I did something crazy last Saturday.
I ran a half-marathon. That's thirteen miles, people. And the craziest thing? I'm not a runner.
No, seriously, before you close your computer or put your phone away laughing, hear me out. I hate running. My husband ran track in college and has been trying to get me to run for thirteen years. But I hate it. Passionately. I ran a mile for the first time about two years ago and the most I'd ever run before in my life was two miles and it took me nearly a year to work up to that.
Everyone knows this about me. So a lot of people have been asking what I did, how I trained, etc, and I'm happy to share the story. Because really, it just proves that anyone can run a marathon. Or at least a half.
Early in November I saw registration available for a 13 mile race in the woods behind my house. I love hiking and being outside and the woods, so somehow I managed to ignore the running aspect and got really excited to be outside for thirteen miles. When I told my husband I wanted to sign up, he laughed at me and told me I should probably run a 5k first. Touche.
But I signed up anyway. And then I thought, what the heck, I have four weeks to train. Let's see how far I can run.
So I ran three miles. Something about running through the woods, over the hills and down the valleys, makes the miles seem less cumbersome than on the road. It's interesting and beautiful and satisfying. And I felt great. So the next week, I pushed myself to four. Four miles! I couldn't even believe it. I was so proud of myself, running four miles! But I knew I had to do more. The next week I planned a six-mile loop, knowing if I could run six miles, I could double that.
that's how I felt, too. Six miles was hard, but doable. I knew that with race day adrenaline, I could do that and then do it again.
Then the next week I got sick and only ran three miles. Three miles all week! Suddenly I was super nervous. How was I supposed to go from three miles to thirteen?? To top it off,dawned super cold (for me), below freezing. I put on a scarf, a hat, two pairs of gloves, a tank top, two long-sleeved shirts, a sweater, exercise pants and another pair of pants over the top. Ready or not, here it came.
And when the whistle blew, I ran. Last. Everyone else ran out and I was still programming my phone. But then I went. Three miles in, I stopped and stripped off all my extra layers except one long-sleeved shirt and a hat and texted my husband to meet me at the aid station and take my backpack. Seven miles in, I realized I'd gone farther than I'd ever gone before. Twelve miles in, I realized I only had one mile left (sort of. Turns out the course was 13.78 miles).
I didn't run the whole way. I walked and panted on some of the uphill sections. But I did it, the whole thing, in less than three hours. It was awful, it was glorious, it was painful, it was rewarding.
I don't love running. But I'm absolutely thrilled to know I can make myself do something I never believed possible. I am capable. It's given me such a positive outlook and made me feel so empowered that I'm ready for 2018. I'm going to do great things. And now I won't bat an eye if my husband wants me to do a 10K with him.
Tell me about you! Runner? No? Ever done a marathon (or half)? Ever wanted to?
Yeah, that's me. Super proud. :)