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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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4 Comments

  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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