Just one little problem - I hated running. Not I wasn't good at running or I didn't have time to run - I despised, loathed, hated running with every fiber of my being. I implicitally remember running around and around the track in 9th or 10th grade vowing to myself that if I could just get to the end of these laps I wouldn't make myself run ever again. And I didn't - I took ballet and dance and aerobics as my PE classes throughout the rest of high school & college and literally never ran again.
So when he issued us that challenge my first thought was "OH! THAT WOULD BE SO FUN!" followed immediately by "Oh. My. Freaking. 13.1 miles. Crap."
My sister in law & I in our fun striped socks at about 5am the morning of the race.
Let me stop here for a second and just tell you right now that this isn't going to be one of those "Oh, and now I love running and I see beautiful rainbows every time I run and I fly like the wind and it's all peachy and amazing on every run." No way. I finally, now, a year later, after working HARD and CONSISTENTLY at becoming a runner, am finally, just faintly, starting to see why people always say running is addicting & they love it so much. I'm not there yet.
But. I did it. I ran 13.1 miles without walking (very much). Around mile 11 I thought I was going to die. Or pass out. Or my legs might fall off. But I just kept plugging along. One foot in front of the other in front of the other in front of the other.
My first half marathon race bib!
Let me stop and say that the Disneyland Half Marathon was the PERFECT race for my first half. Disney does know how to do it right - everywhere you looked there was a Character cheering you along or a marching band or a cheerleading group or a dance team or just hundreds & hundreds of supporters lining the streets of Anaheim. I actually ended up taking one of my ear buds out for most of the time because it was so fun to listen to the crowds & get pumped up by all the excitement. Sure, it was crowded, and I don't think that anyone is going to be getting a PR on this race because of all the crowds, but I can't imagine another race having the same level of excitement & fun!
So what's the point of all this? It's to remind you that if I can run a half marathon without barely even training for it you can do whatever it is that YOU want to do. I can do hard things.
Sometimes it's going to suck and sometimes you're going to want to quit & sometimes you'll wonder exactly why you're sacrificing all this to be reaching for a really high goal. But - stick with it & the payoff will be amazing.
You might even get some really gaudy & crazy looking bling that you can look at every day & remember how hard it was & how much it sucks & how much you wanted to quit - but that you did it.
tired, sweaty, me. the legs that carried me 13.1 miles. my crazy gold medal!
I RAN A FREAKING HALF MARATHON PEOPLE!
And I may have run a bunch of races since then, too. And I may be signed up for even more for this year already. Maybe this running thing is addicting, after all! ;]