Because I signed up to run a half marathon next month. That’s 13.1 miles.
I had been going back and forth for almost a month about whether or not I wanted to run the half marathon. It’s not that I’m worried about not being able to finish it—I know I’ll be able to. It was whether or not I’m ready to run a half marathon. I’ve never considered myself a long distance runner. Ever.
I didn’t start running on a regular basis until a couple years ago. I just wanted to stay active during college, and felt [for some crazy reason] that waiting tables almost 30 hrs a week wasn’t cutting it. Side note about staying active with waiting tables: there were nights I would walk 5+ miles, carry 20+ pound trays of food all shift and work off almost 900 calories. I think that’s a pretty darn good workout if you ask me. Anyway…in a way my Aunt Mary had been my inspiration/reasoning to start running on a regular basis. She does 5K runs and half marathons pretty regularly, and I love how she’s so passionate about it. Well every fall a bunch of the ladies in my family do the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Omaha and Mary almost always runs it. Two years ago I decided that I wanted to be able to run it with her. I started running more and I slowly got up from 1/2 mile to 2 miles…and then I had a minor injury. I tore some ligaments on the top of my foot a couple weeks before the race and wasn’t able to run the full length. I walked all but the last 1/2 mile. I was pretty bummed, but that made me determined to be able to run the full race the next year. Mary and I crossed the finish line at 29 minutes and 32 seconds that next year. It may not be the fastest 5K, but we thought it was a great time—especially when you’re trying to run around/dodge 22,000 other people.
To make a long story short, I kept running my short distances on a regular basis and once I started thinking about doing the half marathon I’ve pushed myself past my 3 mile plateau. This past Saturday I ran 8 miles. It felt awesome. It also felt like I had been riding a horse for 2 weeks—my hip sockets were pretty sore. I’m aiming to complete the half marathon in 2.5 hours. That gives my goal of a 10–minute mile an 20 extra minutes of added cushioning to allow for the large amount of people running it, filling up my water bottle at water stations, and then this…[see below]..the changes in the course’s elevation.
The change in elevation is one thing I think might stop me from this goal. That gradual incline between mile 6 and mile 9 and the steep incline right before mile 11 isn’t really what a first timer wants to see. But I’m hoping that the 20 extra minutes will allow me to get through those hills without too much frustration.
Saturday’s running goal: 9 miles.