Half Marathon, I'm Coming For You

Remember last year when I ran the half marathon?  Well, I’m doing it again.
impulse buy half marathon2
A few months ago I put this photo on Instagram with a caption that said “Impulse buy.”  It totally was.
I belong to the Steel City Road Runners Club and as a member I get discounts on race registration.  I don’t know what came over me, but the SCRRC members got a really nice reduced rate, plus the ability to register a full day before registration was opened up to the general public.  Everyone was signing up and I got swept up in the moment!
I’m not beating myself up too badly for this because if I’m going to impulse buy anything, better that it’s a half marathon rather than something I don’t need and/or can’t afford.  Amirite?
Honestly, I am quite excited about this year’s race for a few reasons:
1. The Pittsburgh Marathon is a really great event.  I am really fortunate to live in a beautiful city with 89 unique neighborhoods and some really fabulous people.  The course winds through several different neighborhoods and across all three of our rivers.  The course support and cheering is fantastic and each area seems to out-do the one before.
2. The start line and the finish line are in my neighborhood.  In fact, the finish line is visible from my living room windows.  The energy and positive vibe of the day is so contagious that if I DIDN’T run, it would really make me feel terribly to see and hear the hoopla from my place.  It would almost be like there was a giant community party outside of my door and I wasn’t invited.  The event is so well run and so much fun that I feel compelled to participate especially because it is so close.
3. Last year, it was really really hard.  I’ve only ever run one other half marathon and let me tell you, it was a bear.  I definitely feel a sense of accomplishment for having done it, and like I mentioned above, the event is second to none.  But it was terribly difficult for me.  I didn’t train properly or enough.  I had no idea what to expect.  I am proud of how I did, but I know it could have been a better experience.  This year is my chance.
4. Triumph over injury.  Remember my horrific ankle sprain of 2012?  Awful.  A terrible setback that kept me from doing any running at all for almost 4 months.  But, I fought back and my ankle has improved greatly thanks to a few key people and my own stubbornness.  I have run four races (5k) since I’ve been allowed to get back out on the road, and I’ve run many many many more miles to begin training.  I won’t lie and say that my ankle is as good as new.  It isn’t and might not ever be back to normal.  But it gets stronger every time I run and it gets healthier with each step.  The injury took the wind out of my sails in a lot of ways and I want to come back from it a stronger and more determined athlete.  I might break down in tears after I cross the half marathon finish this year if I think about how hard it was to overcome this crazy ankle thing!
5. I am a weak runner.  There is just no getting around this fact.  Running does not come easily to me.  In fact, I could say that about any type of physical activity.  I am not a natural born athlete.  I have to work for each little accomplishment.  I have to truly earn it.  I really do envy those of you who can run a few miles, lift a few hundred pounds, bike a century, or swim a few dozen laps with ease.  I can’t.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t.  In fact, it’s all the more reason I should try these things.  There is absolutely no point in only doing things that come easily to me.  No benefit, no triumph, no victory, no pride.  I might come in last, but at least I’ll be out there trying my best.
So, there you have it.  Call it a resolution, call it a goal, call it stupidity, call it glutton for punishment.  I’m going to call it a victory.
Now it’s your turn to share!  What are you planning to accomplish this year? Are you motivated to try something new?  Are you giving a 2012 challenge another go like I am?  Share your plans with me in the comments or on Facebook.

3 Comments

  1. Em Whob
    January 4, 2013 3:28 pm

    This was such an inspirational blog post, Jill!!! I admire you for being so ambitious and trying new (and old) exercises even though they are not only tough physically, but mentally as well. To me, that right there is what defines a TRUE athlete!
    A friend has talked a group of 5 of us into trying a boxing class at our gym. The class is as described below:
    “Boxing Challenge
    Learn authentic boxing techniques, punches and footwork. Participants will use hand wraps, boxing gloves, focus mitts and heavy bags for punching drills. Other conditioning exercises may include sprints, jumping rope, med ball drills and lower and upper back strengthening.”
    It’s one of THE best workouts I’ve ever tried. We are fortunate enough to have the equipment available and an incredible instructor, Cecilia B! If you have the resources, I highly encourage anyone to try it!
    Happy 2013 and to living a HEALTHY year!

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