How I Got to 13.1 Miles

I need to start by telling you all that I am not a runner. I’ve never been a runner. I grew up hating running/jogging, and any activity involving those things. In high school, I was the kid who walked the mile in p.e. with my friends. I used to act like it was because I was just too cool, but really I had horrible asthma and absolutely hated running and didn’t want to feel miserable. Yesterday I ran 13.1 miles. I started running in May to get ready to run a 5k (3.1 miles). I was only running on a treadmill at the time and got up to about 2.5 miles before going to run the 5k. When I started, running one mile was difficult for me. I’d want to quit the moment I started, but I kept going so I could finish the 5k. That day came and I ran the whole thing straight through (mostly because I had a friend with me telling me I wasn’t ALLOWED to stop). I did a few more 5ks over the next month or so and they started to get easier and easier.

This photo was taken after my first 5k.

So  I decided to start training for a 10k (6.2 miles) at the end of June. That number sounded HUGE to me. I ran every week and got to the point where I ran 4.5 miles outside one time and figured I was ready for the 10k. That race was at the end of June right in my neighborhood, which has very little shade, so I was huffing and puffing and getting sunburned the whole way. At the end I said to my friend “That wasn’t fun. I’m done. I don’t need to do that again.” And I took a month off of running. I went to Hawaii and planned on running, but I didn’t. Finally, in August I decided I wanted to get back into it. I started running again with a friend who lives in my neighborhood. We ran early in the morning before work and pretty soon we were back up to 6 miles. So, we registered for a 1/2 marathon on Halloween weekend. Each week we ran in the mornings and then did long runs on the weekend. We had good weeks and bad weeks depending on how busy we both were at work. Some days I would get out there and two miles would be extremely hard for me and some days six miles would be easy. On the days when running two miles was difficult, I’d want to throw in the towel. If two miles was hard, how the hell was I going to do 13.1?!

But, we didn’t quit, and a few weeks ago we did our longest run and got all the way up to 11 miles. We were very proud of ourselves. After that long run we both got so busy with work that we only ran 2-3 times in the following 2 weeks up to the race. We were also training on completely flat ground the whole time because there are very little hilly areas in Sacramento and none in our neighborhood. I was nervous about that because I knew our half marathon would have hills, but we didn’t have time to drive for 30 minutes to find them each time we ran. My nerves were warranted because yesterday, there were hills. Lots of them. And the worst one of all was at the very end of the race. How cruel is that?

Five miles into the half marathon I was dragging already. I was dreading the next eight miles ahead and questioning if I could even finish when I saw my dad waiting for me ahead, which meant my mom and husband were waiting for me too. After I noticed my dad was wearing a ridiculous shirt that read “My daughter kicks asphalt” I noticed that it wasn’t just my parents and my husband waiting for me. My best friend, her fiance, and their roommate and my good friend, were all there and ALL wearing their own ridiculous shirts. As silly as it might be, I got all teared up. 13 miles may not be a big deal to many people, but for me, it was a huge deal and having so many important people there who understand and appreciate how hard this was for me really meant a lot. AND their shirts were hilarious. Apparently the runners were loving them the whole way!

“Worst parade EVER.”      “Your feet hurt because you kick so much @$$!”

“You can’t run from your problems”        “My daughter kicks asphalt” “It could be worse. There could be FIVE bridges”

“You Rock!!” (of course, my mom’s is the sweetest)

Around 10.5 miles I was dragging. I knew the last mile was going to be extremely hard for me and I would want to walk. So, I text messaged my husband and asked him to meet me at mile 12. He showed up with my dad and they ran the next 1/2 mile with me and then took a short cut to the finish line so they could see me cross. Having them there pushing me along really helped. Then I bared the big hill on my own and made it to the finish and got my medal.

Lindsey and Me after the race.

If you want to read my past posts about training for the half, click on these links- To Run, or Not to Run? , 1/2 Marathon Update , 1/2 Marathon Update 2- It’s Getting Close!

Finishing felt pretty damn good. I guess I am a runner now?

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18 thoughts on “How I Got to 13.1 Miles

  1. Now ya got me all teary eyed – and I’m at work! Great post, great race. I loved being there to watch you accomplish that. That is no easy feat. (no pun intended)

  2. you go sister!!!!!!!!!!!!! sooooo proud of u!! quite an insipirational story u just shared here!!! hahah i now i’ll be thinking of u everytime i get to that one mile on the treadmill and i’m about to keel over! hahahahah CONGRATS!!!!

  3. YES. You ARE a runner. You were from that 5k, lady! WOW. Good for you!
    Reading this post was really fun for me. I felt like I was there with you. Those t-shirts ARE great. I’m going to have to get some for my friends and family to wear when I do crazy runs.
    I’m just training for my first 5k, and every now and then, when a mile is hard, I think, “UGH. If THIS sucks this bad, HOW am I gonna do 5k… I don’t know if I’ll make it.” This post just made me go, “Chin up! Keep going…”
    Thanks for sharing!

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