From ZERO running to training for my first half marathon.
To date*, I have completed 3 half marathons, 2- 5k’s, 1- 10k and also a 9k. I’m one week out from running my 4th Half Marathon, and yet I still consider myself a beginning runner. But I’m a runner.
I’ve never loved running. I never thought I would take up running. The last time I ran regularly was when we had to in high school for our PE requirement. Although I do enjoy working out and walking, running was never on my mind. All that changed in the summer of 2011. I heard from my cousin that there was going to be a new race starting at the Disneyland Resort in January 2012, the Tinker Bell Half Marathon, and she was thinking of doing it. Something NEW and Disney-related and down in our stomping grounds of the DLR (Disneyland Resort, for you non-Disney folk)? Yes, count me in! I then started putting together a list of reasons that I should seriously consider doing this race:
1. It was the Inaugural race, the first one of a new series.
2. It was to take place in January 2012, the beginning of a new year. NEW BEGINNINGS y’all!
3. It was close to my big 30th Birthday (in September 2011), and I wanted my 30th year to be amazing and to challenge myself as I entered a new decade.
4. It was a Disney related! How could I turn that down?
So those reasons combined are why I decided to register. I was looking up the info, gawked at the registration cost but regained my composure since it was Disney after all. And then, I did it. I registered for my first Half Marathon! I clearly remember that after I registered, I was thinking “Wait, a half marathon is 13.1 miles? How far is that exactly?” And then I proceeded to go on Google Maps and map out distances. When I saw that 13.1 miles was approximately the distance of a roundtrip between my home and work, that’s when the anxiety hit.
Yes, I had registered for my first Half Marathon and didn’t know what I was fully getting myself into. But also the main fact that I was going from ZERO RUNNING TO TRAINING FOR A HALF MARATHON. WTH was I thinking? I printed off my training schedule, looked at my calendar, and started to get ready to start my training.
Five months. Five months of training for my first Half Marathon. Five months of sweat, tears, aches, and pains. My training was strong and I knew I was ready. However 3 weeks away from the Tinker Bell Half, I started experiencing pain in my legs and it got me really concerned. After some self diagnosis, I realized that I had shin splints. “Ohhh! So that’s what shin splints feel like aye?!” The last few weeks prior to the race included tapering, rest, ice, elevation and my discovery and newfound love of KT Tape.
I ran and completed my first Half Marathon on January 29, 2012. I DID IT! (And I survived!) Exactly one week after Tink ’12, I registered for what would be my 3rd Half Marathon. Then I decided to challenge myself and decided to run “3 Half’s in my 30th Year”. And yes, I met that goal.
I’ve been bitten by the running bug. For 2013, I’m already registered for 6 Half Marathons. That is DOUBLE what I ran last year. What has gotten into me? With the range of half marathons that I’m registered for this year, my goal is to become a better and stronger runner (and hopefully faster one too). I am a run/walker and have no shame. I’m trying to discipline myself and train to more strict intervals with run/walk/run. I’m also starting to slowly incorporate some hill training- something that I was very intimidated by.
You know what? I am honestly not *inlove* with running. But yet I still do it and I’m learning to love it. I do enjoy it greatly. But everything that it encompasses is what I really love. It’s the combination of everything: the training + the new shoes + the gear + the weeks and days leading up the big race + the expo + the race itself and then finally crossing the finish line and seeing that I am making major accomplishments in my life and fully testing my mental and physical self to get there. There are plenty of days when I don’t want to run or I have the worse time trying to warm up and am feeling aches like an old lady. But I love challenging myself and hell, at the end of the day, who doesn’t love those bragging rights? I don’t know how long my running journey will last, but for now, I’m surely enjoying the ride.
*Last updated: January 13, 2013