half marathon

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About a million years ago (or, I don’t know, maybe more like 7?), I ran a half marathon with my BFF Jami. I didn’t exactly follow a training plan, but I ran all the time leading up to the race, which, I assumed, would equate to the race being a piece of cake. For the record, it was actually my first race of any length, ever. And, in case you didn’t already guess this, it was not a piece of cake.

It was hard. It hurt. Somehow, my extra tight IT bands irritated my stomach and required us to stop at just about every rest area on the three-hour drive home.

Right after crossing the finish line, cup-half-full-Jami started talking about how great that was and how we should sign up for another one. Meanwhile, I dragged myself, Army-crawl-style, over to the bagels, and lamented my stupidity in ever signing up for a race of that length and vowing to never, ever do something so idiotic again.

You know where this is going, right?

So, January 29, I’m running in the ING Miami Half Marathon. I have a few friends who are also running it, albeit much faster than I plan to run, and for the most part, I’m really looking forward to having a good time. But, there’s still a part of me that remembers the post-race limping and gastrointestinal, umm, excitement that followed my previous 13.1 mile journey, and, well, I’m a little nervous.

Fine, a lot nervous.

I’m sure I’ll talk a lot about this over at Fit Bottomed Girls (I’m doing a weekly blog post over there these days — you should check it out!), but the thing that’s keeping me from freaking out too much is that I actually know what the hell I’m doing now. I’m following a training plan that will (hopefully) keep my knees and plantar fasciia and all that stuff healthy and still help me keep close to a 10 min/mile pace (which is about a minute per mile faster than I did my first half, for those keeping score at home).

I understand that drinking Gatorade and eating Gu is actually super duper helpful when I start feeling like I don’t have anything left, and that not drinking/eating things during a long run like that isn’t actually beneficial in the weight loss department. And I’ve got a lot of friends who are running the same distance on or close to that date, so I’ll have plenty of people who will fully understand my bitching.

So, yeah. Four days after I turn 32, I’ll run 13.1 miles. Happy freaking birthday to me, right?

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I just can’t seem to commit. No, not to my marriage (Mom and Mom-in-Law — put the phone down). The thing I’m wishy-washy about is sure to bring me far more pain than Jared ever will. Or at least I sure hope so.

I went to the gym with my neighbor the other day, and she mentioned that she and her husband were planning to do a half-marathon at the end of February. February, 2010. That seems like a nice, long way off. And so, of course, doing the race sounds like a great idea.

The problem is, I’ve done one of these before.

That smile has nothing to do with the fact that I'd run 13.1 miles. It was only there because I knew I'D NEVER HAVE TO DO THAT AGAIN.

That smile has nothing to do with the fact that I'd run 13.1 miles. It was only there because I knew I'D NEVER HAVE TO DO THAT AGAIN. My friend, Jami, though -- she was ACTUALLY smiling.

It was hard. Like, really, really hard. The training was tough, but not all that bad because, well, I didn’t really do it. I think I ran 10 miles at one point, but until race day, I’d never done 13.1. Thirteen point one freaking miles, people.

(And hey, you — the one who runs marathons with the kind of speed I reserve for running after a child who stole my ice cream? You can kindly keep your pie hole shut, thanks. For regular, human people, 13.1 miles is a long goddamn distance to run.)

Anyway, for many months after the race (which was in December 2006, I believe), I swore I’d never do anything like that again. And then, a funny thing happened. I started to want to run one again. I guess I just wanted to prove I could do it again, or something equally insane. I’m pretty sure it’s the lame ass runner’s equivalent to women forgetting how awful labor was when they decide to have another baby.

So, when my neighbor, who just had a baby, as a matter of fact, mentioned training for this, I said something like, “Holy hell that’s a terrible idea! Don’t you know how hard that is?” Only it came out more like, “You know, that sounds like fun. I’d love to train with you.”

(It should be noted that I initially called her to see if she’d like to come over for happy hour and instead asked if she wanted to go to the gym. Days like that, I should just keep my pie hole shut.)

So. End of February. Running 13.1 miles. But at least there should be pirates and beer. Lots and lots of beer.

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