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Friday, February 4, 2011

Addicted to 13.1

It was exactly five years ago that I decided to start training for my first half marathon. I remember being so anxious when I filled out my mail-in registration. I had committed myself to running 13.1 miles ... seriously?!?!?! (And, who does mail in registration anymore?!) I trained from New Year's Day through Memorial Day weekend for the 2006 Madison Half Marathon. I was extremely anxious about my twelve milers that spring. I would run two loops around the neighborhood. The same loops every. single. time. I remember getting up early in the rain on Easter Morning for a two hour run, before Little Diva got up to hunter for Easter eggs. I did the same thing on Mother's Day.
I had not discovered true technical clothing (stinky and wet!), running shorts with built-in briefs (ah-hem!), technical socks (can we say, blisters!), Body Glide (holy chaffing!) or Bondi Bands (gasp!) ... and my hair was long and mopped up into a loose bun. I had no clue how to hydrate or about race day nutrition (I thoroughly enjoyed sucking on Jolly Ranchers during that race!).
I was inexperienced, but I was determined to do it. And, I did. I crossed the finish line in just over 2:20. I was so proud of my teeny-tiny medal. I remember that the three of us went home and ALL three of us took a nap together at home ... exhausted from the whole experience. I hobbled around the house for the next week, yelped as I walked down stairs and babied my blisters.

2006 Madison Half Marathon (2:20 finish)

Me and Little Diva
posing with my first
piece of race hardware

Fast forward five years ....
I have completed over ten half marathons and three full marathons. I absolutely love the half marathon distance. 13.1 miles is the perfect distance for me. I really, really feel like I've accomplished something after I crossed the finish line. I enjoy the journey and make friends along the way. I enjoy hamming it up for the camera. I can actually walk after the race and experience little to no soreness. Blisters and chaffing are rare. And, I always wear the most fabulous and appropriate race day attire. I can sign up for a half on a whim, without much thought at all. I can run them without officially training for a specific event. I can just go out there and enjoy myself. Oh ... and I've knocked off 25+ minutes, with my recent PR.
My last "official" half marathon event was one of my best experiences yet (2010 Haunted Hustle Half Marathon). I'm looking forward to twelve just-as-fabulous half marathons this year! (As one of my readers suggested, maybe I'll throw in a thirteenth ... just for fun!!!)

2010 Haunted Hustle Half Marathon (1:54:45)

Goals are dreams with deadlines.
~Diana Scharf Hunt

Only those who will risk going too
far can possibly find out how far one can go.
~T.S. Eliot


The road leading to a goal does not separate
you from the destination;
it is essentially a part of it.
~Charles DeLint

Arriving at one goal is the
starting point to another.
~John Dewey


Though no one can go back and
make a brand new start, anyone
can start from now and make a brand new ending.
~Author Unknown

33 comments:

  1. I love that T.S. Elliot Quote :) Congrats on coming so far :D

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  2. Great quotes! I hope to do as well as you in 5 years. :)

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  3. Beautiful post...and I agree, great quotes. I really like the last one "Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. ~Author Unknown" and need to keep it in mind if I find my self dwelling!

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  4. great quotes and great photos!! :)

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  5. I have only ran one half (currently training for my 2nd!) but I can already tell it is going to be one of my favorite race distances, too!! :) Congrats on coming so far!! Love all the phots, too! Little Diva is so cute in the first one :)

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  6. What a great journey!! I love that last quote...it is really what I needed to hear this morning!

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  7. you sure have accomplished a lot in jsut 5 short years! I love halfs, so fun. you look great, you've slimmed down a lot too!

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  8. I agree - the Half is the best distance of all! Working on my third right now.. just long enough that it takes dedicated training for me, yet not too much to pull me away from family.

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  9. Great quotes! I love the running addiction : )

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  10. Love the quotes! Keep on smiling girl :)

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  11. Running my first half this spring (actually already registered for 2!) and so excited/terrified! You've done fabulous in just 5 years! And I love the quotes - especially the T.S. Elliot one :)

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  12. you've come a long way in 5 years!

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  13. I loved this post! I'm currently training for my first half and reading posts like this totally inspire me - and teach me about proper clothing...

    Thanks!

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  14. Thanks for sharing this! Sometimes I forget that super-running-bloggers like yourself had to start somewhere, too. Amazing pics as always. Here's to a fantastic 2011 race schedule!
    Rae
    xo

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  15. Great post - congrats on all your races! I just finished my first official half last Sunday (ING Miami) and loved it (2:07:49 - pretty excited about that) and do want to do a marathon this year but I'm not quite sure I can do that distance as I too like the half distance! Thanks for the motivation! Just found your blog yesterday! Its funny because I just got that leopard/blue running skirt and bra top and followed a link to your page - and you were rockin' the same outfit! Love it!

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  16. Love this post - so motivating! Time is flying by!

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  17. Love the last quote. What an amazing journey. You off to a great 2011.

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  18. what a great anniversary to celebrate! I hope you have many more half marathons in your future! Keep on running!

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  19. Excellent post! Love the quotes. I snagged the TS Elliott one to use! Good luck this year on reaching all of your goals.

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  20. What a great story! You've come a long ways! ;-)

    I also love the 13.1 distance - it is long enough to be a LONG distance - but also a distance that is manageable . . . but I do have to train for it! ;-)

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  21. I love reading this, as I'm currently training for my first half marathon. I don't think I've discovered any of the items you mentioned below - but given that I'm already experiencing chafing and blisters on my long runs, I should probably look into them!

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  22. The half-marathon is such a great distance and you have learned to rock it. Way to go!
    BTW, TS is one of my favorite quotes.

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  23. I so know what you mean about the 13.1 - it's a perfect distance. You get a great burn on, you feel like you've gone the distance and yet training for one is reasonable.

    Like you I'm getting to that point where doing 13.1 is virtually painless and doable pretty much any time.

    I'm no where near as fast as you, but I'm working on that.

    Can't wait for the stories of all your 13.1 journies this year!

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  24. The half is a great distance, isn't it? I love me some 13.1!

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  25. Wow what a great story!!! Awesome! :0) Hope you don't mind if I "borrow" your John Dewey quote! I love all of them!! :0)

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  26. The half is definitely my distance too. I was just thinking the other day about how I needed to post about it vs. the marathon and my likes and dislikes about each distance. You beat me to it. :)

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  27. Great post! You know I'd like to see you do the 13 halves this year. :) May we keep running and looking as fabulous doing so for many, many, many more years!!!

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  28. I love reading about how far you've come! And we'll never forget out first race...

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  29. I've read your blog over the past and all I can say is you have the best attitude about life and living! Keep it all coming. I'm listening!

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  30. I love 13.1 too! Congrats on all the races you've done... you're an inspiration to all!

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  31. I am currently training for my first half. Reading this is just what I needed!

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