A half-marathon is something that I first dreamed of running over six years ago.
The dream began as I finished up my senior year of high school. I was on the cross-country and track teams, and as the year neared its end, I realized that running had become an important part of my life. It kept me grounded, it kept me healthy, it energized me, and it was my escape when I needed a break from life. I realized that when I graduated, I would be without a team, without weekend races, and without a scheduled practice every day. How could I continue running, and keep it a consistent part of my life?
I decided since my 5K races were over, I would move on to another race. Ambitiously, I thought the next step would be a half-marathon…naturally.
Well, going from a 3.1 mile race to a 13.1 mile race is no small leap. I got up to a 10 mile run that summer, but I did not yet know how to train properly, fuel correctly, or motivate myself every day. I can remember that run like yesterday: the heat as it rolled off the pavement; the chatter that my friend kept up constantly; the wish that I just had a cool, tall glass of water. I got so dehydrated that I ended up having to ask a grandmother who was gardening in her front yard for water. If you know me, you know this goes against all the paranoid daydreams and thoughts that usually race through my mind; but it was that or keel over on that black, endless road. That was the longest run I have ever done, and the last. I still remember how simply hard it was. I lost hope that I could even go further. I didn’t run the half-marathon that year…or any year since.
But this year, not only will I run another 10 mile run, but I will also finally reach that goal of running a half-marathon.
(Sometimes I wonder where my sanity went. I think it sweated out all my pores along that fateful first 10 mile run.)
This past weekend, I did my “long run” of the week of 6.5 miles. It wasn’t easy, that’s for sure. There is still snow all over, cold wind, and people still aren’t too worried about keeping their dogs tied up (eek). But, despite having an icy running trail, I DID IT. I ran the 6.5 miles I was scheduled to run. And, although it was hard, it felt good.
The best part of the run? I’d be lying if I didn’t say the end. But really, what I mean by that is, the exciting part of the run was finishing it and realizing that it was the longest distance that I have run in over half a year. It also happened to be exactly half the distance of a half-marathon.
I am halfway to the half, and I couldn’t be more excited. It was perfect timing to actually sign up for the half-marathon, so I did it. I committed. And this is the year that I will finally run it.
But first up: My long run this week is 7.5 miles. Wish me luck!
Have you ever had a goal that you put off or thought you couldn’t reach? Did you end up fulfilling it? How did you get there?
I’d love to hear your success—how motivating!
Starting weight: 166 pounds
Last week: 148 pounds
This week: 148 pounds
Goal weight: 145 pounds