Please think of me on Sunday morning, when I’m hauling my sleepy ass from my cozy bed at 4am. Why would I wake up at o-dark-GIVEMECOFFEE-thirty? Oh, just to go run a half marathon. Voluntarily, mind you.
Damn, I’ve come a long way in a year. This used to be my attitude towards running:
And then, I had to go and get all motivated to get healthy. Silly me.
This whole running thing started when my big brother convinced me to run a 5K in April of last year. That was my first 5K since ohhhhh, 1997. I’d just started working with a trainer and was maybe 3 weeks smoke-free. Yay me, but my lungs and my body were still
utterly shit a far cry from healthy.
I was SO SLOW. Hated every second of it. I was exhausted after 2 miles. At 2.5 I remember that my face was on fire and just wanted it to be OVER already. I mean, my linebacker-sized brother and my 8 year old nephew were both WAY far ahead of me if not already done. And it was starting to rain, and WHAT THE FUCK is this hill doing right before the finish line? It sucked. My time was something embarrassing… my brother finished in 32, my nephew in 34 and me? 38 something. Or more. I don’t know, I blocked it out.
But since then, I ditched the trainer and the globo-gym, started and stuck with CrossFit, kept my diet clean and healthy and Paleo-ish. I’ve put on muscle, remained a non-smoker, and have tackled a few other runs since then. They got better. I got better. So I did a few more 5Ks, a 10K in July, a relay in a tutu!, a 15K in January, and now… a half marathon.
Yep, this weekend I’ll be tromping through Atlanta for 13.1 miles until I either a) reach the finish line or b) have to be scraped off the pavement with a pooper-scooper. Hopefully not c) both.
Is this ambitious progress in under a year? Uhhhhh… I’m either the most motivated amateur runner ever or I’m just flat-out DUMB. But I really think I can do it. My body is in the best shape of my life, thanks to CrossFit, yoga and running. But my concern with the half is my endurance. I’ve never run that far or that long at once and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t scared. I thought about joining one of the free pacing groups they offer, but I think I’ll do better going at my own speed with my running playlist blasting in my ears.
I have my trusty Brooks Ghosts that I wore for the 15K, so they’re broken in. I’ll be hydrated and fueled beforehand. I’ll get enough sleep the night before. It will be warm but not hot: high 50s are the low that morning, creeping up to 70 by mid-day, so extra layers won’t be needed.
As for the run, all I can think to do is adopt my approach to the 15K – running an easy pace for 2 miles, have a few sips of water and 1-2 energy beans, then repeat until done. That plan kept my pace steady and the 9.something miles were very doable. I didn’t feel like I ran out of gas anywhere along the route. I was a little stiff for a day afterward, but it really wasn’t awful. Why wouldn’t 13.1 be as doable? At least… that’s the theory.
Hopefully I’ll run with grace and elegance, and not like this:
But even if I finish dead last, there will be none of this.
Because you best believe that afterward there will be piles upon piles of pancakes and pints and pints of BEER for St.Patty’s! Pancakes make me sooooo happy.
Finally, I’m way grateful that I’ll have excellent company for the race in the lovely Bertie: a gorgeous Crossfit badass, running inspiration, yoga buddy, brunch/coffee partner and fashion advisor. That last one? Seriously, she should have a fashion blog. Like, yesterday. But on race days, her self-proclaimed propensity to run like her favorite hashtag cracks me up: #wilddogontheloose.
As if keeping me motivated to run and preventing me from dressing like a homeless person wasn’t enough, Bertie gave me the coolest good luck gift for the half. My very own Lululemon Bang Buster in a gorgeous reversible minty-polka-dot/kelly green! Check out the awesome card she gave me, too… snifffff…. she is the most thoughtful, sweetest friend ever.
That minty fresh baby will be worn on race day as my good luck charm, my green for St. Patty’s, and to keep my *#)&%#@*ing bangs off my face while I run. Not that I’m salty about the bangs… Wait. I am. Don’t get bangs, people. Not if you work out all the time. Better choices have been made, Peach.
But can y’all help a girl out?!
What say you, fellow runners and athletes? Do you have any advice for me, the half-newbie? (Newbie-halfer? Newfer? Halfbie? What do you call me?) Am I crazy?
…don’t answer that last one.