I signed up for a half marathon, so now I have to run it.

I did something really ridiculous and I signed up for a half marathon. I signed up so spontaneously that I didn’t even consider if I had enough time to train (technically I didn’t, by the way). The big day is March 8th. I am running the San Diego Half Marathon in sunny California.

Though I may never know what actually caused me to sign up for this race in such a hurry (re: impatient, New Year’s resolutions, boredom), I am wildly excited about it. And I have a lot of reasons to be excited too! What’s that? Make another list? Okay!

Why I’m Pumped About My First Half Marathon

Jake and I being obnoxiously adorable. Why wouldn't I fly across the country to visit him?
Jake and I being obnoxiously adorable. Why wouldn’t I fly across the country to visit him?
  1. A wonderful friend of mine lives in Los Angeles, so he’s driving my ass to the race super early in the morning (then he will hold me while I cry tears of joy when I cross the finish line).
  2. It’s going to be freaking beautiful there.
  3. I can check off one more state on my running tour of America.
  4. It was relatively cheap compared to some of the larger half marathons ($99, not bad).
  5. The perks are pretty cool and I’m all about that swag.
  6. Training is going really well.

Let’s talk more about this training thing. When I signed up for the race, I still hadn’t run more than 5 miles any time recently. I ran 8 miles once, but I stopped to walk approximately 100 times and it was barely a run. A couple days after I registered, I  picked a Hal Higdon Training Program and penciled in all my training runs into my calendar.

I was pretty Type A about getting every last mile in. I've only skipped a total of four training runs and I hope to "make up" some of that mileage in the next couple of weeks.
I was pretty Type A about getting every last mile in. I’ve only skipped a total of four training runs and I hope to “make up” some of that mileage in the next couple of weeks.

It was only my first week of training and I already had a 4.5 mile “long” run over the weekend. I was a little nervous, but I did it! I finished 4.53 miles in 46:34, which ended up being a 10:16 pace. Not bad at all. That first training run gave me the confidence I needed to keep going. And that I did. I ran a total of 60.21 miles in January and I have run 42.1 miles so far this month.

I was quite worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep the momentum going, so I decided early on that I would post training run successes on social media to get some support from my friends and some complete strangers. And thanks to hundreds of “likes” over the past one a half months, I feel like I have all the support I need to finish up my training and run across that finish line with a big, goofy smile on my face.

I posted photos of what I saw on some of my training runs.
I posted photos of what I saw on some of my training runs.
... and some of the pictures I "drew" with my running route maps
… and some of the pictures I “drew” with my running route maps
Some cheesy feelings I had/have all the time
Some cheesy feelings I had/have all the time
And some goals that I never thought I would reach
And some goals that I never thought I would reach
I was pretty proud of this run. I was moody all day and then something changed halfway through this run and I felt like I was flying.
I was pretty proud of this run. I was moody all day and then something changed halfway through this run and I felt like I was flying.

Social media kind of kept me strong. It was (and still is) a way for my friends and family to hold me accountable. People check in to let me know they are proud or confused about how I have all this time to run. With my loved ones checking in with me and commenting on social media, I feel like I can’t be lazy and skip too much training. Because the next time someone asks me how the training is going, I want to give them 100% good news.

Even some co-workers and peers have congratulated me on a running accomplishment. I feel proud when people tell me they were impressed or when a new runner asks me for advice on how to get started or how to stay motivated. I normally can’t provide the best advice, but it’s fun to share my experiences with those who are just starting out and want to hear someone else’s take on running.

This whole experience has been empowering and uplifting. This weekend is my last long run before I begin to taper off. 11 miles! I can’t wait to finish those 11 miles strong in preparation for the big 13.1 on March 8th.

After my half marathon, I look forward to sharing some of my training tips (let’s see if I finish the race before I brag about my training habits). I also look forward to reviewing the half marathon in case any of you crazies are thinking about signing up for it next year.

Until then, I’d love some advice on half marathon training during the last two weeks leading up to the race. Any good tips out there?

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5 thoughts on “I signed up for a half marathon, so now I have to run it.

  1. here’s some advice for your last two weeks:

    relax. you’ve done most of the hard work already, which was training. trust your body, and have fun. relish in your accomplishments.

  2. If you generally run with music, test your playlist the night before. Somehow on the morning of my half my music wasn’t working so I had to run without my tunes. It was tough!!

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