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Meet Olivia, Our Half-Marathon Beginner Runner (and Biggest Loser Season 11 Champ!)

I went from this (left) to that (right), and now I'm ready to tackle my first half-marathon! (Photos courtesy of NBC)

First, I have to tell you how EXCITED I am to be doing this project for FITNESS Magazine. That being said I will totally admit that I am scared to death of running a half-marathon. I'm sure that might be surprising to most since I survived eight months with Bob Harper and Jillian Michaels on Season 11 of The Biggest Loser, but I've never run a half-marathon! A 5K yes, marathon NO.

Over the past few weeks I have been trying to figure out what I'm so scared of. Is it the distance? Is it the fear of the unknown? Am I scared I will get injured? Um, the answer is YES, YES, and Y-E-S! One thing I learned through my journey on The Biggest Loser is that when you face your fears head on there will always be growth, and you will probably learn something in the process. It's funny, alongside that fear is some real, true excitement (told you I was nuts!). It seems crazy that both of those emotions can coexist in my body, but they very much do. I know that I can do this, but in true "Olivia Style" I take comfort in a plan. I know Hannah is somewhere rolling her eyes at this very moment.

Click read more to find out how Olivia is getting ready to start her training plan!

This week I'm tackling the first step of the unknown, I'm getting organized. First, I had to find a running plan to help me train leading up to the race. I have to admit I didn't even know that things like this existed. I decided to let the experts at FITNESS Magazine help me pick a simple training plan that will get me race ready without freaking me out in the process. I chose a beginner plan that looks very doable and immediately took my fear levels down significantly. In addition to a training plan I made sure I had the rest of my gear organized. I live in NYC, so as you all know it is a frozen tundra during the winter. I know enough about myself to know that I won't run outside if there is six feet of snow on the ground with a wind chill of -10 degrees. So I chose a gym that is close to my home that has plenty of treadmills to choose from, Crunch. This gym has been a HUGE help with not only my weight loss on the show (I trained there before my finale in LA), but also in my ability to maintain my weight.

OK so, plan...check. Good running shoes were next on the list, something I learned are vital during my very first week on the ranch. If your feet are hurting you will not want to run, and in this situation that would be really counterproductive. Last, I have been given an amazing treadmill to use in my apartment! I have already started using it and it is such a life savor to have this tool right in my home. In the weeks to come I will bring you with me step by step in my journey leading all the way to my first ever half-marathon! Woohoo! Next week, I will tell you all about my treadmill, including the rundown on all the specs. Until then, if you are thinking about doing your first race, just jump right in. Come and join me on this journey, so far the water's fine!