it’s just a few of us!

  17. Lisa Rose says:

    This was on my bucket list as well! I checked it off a couple of years ago. It is a lot of training, but you will feel awesome when you’re done! I’m settling for a 10k this year. Good luck!!

  18. Helen says:

    Oh wow Mel, this is a really big deal !! I have done the running thing before and my knees hated me for it … That being said, this is so tempting for me on so many levels. I need to do this for my mental and physical health .. And the opportunity to be in on something like this with you sounds like so much fun. I don’t have any great excuse in terms of travel time … It’s only just over an hour for me. So here’s the questions … Are you going to make some training schedule that you are willing to share? Will I be able to keep myself accountable to someone besides myself? Can I be slow…. Like walk part of the time? How far is a half-marathon (this is probably a dumb question) ? And if I decide to do this will I really get to hang out with you even briefly

    • Mel says:

      Hey Helen – great questions! I have a training schedule I’m using for the next 20 weeks. I needed the push to start now instead of waiting for the more typical 16- or 12- week training programs. I’d be willing to share it (I basically modified from one online) with the caveat that I’m not a personal trainer and everyone needs to trust their own judgment on how far and fast to push it. I’d LOVE to have you as part of this. Love, love it. There are lots of training programs for walk/run half marathons where you run for 2 minutes, walk for 1 (or vice versa). Thats definitely doable. The half marathon is 13.1 miles but don’t let that scare you – there’s 20 weeks to prepare! And yes, if you do this, we will definitely meet up, promise!!

      • Helen says:

        I think I want to get the hubby and the kids in on this too .. I’m definitely going to want to see your training schedule. Walk/run will be my speed .. And I want in on the playlist … And some advice on good running shoes!!! When the temporary Boise resident returns home tomorrow we will look at all the details and I will let you know as soon as registration is complete .. Looks like I’m in . Thanks for doing this. I think it’s just the motivation I’ve been needing

  19. Jill says:

    Way to go, Mel! I just signed up for my first half marathon as well. You and I have a lot of the same taste in food, so maybe one day you could post your running playlist. I need ideas! Good luck with your training!

  20. Jen says:

    I think we should all wear “Mel” t-shirts, or buttons, or something…so we know who each other are! (Although my 9 yr. old son isn’t so sure about that right now.) 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Haha! That’s funny, Jen – my 9- and 11-year olds probably wouldn’t be too keen on that either but your comment gave me an idea, though. I think for everyone that says “I’m in!” – I’m going to have a little something to wear (details coming soon) that identifies us all as runners on the same team, even if we aren’t running in the same race (some may be doing the 10K, others the half, etc) or running right next to each other (as in, I’ll probably be on the, er, slower end of the spectrum). Even if it’s only five or six of us, it would be fun!

  21. Kate says:

    I’m in! I did my first half back in Feb 2013 and then I went on a mission to northern England and couldn’t really keep it up. This is a good chance to get motivated again. Thanks for the push! Love your blog, have been reading for years.

    • Mel says:

      Yay, Kate! Keep me posted on when you sign up and if you end up running this particular half! I have a little surprise in mind for everyone who wants to run it (or any of the other Utah Valley Marathon races on June 13) so we can run as a team (even if we aren’t running next to each other so to speak, if that makes sense). I’m excited!

  22. Yeah, that looks like a great run! If I lived closer I would definitely run the half. Enjoy your run, find good, supporting running shoes and enjoy the training. 🙂

  23. Jill Walker says:

    Awesome! I did my first 1/2 4 years ago and have done 5 more since. I wish I could run with you! Happy training 🙂

  24. fmandds says:

    I ran the full marathon a couple of years ago. It was beautiful even with it raining! I’m running Ogden’s full marathon in May so I may just be tempted to squeeze this, be it full or half, this year to support you. Good luck and stay safe in training!

  25. lisa Clawson says:

    Top of Utah- last weekend of Aug. Come with me!! And you can stay at my house:)

  26. Camille says:

    Oh Mel! I’m so so tempted! Why did you post this today? 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Camille! Dude, your sister just said she is tempted and you are tempted…I think that’s a sign. Both of you should do it! Come on! I need the moral support.

  27. Rob Long says:

    That’s awesome! I’m a runner (I’ve done several marathons, half marathons, triathlons) and I’m always thrilled to hear about new runners taking the plunge and tackling a Half.

    May the road be flat, and the wind always at your back 🙂

    Rob

  28. Missy says:

    Tempted, Mel, very tempted! I’ve done one in provo canyon before and it is so gorgeous! I’ll let you know what I decide!

  29. Angela says:

    I’m seriously considering it and am hoping to get a sister or two (or maybe even 5!) on board. I want to know what someone else was asking – Will we get to meet you and hang out for at least a few minutes?? And… do you have any training plans you’d be willing to share? It sounds like a lot of fun, and I’ll let you know about my signing up when/if it happens.

    • Mel says:

      Yes, yes, yes! To everything. 🙂 I wasn’t sure what the interest would be and to be honest, I don’t want to put pressure on anyone (this was kind of a hair brained idea myself) but I don’t care if there are 2 people or 200 people that decide to run this, I will most definitely plan a meet up of some kind and like I mentioned in the above comments, if there’s interest, I would love to have something we all wear to identify us as Mel’s Runners (that sounds weird and I’m not out to start a “thing” but you know what I mean, just a way for us to know who to say hi to without looking creepy). 🙂 Keep me posted if you sign up. I mentioned to Helen above that I’ve modified a 20-week half marathon schedule to fit my needs and I’d love to share it with anyone who wants it, understanding that I’m not a personal trainer and don’t want to assume liability for someone who pushes too far, too fast. Know what I mean? I’ll also be sharing a few tips in the next few months about what I’m eating and how I’m training (but I promise not to detract from the main point of the blog: delicious recipes).

  30. Amanda says:

    i so wish I could do this with you, but I’m giving birth end ofay, so *maybe* it’s not such a good idea. I trained for and ran a half marathon last year, and it was one of the most difficult and rewarding things I’ve done. I am not a runner, and I’m actually about 50 pounds overweight, but it was amazing to me what my body could accomplish when I put in the work and time. It was also really important to find a way to invest in myself, when so much of my time is spent giving to the lovely small children in my life. Good luck, you’re going to do great!

    • Mel says:

      Amanda – your comments completely sums up why I want to do this so thank you! I am far from a “runner” myself but I’m looking forward to doing something to kind of rejuvenate me; emotionally and physically!

  31. Kimiko says:

    Good luck Mel! I ran my first half-marathon last year, and although I ended up running it kind of last minute (my husband was running with a group of our friends and one girl had to drop out the day before the event due to injury, so I took her spot. I think I’m crazy. Lol), I look back on it SO glad that I took the chance and decided to run. It’s such a great feeling afterward to know that you’ve accomplished something so challenging, and the medals are a pretty nice keepsake too! So, if I could do it with practically no training, you could DEFINTELY do it. I’m looking forward to running more once I have this baby…I think running another half is a good post-pregnancy goal! 😉

  32. Meghan says:

    You can do it!

  33. Laurel says:

    I live not too far, up Hidden in the mnts, from Provo canyon. Look for me cheering you on. I’ll set up a MKC table full of dark chocolate. 😉 good luck.

  34. Emily Archibald says:

    Um, yes! I am totally in! I got really excited when I saw running shoes on your website! And I already feel a little bit like we are friends even though you don’t know me. But I really want to do this! I live in Mississippi, but I’m always looking for a good excuse to go to Utah. This may be it. Even if I don’t run in Provo, I will in run a half marathon in the hills of Vicksburg on the same day at the same time and just think of me when you get the t-shirt! This is a fun a great idea!!

    • Mel says:

      Emily – you would certainly win some type of award if you traveled all the way from Mississippi to Utah but you better let me know if you do! That would be so fun. Otherwise, let me know if you sign up for a local race, too!

  35. Andrea says:

    This is the first year I’ll be doing a half marathon too–to celebrate my 40th birthday! I was planning to do the Star Valley Half on July 11 (since I’m up in Wyoming), but Provo is only 3 hours away, and I’ve heard Provo Canyon is gorgeous. I’m thinking I just might do the Utah Valley one instead–or maybe if I’m feeling ambitious I’ll do both! (Ha ha. That’s a big maybe.) Anyway, I’m so glad you’re doing this! It’s nice to know of someone else who’s tackling a half for the first time. Whether I do the Star Valley or the Utah Valley race, I’m in!

    • Mel says:

      Andrea – I love this! I’m turning 40 in a couple years and maybe if I’m motivated to do a half this year, I’ll celebrate and do one the year I turn 40, too. 🙂 I would bow down to you if you did both. But if you decide to do the Utah Valley one, let me know! And either way, we can support each other along the way with training, right?

    • Emily says:

      I did The Star Valley 1/2 back in their inaugural year! It was my first half marathon. It was a gorgeous course and mostly down-hill. Plus, the I really loved running a “tribute” marathon. Highly recommend it if you decide to do it!

  36. Deb says:

    You rock Mel! I LOVE those shoes pictured at the top of the post, what kind are they? Is that not the point of this post? 🙂

  37. Julianne says:

    This is a great race (I only have done the half). Beautiful. Very fast the first 10 miles…very uphill miles 11-12. Nice the last mile. You can DO it! I’m excited for you and anyone else who joins!

  38. Kelly says:

    I’ve decided the same thing! I will be doing the SLO 1/2 marathon. Starting as a novice. I will wish you luck if you wish me luck!

  39. Julie says:

    When I trained for a marathon several years ago, Provo canyon was my very favorite spot to run. It is gorgeous! The scenery helps take your mind off the pain 🙂 You will be a rockstar on the course, just like you’re teaching us all to be in the kitchen! I’m going to have to give this some thought– it would be fun to run with you!

    • Mel says:

      You better keep me posted, Julie! Would love to have you run!

      • Julie says:

        I did it Mel- I just signed up! I went for a “test run” on Saturday with my kids to see how difficult this will be for me, and (probably because I ran a snail’s pace) it was actually pretty pleasant 🙂 Thanks for the motivation to get me to do this! My 5 yr old and 3 yr old are excited about the 1K, too! Your training schedule looks perfect for me. I’m looking forward to the running updates on your blog, and meeting you in June!

        • Mel says:

          I’m so excited, Julie! You are starting out with such a great attitude – you’ll do great! Can’t wait to meet you, too! Thanks for letting me know you’ll be joining in the fun (of course I use that term very loosely).

  40. Sara H. says:

    That is great Mel! If you decide to come up to Logan like someone else mentioned then I will join you for the top of Utah half. I did it last summer and it is also a fantastic course. Running a half is a great accomplishment and you will feel so good about yourself. It has been especially rewarding for me to run these races post having kids. It is a sacrifice of time and other things but completely worth it. Best of luck!

    • Mel says:

      Thanks, Sara – I’ll keep you posted! I have a friend who wants me to do another half with her later in the summer (she’s having her 8th baby in May) and I’ve tentatively said “we’ll see” since I probably should just focus on one at a time. 🙂 But I hear the Top of Utah race is phenomenal, too (if that can really be used to describe something that will probably cause me pain).

  41. Jaime says:

    I just came home from a meeting, saw your email and the next thing I know my 19 year old daughter and I are registered! I wasn’t even thinking about signing up for a half, but it’s perfect timing. Thanks so much for putting it out there and for the discount! It will be just the motivation I need to get moving again. I ran my first and only 1/2 marathon (the Moab Half) three years ago and although the training was difficult at times (It gets easier!) the race was awesome and a such an exhilarating day. I’m excited for you to experience it all. I wish you all the best and hopefully can give you a hug for all you’ve done for me and my family with your wonderful blog!

    • Mel says:

      Oh my gosh, Jaime – I’m so excited that you and your daughter are running this!! And yes, we’ll plan details as it gets closer but I’d love to meet you!

  42. Oh dear…..all winter I have been cookin’ up all your goodness and the pants are a little bit more snug than normal. This could be my motivation. It has been about 3 years since I ran the Ogden Full Marathon and so I may be a little rusty. You are going to love the half. It is probably one of my favorite races and their is nothing like running next to all those people who have worked so hard. I may be in….. 🙂

    • Mel says:

      I hear you on the snug thing. That may or may not have influenced my decision to just take the plunge and register for this thing. 🙂 You better let me know if you register (no pressure, but I think you totally should especially if you’ve already done one – that means you are a pro!).

  43. Nicole c says:

    You should make shirts that say “I run….so I can eat (from melskitchencafe)” or something like that. That’s why I run…..so I can put cream in my coffee, and eat all the delicious recipes from your site! Good luck, I hope it’s a great experience for you.

  44. Cheryl Bruneel says:

    How fun! I happen to live not too far from you, Eagle/Star area. I trail run on some trails behind my house. So if your training involves hill work and you need a trail or a running buddy let me know!

  45. Jan C. says:

    I ran the 10K for this years ago, and it was a great course. After about 8 or so half-marathons, I said I was done, but this is really tempting. Helping my DIL train for a half and maybe I could talk her into doing this one. June would be just right for training and we are only 2 hours away in Ogden.

  46. Annie says:

    Go, Mel, go! I moved from Happy Valley to Texas last year but would consider making the 20-hour drive AND running a half if that meant there was a chance I could meet you face to face. You’re a household name (and lifesaver… and legend…) in our kitchen. 😀

    So proud of you! We’ll be cheering you on from Texas!

    • Mel says:

      You are so sweet, Annie – that would be quite the drive for you to make. I remember making that drive every summer of my life growing up (we lived in Texas and would drive to Utah/Idaho every year). It’s not for the faint of heart. Thanks for cheering on from afar!

  47. Hayley says:

    SO FUN! Do you know if the discount works for the full marathon, as well? We are in Utah that weekend (from WA, where we currently reside), just so my husband can run that marathon. I have been thinking about doing an event as well. Thanks for the code and the excitement. Good luck, and enjoy it! Running is the best… even when it’s the worst!

  48. Christi says:

    Good Luck! I’m hoping to run a half this year also, though Utah is a bit too far away for me. I’ll be signing up for one closer to/in Ohio. I started Couch to 5K (C25K) this past fall and ran a 5K race in November. I’m doing Bridge to 10K now. When I start training for my half I’ll probably use Hal Higdon’s training schedule. I’ve heard a lot of good things about it.

  49. meg says:

    Mel!! How fun!!! If I was not due with baby #4 in July I would absolutely be in on this!! I am no runner, but I have “finished” two half marathons (where I mostly ran and sometimes walked:) and the Utah valley marathon was my favorite!! It’s so beautiful! Good luck, and have the best time!

  50. Michelle says:

    That’s awesome, Mel! I’m sure you’ll do great! 🙂 I just started running about a year ago, and have done two 5Ks so far. I can attest that it is possible to start out as a “I think people who run for fun are CRAZY” kind of person, and end up loving running! I tell myself- either I was wrong in thinking that, or I am crazy. 😉 Running has helped me get in shape like nothing else!

  51. jennie says:

    Thanks for sharing the discount code! I used to live in Cache Valley and love to go back each fall to run the Top of Utah Half. I live in Utah County now and this race looks great – plus I love that it’s in June rather than the end of August. It’d be fun to meet you there. We’re on a first name basis with you here at our house. “yummy recipe dear, is it new?” “yep – it’s one of Mel’s” 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Haha! Thanks, Jennie! I’m hoping the weather is more mild than the heat of August. I’d love to meet up with you if you run it! Keep me posted!

  52. Holly W says:

    Mel – way to go! In another life I ran half marathons – my favorite was Park City’s full marathon that my husband and I split. We’ve also run the Ogden and SLC but no doubt you are in for a treat with the UV half. June 13th is my birthday so I will be thinking of you and cheering for you but I think my birthday present to myself will be something other than running a half! :o)

  53. Theresa says:

    One word: Audiobooks. They took me from a person who hates to run to a person who’s okay with running. A small miracle for me! Most libraries have a good selection of audiobooks you can download. Good stuff!

    • Mel says:

      Ok, Theresa, your comment was divine timing. Earlier this week I thought “hmm, maybe I should get a free credit at audible and try listening to a book while I run” but then second guessed myself because I didn’t know if it would keep me motivated (would I just stop, sit down on the curb and listen to my book?), then I read your comment and decided to do it. This morning I ran 4 miles (very, very slowly) listening to a book on audible and I can honestly say, I think that may be the thing that gets me through this training. Thank you!

      • Lisa says:

        Mel –
        Check your local library before paying for Audible. My library has audiobooks (even new releases) you can check out and download from their website. They also have these little self-contained audiobooks about the size of a lighter that you can check out and plug your headphones right into. Those would be perfect for running or walking (and free!).

        • Mel says:

          Oh, great tips, Lisa! I haven’t had to pay for audible yet – still on my free credit but I’ll be sure to check out my library before I do!

      • Theresa says:

        The book that really got me started on the audiobooks while running was “Unbroken”. It was so gripping, I would forget I was running. I highly recommend it! If you need more recommendations, I’m full of them! We’re big readers at our house.

  54. Amarx says:

    Man, after running my first half last year in Ogden, this has been my next oone to do. But with baby 4 due in August, I might could do a 5k? Would that still count? I’d love to meet you as like many others who’ve commented, you are well known at our table!! Way to be motivated for something new and exciting. I got into running by doing a Ragnar years ago. Try one sometime, super fun 🙂

  55. Lisa says:

    Good for you! You can do it, Mel! I ran my first half marathon at age 45 in October. I placed 3rd in my age group! I would love to do this one with you, but it’s a little far away for me….I’m in NC! But I will be supporting and encouraging you across the miles. You got this, girl!

  56. Kristen says:

    I’m too far away (suffering over here in Honolulu, to be exact 🙂 but if I lived closer, we’d be friends. You are awesome! I wanted to run a half marathon last year, but settled for a blacklight 5K… But you can do this!!!

  57. Kim Anderson says:

    I’m in. I am just now getting motivated to get in shape, and this will be good motivation. I have never run before, except when we had to run our mile in gym. I will need to start training now, as this will also be my very first race. As long as I will have support there, and can run with some of y’all. I’m in. YAY!

    • Mel says:

      So happy to hear that Kim! I agree that I need every bit of time between now and then to train for this but I think 20 weeks is more than doable to build mileage and strength. We can do this!

  58. Marne Clark says:

    Good luck! Running is addicting. I am joining you this year….just not at the Utah one. I am planning on doing the Famous Potato one in Boise on May 30th. 🙂 Hopefully a few more this year, we will see! There are lots of great half marathons around here. Love your shoes too!!

  59. Laura says:

    Mel,
    I’m running my first half this year too. I’m running the Rock n Roll DC half on March 14! I just ran 8 miles tonight as part of my training. Awesome! Can’t wait to hear more about your training. Wish I could run with you, but it’s too far away! Good Luck!

  60. Rachel says:

    I’m willing to join you in the challenge but will have to find a half marathon in Michigan. I’ve never run more than a 5k but have always wanted to try! Thanks for motivating me!

  61. Lachelle says:

    Would love to join you but my brother-in-law is getting married in TX that weekend. I grew up in Utah and miss the beautiful mountains (now living in WA). My husband and I ran a Ragnar in Utah a couple years ago and it was beautiful. Ragnar races are totally fun too! CRAZY 2 days but so much fun! Good luck! Never done a 1/2 marathon (but have completed that many miles + in a Ragnar). You’ll rock it!

  62. Jackie says:

    I first read your post when I woke up this morning and have been thinking about it all day. I keep going back and forth. I really want to say I’m in… but I don’t know. This is actually something I have always wanted to do… right up until the time I start trying to train and then I think, “I hate running, why am I doing this.” Every year I look into the St. Luke’s FitOne run in boise but then chicken out. Have you ever looked at that one? I’ve heard it’s a lot of fun. Anyway, I should go for it. If anyone could inspire me you could. My 10 year old did tell me a couple of months ago though that he wants to run a half marathon someday, maybe he and I could do it together… OK, that decides it. I’m in!!! Would you send me your training schedule and tips if I promise not to hold you responsible?

    • Mel says:

      Hey Jackie – I’ve been a running hater, too, but am determined to conquer my fear this time. I haven’t looked into that run in Boise since we’ve only been here a few months but I probably should look into a couple local races (maybe a 10K or something) along the training way. I would be so excited if you decided to go for this! I don’t know if people really believe me but honestly, if I can do this, I really truly believe anyone can. Now granted, I haven’t ACTUALLY done it yet, but I’m committed and determined. I’ll put a link in the comments here with the training schedule I’m using later today!

  63. Sarah says:

    I will be in Utah this summer but two weeks too late for the Provo race. I’m currently training for my third half marathon, which I’ll be running in April. I totally understand running for the free shirt – I did for the Baltimore half this fall because their race shirts are amazing! Good luck with your training Mel!

  64. Nicole says:

    This post makes me happy for so many reasons! I used to be a hater when it came to running, but I experienced a transformation a few years ago. I had baby #4 in June and did an olympic length triathlon in Oct. It was an interesting experience and I just haven’t had the motivation to get back into a regular exercise routine since then. I like my sleep to much. But maybe this is the motivation I need. There is a good chance I will be joining you! I love the half marathon length. I’ve never done a full marathon, but I have enjoyed every half I’ve done. It’s just the right amount of time to be running to be really fun. It’s challenging but not deathly so, and the time commitment for training is doable. so I’m excited for you!

    Some advice that you totally didn’t ask for – Read up on proper running technique and form. I never knew there was such a thing until a few years ago. I alwasy thought you just go out and move your feet, one in front of the other. But I hated it. Then I found out that there is proper form and technique and once I started using it it literally changed my world. I fell in love with running. I am certain you will enjoy it so much more and you will avoid injury if you run the right way.

    If you are interested you can check out https://thereaderssalon.wordpress.com/2015/01/10/born-to-run-2/ for more of my running story and for one of the inspirations for my love affair with running. But don’t confuse good form and proper techniqe with barefoot running. I run with Altra’s which give me good cushion but “zero drop” which allows me to keep proper form and technique more easily, but no matter what shoes you run in (barefoot, traditional, minimalist, or whatever) the principles of proper form and technique remain the same. And it has made all the difference for me.

  65. Jolie says:

    Goooooo, Mel! I broke my ankle 1 week before running my first half a few years back. Was discouraged for about a minute. 🙂 I love running, cross training, and decided right then and there that I would not sign-up for another race again. Too much pressure–I am super calm, generally, but I realized training made me a nervous wreck! I live in beautiful southwestern Ohio and there are so many great places to run, so I get to run a lot of personal “races”. Hope you and yours have a great race and most importantly, have fun training!! 🙂

  66. Heather says:

    You’re going to love it Mel! REALLY, there is nothing like crossing the finish line of your first half/full marathon! Hard? Yes. Exhilerating? Yes. Addicting? YES! I ran my first half in September 2013, and ran my sixth in October 2014. Thanks for the coupon code, I don’t like to repeat runs and I haven’t run the Utah Valley half, so this will be a perfect run to add to the 2015 calendar! You can do it!

    • Mel says:

      Thanks, Heather! I’m excited you’ll be running this one, too. I love knowing there will be others out there on that course, even if I don’t see them – just the energy will help me get through!

  67. Jen M says:

    So, I ran a half marathon a few years ago and it was great, but then I totally quit running. Not sure if I will have enough motivation to actually run this with you, but if not, I totally want to come cheer you on! It would be awesome to meet the famous (in our house you are famouse) Mel!!

  68. Natalie says:

    Wow! There are a lot of comments! I’m sure you’ve thought of this, but just in case, make sure you’re mentally prepared for the change in elevation from training in Idaho to racing in Utah. It is surprisingly harder to run at higher elevations after training at lower ones. Either way, you’ll do great! Good for you for setting a big goal. If you lived closer (I’m in Eagle), I would train with you!

    Also, I recommend documenting your training on your blog. I did that when I trained for my first marathon and it was very motivating to be accountable to the world wide web (and I only had about 15 people following me!). Plus, it’s fun to look back and see all that you accomplished. Have a great time! Races are addictive. 🙂

  69. Carrie says:

    Mel – I am so excited for you! This is awesome!! I ran my fist half marathon just a few months ago in October. I still can’t believe I did it! Coming across the finish line (even way back at the back of the pack when I did) was so rewarding, and so worth all the training. I never imagined I would run, never wanted to when I was younger, but have to admit I have found a love for it in the last couple years. Now, with the big 40 this year, my goal is to run 4 in 2015 – one for each of my 4 decades of life. Haha!! I wish I lived closer, cause I would so be there with you!! You totally got this, and will be so glad you did it, and can check it off the bucketlist! -carrie

    • Mel says:

      Carrie – I wish you could come out and run with me! I remember our good ol’ days in Salt Lake exercise walking late at night (remember you going on that long walk in flip flops? I remember thinking you were so die-hard). I’m proud of you and your half marathons! I only have a few years until 40 and I like that goal of doing 4 the year I turn the big 4-0! Miss you!

  70. Michele says:

    I am running a half in a few weeks here in AZ. I love running races and triathlons so I will be cheering everyone on. There is a chance I will run this one. I have lots of family in Utah and I am always visiting. Good luck with your training! You will do amazing!

  71. Bethany Johnson says:

    Mel, I will SO be there! In fact, I had the Utah Valley Marathon down as one of the marathons I will be doing this year in an effort to break four hours for the first time. I always knew there was a reason why I was delaying actually registering, and I now I finally know why: I was waiting for your promo code. Thank you!! I will be doing the marathon, but I sure hope to meet you!!

    • Mel says:

      And here I am, hoping I can finish the half in four hours. Kidding. Kind of. I’m so happy you’ll be there, Bethany! Let’s for sure try to meet up. I’ll get something in the works for anyone who is interested!

  72. Bri H. says:

    YES PLEASE!

    Sorry you hate runners who love to run. I used to hate it too, then something happens, you get brainwashed, and you enjoy it.

    The race is in my hometown, signing up now!

    • Mel says:

      Oh, no, I don’t hate runners who love to run – I’m just really envious. 🙂 And not always graciously. So excited you are signing up, Bri!

  73. Julia says:

    Since you’ll be driving through Salt Lake you should stop at Oh Mai (3425 S. State Street) or Mai Bun Mee (850 S. State Street) for banh mi. You won’t regret it, unless you go right before the race.

  74. Tiffany says:

    Thank you for the promo code! I have been non-committal until now, just signed up! Not sure why we pay to run…but as they said, “pain we enjoy”?

  75. Becca says:

    I’ll be there! It’s going to be amazing! Running has been such a blessing in my life. It’s helped me not only with my physical health, but in all areas of life. Having a race goal can be very motivating and so satisfying. Best wishes on your goal for 2015! See you there!

  76. Marci says:

    Before having kids I did 2 full marathons and a handful of halfs. Which means I haven’t done a race in 5 years, but with your push, I will this year! I’ll be signing up for the top of Utah half so I can be closer to home. Good luck!

    • Mel says:

      Hey Marci – a friend of mine is trying to convince me to run the half at Top of Utah, too..we’ll see but I’ll let you know if I do! Would love to meet you and say hi.

      • Marci says:

        Perfect! Then you can spend your recovery time in my kitchen helping me figure out my struggles with the wheat bread recipe that I love. I’ll hire a masseuse for while the bread is rising 😉

  77. Ashley Ray says:

    Awesome! My baking love only works when I offset it with running…. if that’s possible 🙂 I like to imagine that it is. The Provo canyon truly is beautiful. I miss it dearly. I have newly diagnosed lupus, which includes arthritis. But…. I LOVE running. Nothing makes me feel better. Getting started is painful and takes discipline, but it is worth it. As a mom of 3 under 4 it does my mind and body wonders. Thanks for your post and motivation to get active and reach your goal. Our bodies deserve it.

  78. Stacey Szostek says:

    Im with you, I hate running. Like really hate running. That being said, I wish we could go to Utah, but I dont think thats in the cards for us. Although, my boys and I have signed up for the 5k Foam Glow Chicago. We are super excited and I have from now till September to figure out how Im going to do this. They also want to run the Beast Boot Camp 5k that involves military exercise checkpoints along with running. Seriously. But proceits go to local veterans so we will probably sign up for that form of torture too. I hear they have pizza afterwards…

  79. melanie b says:

    I’m so proud of you for taking on the half marathon! You’ll love it, especially if you find some running buds to do your long runs with. And I have to say it has been brought up on many occasions when I’m with my sisters (who are also fans of your blog) as to how you are such a good cook and you’re skinny! Seriously! You are beautiful and thin and I’d never guess you have five kids. You’re gonna rock the race! Wish I could be there.

    • Mel says:

      Thanks, Mel. I haven’t told you but you totally inspire me when it comes to running (the fact that you get up at 5 a.m. to do so and are so dedicated to it). I wish we could run together! Except not because I would slow you down big time. Just know you’ve been a HUGE inspiration to me!

  80. Becca says:

    Awww! I’m a bit jealous to be honest! I am due exactly the the race is. I can’t run right now because it is so uncomfortable. You’re going to love it. It’s a love/hate relationship with running. You may not love it while you’re doing it, but when you get done you’ll be amazed at what you can do (even though the entire time you were doing it your brain and body kept telling you that you couldn’t do it). I wish you the best of luck. Run Strong. If you need a good training plan, I love runner’s world smart coach (the free version works awesome). You can set it up to your own specifications and determine how difficult of a plan you want, what day you want your long run, etc. Best of luck.

  81. Kristin says:

    I am planning on running my first half this year also! Mine is in September. If you want to do another in Utah county it’s the Nebo half. All downhill. I would do the Provo, but I want my first one to be Nebo because we live right next to the mouth of the canyon.

  82. Cara says:

    That is awesome Mel!! You will be hooked once you finish! I did the Fargo Half last year and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life! Well, besides giving birth…I had planned to run the Fargo full this year,but have been dealing with a knee injury since November. 🙁 Boo.

    Good luck!

  83. kkirby says:

    Good Luck!! What an awesome goal you can totally do it. My family had the goal last year we started training in January after my dad had a rough year of fighting cancer… he needed a big goal to help him get well. So all of his children and most spouses some grandchildren, my mother and some friends all ran our first 1/2 together. It was awesome and the best to do it as a family. Go! Fight! Win! We did the AF half and I hear the Utah Valley is just as good.

    • Mel says:

      That’s so inspiring – I hope all is well with your dad! Thanks for sharing your experience. I love the idea of doing it with family (hint, hint to all of mine!!).

  84. Rachael A. says:

    I’ve been thinking I need to sign up for some kinda race – keeps you committed to running if you have a race you don’t want to die in. 🙂 I haven’t checked the comments to see if anyone else has said anything regarding this, but DON’T find a hot tub post race! even during training you may want to consider an ice bath instead. You don’t need to actually have ice in it. A bathtub full of cold tap will be fantastic. Just your lower body will need it. 20 minutes. You won’t be sorry! I’ve run a full marathon and I was able to walk the next day because I did this. Husband’s advice, and he’s an athletic trainer. I may very well sign up for this one! I’ve given myself 6 months to release 20-25 pounds, so the timing of that race is pretty much ideal. Thanks for the discount!

  85. Mel says:

    Hey everyone! In the event you are checking this thread, I’ve created a separate (temporary) section of my website for posting updates for half-marathon things (and running in general). These posts won’t show up on my main website (let’s be serious, we don’t want to clutter up all the good food coming up) but they’ll all be housed right here: http://www.melskitchencafe.com/race-training/

    There’ll be a good mix of “help me, I’m dying and need you to tell me I can do this” posts along with motivational experiences from others, training schedules, what to eat while training, details on a meet-up if you are going to be running the Utah Valley race, etc. I’m excited about the great response to this so let’s inspire each other, ok?

  86. Kim in MD says:

    How cool that your entire family will be running in a marathon! 🙂

  87. Angela Hunter says:

    I might be a little late, but I’ve decide to run it with you Mel! I”m one of your secret admirers that doesn’t comment much but feel like you are one of my best friends since you grace us with you present so often at dinner. “Oh, is this one Mel’s?” or “I love when Mel joins us for dinner.” is often spoken around the dinner table 🙂 As for the half marathon goes, I had a goal to run on this year as well. I ran my first two years ago and it was so exhilarating, but I was 9 weeks pregnant at the time. I’m excited to see what I can do when just running for one this year. 🙂

  88. Jennifer says:

    I wish I could do this just so I could meet you. But my kids’ school goes all the way until June 12th in California so there is no way we could make it in time. Another race maybe….

  89. Nancy says:

    Hi Mel ~ I am so excited for you! I soooo wish I could come run with you all, but you’re a bit too far from NC. I have to admit I am one of those weirdos that smiles while running 10 miles (sorry). But that was not always the case. I married into a family of runners and had no intentions of becoming one, but started running to lose weight after my first daughter was born. Through the years I have had jags where I run a lot then others where I don’t run at all. I picked it back up a few months ago and feel so much better. It’s hard and not pleasant at first, but it does eventually get easier and much more enjoyable.

    I would like to offer a few tips in response to some comments above: (1) Good running shoes will make all the difference. Knees should not hurt. Running does not damage the knee ~ in fact, it builds and strengthens the knee in response just the same as muscle does. If the knees hurt, then it means you have the wrong shoes or you’re training too hard for where you are. You may want to check out Roadrunnersports.com. (I am in no way connected ~ I just get my shoes there.) They have a fantastic 90 day return policy for VIP members. You can run in a shoe for 90 days and return them if they don’t work for you. I usually have to run in new shoes a week or two to know if they work for me.

    (2) Ladies – get a good “high-impact” running bra. Your girls will appreciate it later.

    (3) You’re never too old to start. My father-in-law started running at 53 ~ and ran several marathons! He is 88 now and can still trot around the driveway circle. And takes no medication.

    Wishing you all good luck and a great race! I’ll be cheering you on in prayer.

    • Mel says:

      Thank you so much for chiming in, Nancy! Love the suggestions and am so impressed about your father in law starting to run at 53. Gives me hope I can do this!

  90. Maria says:

    This was the first marathon I ran (last year) and I loved it so much that I am running it again this summer! It is amazingly beautiful!

  91. JB says:

    Mel, I signed up for the marathon last week. I love to run but start and stop ( love my mtn bike but can’t ride in winter with the snow here in CO) so I started to run ever so slowly over a month ago and am sticking with it. This will be a great goal!

  92. Jody schofield says:

    I’m in! I think I will try and get Ashley and my daughter in laws to join in. I ran a half many years ago so now it will be walking but fun all the same. It’s good to have a goal, way to go and thanks for the invite.

  93. Kathy says:

    I’ve been hankering to walk another Half Marathon, but needed a little nudge! I walked a Half in Durango, Colorado, several years ago and loved it – I also loved training for it. Jody, my bestie from Billings is walking with me. Cannot wait!!

  94. Courtney says:

    I’ll check out the 10k with your kids. Yep! I’m a chicken.

  95. Anna says:

    I just signed up. I wasn’t going to because I am running a half marathon in May, but a friend convinced me to run with her.

  96. Carol Faulkner says:

    Hi Mel,
    I wish you and all the others the very best of luck. It will be great fun.
    You sound just like me 25 years ago. But the fun may cost you a great price in your knees later. My memories are worth a lot to me but the pain reminds me of my foolishness.
    I’m a big fan of your blog.

  97. Mollie says:

    So, my sisters (one local to Utah and one that will be in town that weekend) are planning to run this, and I’m thinking I might just have to join them! How could I miss out on so many of my favorite things in at one time (my sisters, running, and Mel, of course!) I’m figuring out flights and details this weekend, and I’m so excited!

  98. jenny says:

    Yayyyy very very awesome! I ran my first half a couple of years ago! You will so rock it! I have struggled with running lately so this gets me excited again! I wish I saw this earlier. I’m running the big cottonwood canyon half that same day. I’ll cheer ya on the whole way! You’re awesome. The run/walk/run works! You’ll rock! Cuuute shoes too! So excited for you guys! Hugs to ya!

  99. jenny says:

    Yayyyy very very awesome! I ran my first half a couple of years ago! You will so rock it! I have struggled with running lately so this gets me excited again! I wish I saw this earlier. I’m running the big cottonwood canyon half that same day. I’ll cheer ya on the whole way! You’re awesome. The run/walk/run works! You’ll rock! Cuuute shoes too! So excited for you! Hugs to ya!

  100. Cassidy says:

    I’m thinking very seriously about starting this but I struggle running (shin splints etc) but being there with you might but me over the edge…

  101. Katelyn says:

    This just breaks my little heart into a million pieces, Mel! My two favorite hobbies are running and using your brilliant recipes! (I simply CANNOT wait to try the new carrot cake you posted… cause your other ones are divine.) AND we’re back in Provo for more school! Alas… I will be 4 weeks postpartum and probably shouldn’t run a half marathon. Dangit. Darnit. I’m so bummed! Good luck though and come down to Utah to run another race soon, k!

    • Mel says:

      You are too cute, Katelyn! Even though you can’t run, you should totally come to the race after it’s over (there will be a big white tent set up for all of us) to say hi. 🙂

  102. Rebekah says:

    Thank you for the promo! My mom and I are running it! woohoo!

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