Monday, July 30, 2012

The Boston Half Marathon

A few weeks back, I signed my life away to something I am going to affectionately call from now on "the half." The half being the Boston Half Marathon. Yes, I will attempt to try and run thirteen point one miles in one given time period. And I'm scared to death about it. Am I a previous marathon runner? Nope. Do I run all the time and enjoy it? Not entirely. Am I out of my mind for even dreaming of running 13.1 dreaded miles (even though I've never run that far before in my life)? Sometimes I think so... Here's the full story.

Some friends of ours invited my husband and I to run the marathon with them, which really excited us. The hubs and I were all for it, months in advance. Well, we may have forgotten about it with our wedding and some travel thrown in there. Then our friends reminded us that sign up was next week (at the time)! I felt a little mentally unprepared to sign myself up for something so "big" in my mind (just a year ago, I could barely run a mile without whining like a baby, mind you). Usually, I like my plans to be well-thought out. I like to mentally prepare myself for what's coming next. But no - the sign up was in a few days - and since I had forgotten about it, all my mind could say was no. But thankfully, my heart (and my husband) said yes.

Before I sold myself on signing up, I looked up some training schedules to see what my life would (and now, does) look like if I indeed signed my life away to the half marathon. I found all these programs saying they were good for "novice runners" who "ran 13-20 miles a week. All I could think was uhh, that's not me. Where's the super super novice training plan?! Looking at all the training plans freaked me out and intimidated me beyond belief. But, thankfully, our friends who we're running it with sent me a training plan that actually made sense. It is, as seasoned runners know, Hal Higdon's training plan, found here. While this is still a committed training plan, it was a lot less scary than others sounded. His plan has a nice introduction that tells it like it is. The plan is flexible and realistic. He cuts right to the chase, but his honesty didn't scare me. It empowered me. After reading through the plan, I realized it was 12 weeks long: exactly the amount of time I had until the half marathon. Coincidence? I thought of it as God's gentle whisper saying Now is the time. Recently, I have been searching for something meaningful to fill my time with, and I don't think it's a coincidence at all that this marathon landed in my lap right at this time. So Wednesday, July 17th - shaking (From fear or too much coffee? I'll never know) - I signed up for my first half marathon.

Now, I'm not going to get all high and mighty sounding just because I signed up for running my butt off for what will definitely take me over two hours (two...hours...running...). But this is a big step for me, personally. I was the girl in gym class who finished the mile run by walking or who puked afterward. I was never taught how to run, and quite honestly, I think it's ridiculous that students are required to run a timed mile when no one teaches students how to run in the first place (at least they didn't at my school). But my husband has changed all of that. He's a much more natural runner than I am and probably ever will be. We started running together last year, a little over a year and a half ago now. He taught me good running form and gives me motivation to keep going. And if he hadn't signed up for this with me, there's no way I would have gotten myself into this in the first place!

The sign up process was definitely not perfect. But the timing of this event coming into my life really is perfect in a way. I have something to work towards, and I have a whole lot of running to do every week! Since this post is getting a little long, I'll save my training updates for my next post. For all you non-runners out there, do you ever think you would commit yourself to a race to see what you are capable of? For past race runners, how did you feel about signing up for the event? As crazy as I did?

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