Yesterday I crossed the finish line on my very first half marathon! I’ve never really enjoyed running, in the past less so than now, but it’s still not my favorite thing to do. But I had two goals and I accomplished them both. Aim high, right? I accomplished both of my goals, though, so I sure felt like a winner! I am convinced if I started walking, I would have never been able to get going again.
2. Don’t walk.
Several months back, I ran a 5 mile mud run here on Camp Lejeune. It was a blast and there was a half marathon in their series of runs later on. I was in the business of looking for things to keep me busy while the hubby was deployed, and I thought training for a half marathon would be the perfect activity! Plus, the “Marine Corps Half Marathon” just sounds cool, and it literally runs past our house. If I was ever going to run a half-marathon, which was kind-of sort-of on my mental bucket list, this was it. And when I kind-of sort-of mentioned it to my dad, he wanted to fly out here from Kansas and run it with me, so there was no backing out. Little did I know, I barely had enough time for the half-marathon training that I thought would keep me busy. There were three things that got me across that got me across that finish line, and none of them were the training:
1. I’m stubborn and I won’t quit.
2. I’m somewhat fit (not cardio fit) but it was enough to get me through.
3. I wanted that medal.
I’ve read plenty of blogs outlining “how to train for a half marathon,” which I apparently don’t know how to do. But I will add in my own two cents on training practices I don’t recommend:
1. Counting one six mile and one eight mile run [and that’s literally it] in the two months before the run enough training. Ha! If only life didn’t get in the way, but my schedule just didn’t allow for it.
2. Waking up at 8:30am the day before the race and not going to sleep until after the race the following day.
3. On that same note, working an overnight shift the night before your first half-marathon. Getting off work late and having literally zero minutes from the time you parked and walked up to the start line before the start. Miles 1-3 count as a warm-up, right?
4. Counting Cookout chicken fingers and fries at 2:00am, and a handful of pretzels on the way to the race “breakfast.”
5. No headphones.
Despite my apparent lack of preparation, 13.1 long miles later we crossed that finish line and there was a Marine in his dress uniform waiting with my medal. I am so happy I did it, and it was even better doing it with my dad! He shuffled along next to me, even though I know it was killing him not to leave me in the dust. We talked about work and home and the Marine Corps and how we probably should have showed up more prepared, but luckily he is as stubborn as I am when it comes to things like these.
Maybe I’ll run another one someday, but I’m not really feeling the burning desire right now. Been there, done that, got the [rather cool I might add] t-shirt. I’m signed up for a Remembrance 10K on base next month, and I just might take the kids with me on this one. And I just might do a few extra training runs, we’ll see 😀 Now, let’s all laugh as I hobble down the stairs for the next few days.