I think I’ll run a half marathon! It looks like fun. I’ll get some friends to do it with me. I have plenty of time to train. I’ll sign up now so I’ll have something to run for. That’s how the conversation went in my head last March when I finished the Gate River Run and saw the sign up table for this year’s Divas Half Marathon.
I’m not always one to take my own advice. I don’t always do what I say I’m going to do. Some might call me stubborn or stupid and I might be one of those people on occasion.
Let me back track just a minute to tell you a little bit of my running history and how I began.
I ran my first and only half marathon up (that’s 13.1 miles if you weren’t aware) up until yesterday, back in January 2011. I did it on a whim after my friend suggested we do it to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society because a mutual friend had diagnosed with Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Neither of us had ever attempted to run a race bigger than 5 miles before then so we knew we needed to train. We found a local running group called Team In Training that ran to raise money specifically for this cause. It was a wonderful experience! My friend, Nikki and I met some amazing survivors, made some lifelong friendships and raised over $4000.00 together for this cause while we trained for the next 6 months to run that race.
We were very ambitious at first and thought we could take on the whole marathon…26.2 miles but learned in October what happens when you overtrain, in other words we did too much too soon and both of us had to take time off and were barely able to do the 1/2 marathon in January. We were determined though and wouldn’t miss it for the world. Knee pain bothered us for a few months following and we had to take a break from running as a consequence after that race. Never the less, we developed a LOVE of running and the community that came with it.
Since then we have both completed many 5Ks, 10 Ks, 15Ks and OCRs (Obstacle Course Races) like the Tough Mudder. OCRs have become my favorite type of races. I love the challenge of the obstacles and the teamwork that it takes to get through them plus the fact that the obstacles take your mind off of how long the race is and they break up the monotony that can come with road races. My motto is that if you’re going to run, it might as well be fun. =) It doesn’t hurt that there is usually beer at the end as a reward too. 😉
So back to the DIVAS race. It looked like it would be FUN so I signed up and then…
time got away from me this summer and fall. I didn’t log in any time on the road and had completely fallen out of the loop with my running group while other things took priority in life but I have been pretty consistent in doing my workouts at home so I decided to do it anyway and just give it my best shot.
I did a public call out on Facebook to see if any of my friends were going to do the DIVAS Half Marathon at a leisurely run/walk pace and THANK GOD a friend answered my call and asked me to join her and her friend. (Tiffany just happens to be a girl I met from when I trained with TNT for my first Half Marathon.) Long races are much more enjoyable with friends although it is very easy to make new friends on the course of any of these races too.
We ran/walked with a 1:00/1:00 ratio. Walked a minute, jogged a minute… for the entire race other than when we stopped once to use the bathroom and took a few photo ops along the way. We finished in just under 3 hours and were very happy with our time.
The last few miles were tiring but we knew we could finish. We laughed, chatted about family, work, motivated other runners that were struggling and finished strong.
This was the most relaxing race I have ever done. I wasn’t emotional at the end like I usually am and I suppose that is because I didn’t place any pressure on myself for a change. I wasn’t going for time. I wasn’t even sure if I would be able to finish it when I started since I hadn’t been running at all. I was just HAPPY that I did it. I was HAPPY that I finished it. I was HAPPY reflecting on how far I have come since 2011.
By working out daily at home I was able to do something I would NEVER have been able to accomplish a few years ago. I am actually OLDER (43 years old) now and able to DO MORE PHYSICALLY because I’ve been CONSISTENT in living a healthier lifestyle.
I am also SORE today. I SHOULD have CROSS TRAINED for this race by not only doing my fitness programs at home but by also logging in some miles on the road to prepare my body for the stress it endured yesterday and I won’t do that again. Lesson learned… the hard way.
Today I will do my 21 Day Fix Yoga, drink a Shakeology and I will eat clean and take care of myself. Will I sign up for another 1/2 marathon anytime soon? You bet I will! I love the challenge and I’m so glad I finally did a 2nd half marathon. Will I ever do a FULL marathon? NAHHHH! I’m ONLY HALF CRAZY!
How about YOU? Got any obstacles or races you want to conquer in 2015? Need some help training for it? Let me know! I would love to help you.