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My Half Marathon Recap

This past Sunday I ran my 2nd half marathon.  5 years ago I hated running.  Running a mile would have been pure torture.  What changed?  Life.

It began about 3 years ago.  Hubby started running on the treadmill in the morning.  I’m a little bit competitive so I decided to give it a shot too.  I found a plan online that took you from walking to running 3 miles nonstop.  We signed up to do our first 5K, Race for the Cure in Lansing April 2010.

We got the racing bug and signed up for a fall half marathon.  Hubby and I trained all summer.  Sunday mornings consisted of a long family run with the double stroller.  5am runs in the dark (which almost led to an encounter with a skunk)

I loved the half.  The sense of accomplishment.  Being part of the awesome welcoming community of runners.  (And yes, I finally called myself a runner!)  The day after the half I began to feel a little nauseous in the morning, a feeling that I knew all too well.  I found out I was about 6 weeks pregnant with baby #3.  I also cite this as the reason hubby beat me in the half by 8 minutes.

I am not one to exercise all through my pregnancy.  So running fell by the wayside.  Then came Little Man and with 3 kids who has time for running!  But Little Man grew and became not quite so dependent on mommy.  And mommy got a little restless.  During my pregnancy I quit my job to stay home with the kiddos.  Something I am very grateful for and love very much.  But I needed something that was for me.  Something I did just for me.

I love how Dimity from Another Mother Runner put it.  Her words describe why I decided I needed to start running again.  “Because every run I do makes me feel bada**. Honestly. There’s something so deliberate and self-accountable about a run. I decided/forced myself to go. I ran up hills and past people in cars and in the dark. And I was responsible for every step, every drop of sweat. That, to me, is just bada**. In this world, where there are so many outs and excuses, and in my world, where almost everything else I do during the day involves somebody else, any run lets me pin an invisible bada** badge to my chest and summon it when I need confidence, patience, or strength during the day.”

In Spring of this year I started to think about running again but needed a push.  I needed some motivation.  For this reason I decided to join Team In Training.  I signed up for the Grand Rapids Half Marathon and committed to raising $1250 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

It felt so great to get back into running.  Some of the runs were very hard.  Some were really easy.  I will admit that I didn’t follow the training schedule as closely as I should have.   Once school started and mornings started getting darker I found it hard to get my weekday runs in.  But I love the quiet during my runs (unless I’m running with G and Little Man in the stroller!)   I love the rush I get after my run.  The slight soreness in my legs that instantly makes them feel firmer.

I surpassed my fundraising goal and raised $1400 for blood cancer research.  During my training I was amazed at the number of people who had first hand experience with some type of blood cancer.  Sadly, it is way more common than I knew.

Sunday was the culmination of  5 months of training and fundraising.  I was ready.  The night before the race, I attended the Team in Training Inspiration Dinner.  And inspirational it was.  We met Ryan, the 5 year old boy who was diagnosed with Leukemia 3 years ago.  Tears come to my eyes even as I am writing this as I think of what this poor boy has gone through.  It definitely made running 13 miles insignificant in comparision.   I also sat at the same table as Beth.  A cancer survivor who was walking the half marathon.

Team in Training was a great experience.  It was great to be a part of something bigger.  Knowing I had people counting on me also helped me get up at 6 on Sunday morning to get in my run.  It helped me remember how blessed I am.

For anyone looking to do a half marathon or marathon I highly recommend Team in Training.  They offer great support and will help you reach your goals.  They are also a terrific charity that has raised $1.3 for cancer research.  My husband was so inspired by the inspiration dinner that he is considering doing a Team in Training event in the future as well.

I had a time goal in mind for my half on Sunday.  Which I am disappointed to say, I didn’t make.  Maybe there were too many missed training runs.  Maybe I let my mind override my body and my heart.  I finished in 2:11:49.  Key words being I finished.  I crossed the finish line.  I finished what I started.

Now that the race is over I am definitely not going to stop running.  So that time goal?  We’ll tackle that one again next year.

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  1. I’m so proud of you!!! What an awesome recap. Reading about others experiences with running always motivates me. I’ve run two halves and felt my best while training. Sadly I’m in such a running funk right now but on the verge of signing up for something! :)thanks for sharing & congrats!

    • Thank you so much Aggie. I definitely feel best when I am running consistently too.

  2. Fantastic job!! I don’t know how I missed this post… I think it’s time for me to subscribe and get your emails. :) I know it can be frustrating to miss your goal time, but you still had a very respectable time!

    • Thank you! I had a pity party for a few hours and then moved on and was thankful that I finished in a good time.


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