Seriously. That’s what I said as I approached the cemetery at the tail end of the longest run of my life (so far). I thought I was going to die. It was hot. It was uphill. Two hours and 15 minutes had passed since I started the run. I saw the cemetery and was I so happy. That cemetery marked the end of my 11 mile run and that’s one heck of an accomplishment for this slow girl.
Earlier this year I decided to finish a half marathon. I’ve never run before (except maybe as a kid after the ice cream man). I actually had to Google, “how many miles is a half marathon?” For some, running a half marathon is not that big of a deal…especially if you’re athletic, in shape, healthy, enjoy sweating and like to exercise. Unfortunately, I wasn’t any of those at the time I made the half marathon decision.
Slow Girl at the start of 2012:
- Athletic – No Way!
- In shape – I wish.
- Healthy – Eh, I’d say 50/50.
- Enjoy sweating – Ew, gross.
- Like to exercise – Not so much.
Slow Girl on September 3rd, 2012:
- Athletic – Not a chance.
- In shape – Way more so than at the start of the year.
- Healthy – Yes, I’d say so. Now I know what quinoa is (and how to pronounce it).
- Enjoy sweating – Ew, gross.
- Like to exercise – Well, I secretly enjoy it now but I don’t admit it to myself until it’s over.
I made the half marathon decision for several reasons:
- It sounded challenging and I was up for a good challenge. Can the ultimate hater of running actually run 13.1 miles? No. That’s why I follow Jeff Galloway’s run-walk method. Run, then walk a little. Run, then walk a little. Repeat over and over and over. Totally works for me.
- My sister did it and I was proud of her. I wanted to do it to and be proud of myself.
- I was pretty sure some cute running clothes would be involved.
- I wanted to prove that I could stick to a fitness plan that would help me achieve a fitness goal.
- I hoped that maybe my body would morph into abs, buns, legs and arms of steel (sadly, this has not happened yet).
- It was a great way to be one with nature. OK, reason 6 is crap but at least my body scored a tiny bit of a tan.
- I thought maybe I could learn a little something about myself. All that alone time might give me the opportunity to be introspective. OR I could use that precious time trying to figure out the lyrics to all the songs on my running playlist. Guess how I spend my time?
- I wanted to set a good example for my son. I wanted to start something, work hard at it and succeed in the end.
So there we go. Eight really compelling reasons I decided to train for and finish a half marathon, which by the way, is October 14th. I’m actually getting a little nervous even though I ran the 11 miles with no problem (except for the part where I wanted to stop and cry a little). Thankfully, my husband and son accompanied me (on their bikes) and cheered me on so I had to suck it up and be brave for them. I wish they could be with me the day of the half marathon.
I’m supposed to do a couple of long runs between now and the half but I’m having trouble convincing myself that I need to schedule a 14 mile run before the half marathon. Seems like that would suck the thrill right out of crossing the finish line. So, I decided to deviate from the master training plan and just do another 11 mile run. If I can do 11, I can do 13.1, right?
I can do this. I can do this. I can do this!