It's official. I have decided to run the St. Louis Half Marathon in April. 13.1 miles...here we go.
About this time last year, I began running. For no other reason than to lose those holiday L-B's. Running is painful to me. It doesn't come easily. And in my experience, fat does not give up without a good fight.
After about a month of wanting to cough a lung up (with only 30 minutes on the treadmill, I might add), I needed a little more incentive. Some reason not to give up and start eating brownies. Just kidding, I'm not really a chocolate fan. Sugar cookies with icing...much better.
About the same time, our family headed south for Spring Break '08. Hilton Head, in March, is perfect running weather, so Mike and I geared up for a run outdoors one afternoon. Two things to note about me at this point: I had NEVER run with a partner because I cannot talk, run and continue to live all at the same time; secondly, I rarely ran outside, because I like the control of a treadmill (add hills and volatile weather...you've lost me). So I planned what I figured was a 3 mile route (my standard distance)...and 55 minutes later, we were back home. We ran 5 miles that day.
From there came talk of training for a half marathon. Forget the 5K, bypass the 10K all together, and head straight for something with "marathon" in the title. I RAN FIVE MILES! At this point, I could have cured cancer and created world peace...that's how amazing that run was to me. How out of character. How completely unbelievable.
Here's the thing--once I decide on something, I will get it done. We started training in April for the Chicago half in September. Twenty weeks to get prepared, way more than enough time just to make sure I would finish. Not do it with speed, or set a personal best...just the basic goal of crossing the finish line. I stuck to the schedule, ran 4 times a week....Five miles became six, which became 10...which ultimately became 13.1.
Mike and I ran our first half marathon on September 14, 2008...in the middle of Hurricane Ike. Which managed to exit the Gulf of Mexico and travel up the Midwest just in time for our 7 a.m. start. Glorious. It was over two hours of running in a complete downpour, and I'm pretty sure I had blisters at mile-marker 4. But I finished! Ran the whole darn race and then shivered for 1 hour, in the continued rain, while we tracked down our bus to get back to the hotel.
So, I'm going at it again. Minus another hurricane or a late season ice storm, I can't imagine this being any more brutal...apart from the fact that I will be running and wanting to die for over two hours. I suppose I'm a glutton for punishment, but everyone needs a little challenge every now and then.
Here's to happy running!!