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Half Marathon? Check!

Credit: Chip's Not Dead Yet

I did it. I finished. I ran a full MFin’ 13.1 miles. And I did it in less than my goal time of 2:30. (I did it in roughly 2:28:30, although I’m still awaiting final final results.) Go me. Seriously. (And no, the chick at left is not anything close to what I look like, but it was how I felt at the finish line.)

Even though I had to wait a week after last weekend’s un-spring like weather (snow in the end of March—wtf?!), it was so worth it. The extra week allowed me to get another long run in, and it gave me a week to breathe, focus and get even more excited for the big day, if that was possible.

The race started at 7 a.m., and although it was 39 degrees and really windy—sustained 20 to 30 mph gusts— the sunrise was gorgeous, and before I knew it, I was four miles in. The race featured “pacers,” these uber runners who lead a group and keep them on pace for reaching a goal time. I settled myself nicely between the 2:25 and 2:30 group. I figured that if I could stay there, I’d be good. I was right.

I felt great through mile 5. After that point, I got into some hills, barely had anyone in front or behind me, and started to feel, I’ll admit, a bit lonely. Darn my husband’s knees for not being able to endure the training! (He tried really hard.) Almost as if the running gods felt my pain, they sent me a gift: Jessica. Jessica was a lovely, upbeat gal who asked if she could join me and my pace. She had run the race last year, so we had plenty to chat about. Before I knew it, we were passing mile 7, and I spotted my cheering crew: my mom, a family friend, my husband and our pup. It was awesome.

Before I knew it, we were at the 9-mile marker. Jessica and I made a point to “woo-woo” at each mile marker from there on out. Mile 10 elicited a loud and dramatic “woo-woo.” Mile 11 was still strong yet a bit quieter. Mile 12 sounded more like “Oh, thank God.” I picked up my pace slightly at mile 12, which felt good until the wind was no longer at my back, and I was going uphill. That’s when I saw my family again, plus two of my good friends who braved the cold, and my super-fit triathlete neighbor who was volunteering at the event. I LOVED THEM FOR THAT. It totally got me through that last 1.1 miles. By the end I was exhausted, but I pushed through, crossing the finish line with a big ol’ grin (and a bright red, sweaty face).

After the race, I downed water like it was my full-time job and managed to eat a yogurt and some fruit. And beer. Lots of celebratory beer. It was, by far, the most I’ve ever pushed myself fitness-wise, and it felt great.

Now, it’s a few days later, and even though I’m still a bit sore and in recovery mode, I’m so happy I did it. I’m so happy I trained for it and did the hard work. I’m so happy that I finished, even surprising myself with my time. If you need a big, audacious goal to get you moving and feeling proud of yourself, I highly recommend a half marathon. It’s sane enough that you can do it in three months, but it’s still a BFD.

So, what’s next for me? REST. Lots of rest and time off from running. I’m giving myself a full week and will only do yoga and easy weight lifting, if I feel like it. After that, I’ve got my eye on a four-miler that I think I can do it less than 35 minutes. Now that I’ve conquered distance, I have my eye on speed. With that said, I can definitely see myself doing another half…maybe even this year. We’ll just have to see.

And on a personal note, I know I’ve gushed about my love of you guys before, but it bears repeating: YOU GUYS ROCK. I could not have done this without your love and support. It means more than you know! —Jenn

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28 Comments
  1. Moonlight Dancer says:

    Congrats. I wish I was good at running, we have to run in class and I’m always breathing so heavy and feeling like my chest is on fire. I know I’m probably not breathing properly I’d really like to be able to run for longer than I can manage.

  2. Marsha says:

    You’re right, Jenn. It is a VERY BFD. Congrats and enjoy!

  3. Kudret says:

    This is soo awesome! You are really really awesome for doing it. I’ve been reading this blog for a while and just wanted to say it always brigthens my day/motivates me like no other 😀 If you wanna find me at my blog, just click the link in my name at the top of the comment.

  4. Casey says:

    Great job! That’s an awesome finishing time!

  5. Yum Yucky says:

    Bravo! I was up for a 1/2 marathon but I bailed when my running buddy had to back out. I’ve since then decided I don’t really like running afterall. Go figure. Hat’s off to you!

  6. Jess says:

    Congrats on an awesome race! I’m glad you had fun! Enjoy your time off you earned it!

  7. Lisa Slow-n-Steady says:

    congrats!! You rock!!

    and i just found this site and love the title – Fit Bottomed Girls

    Woot!

  8. tfh says:

    Congratulations! That is a huge accomplishment, and way to beat your goal– that feels SO good, and I know how grueling those last few miles can be (esp. with those winds! and hills!). It was a pleasure reading about your training and your first 1/2– thanks for sharing with us and enjoy your week of recovery.

  9. kjl says:

    Way to go, Jenn!

  10. renae says:

    Congratulations!!! YOU Rock!

  11. Dianna says:

    Way to go!!!

  12. Dawn says:

    Awww…congratulations!! I just ran my first marathon last fall and definitely know that having people there to cheer you on during the race is seriously the most important thing to have to get you through those tough miles. Great job, Jenn!!!

  13. JavaChick says:

    Wow! So impressed. I can’t even imagine running that distance. Congrats!

  14. Lori says:

    Congrats!! I’m so happy for you! Such a great job. You are inspiring! I’ve got my eye on a half now. Maybe not this year, but early next. We’ll see. So glad we were able to follow your journey and celebrate in your success. Where’s my beer? 🙂

  15. Jody - Fit at 51 says:

    Congrats!!!!!!!!!! What an accomplishment! I used to do 5k’s so nothing like your 13+ miles but I do a 10.5 jog on my Sunday outside jog. It is tough stuff. You should be very proud!

  16. Lizabelle says:

    That’s fantastic – congratulations!

  17. Chic Runner says:

    Great job! You will soon miss the training and want to do another. It’s the perfect distance and I’m glad you could enjoy it so much! 🙂

  18. katgirl_9538 says:

    ooooh JENN Congrats!!!!! i almost wanted to cry reading your post, hehe. i am currently training to run a half in september, and i am SOOO excited. you are amazing, and thanks for helping to add to my excitement!!!

  19. Kate says:

    Congrats on finishing and having such a great experience! Awesome too that you were able to keep the race-day focus with the postponement!

  20. runsarah says:

    Congratulations! Awesome time too…I hope to run my first at the end of the summer.

  21. Sagan says:

    Woohoo!

    Congratulations, that’s fantastic. So inspired by you.

  22. Riayn says:

    Congratulations!! That is a mighty achievement. You should be extremely proud of yourself.

  23. HangryPants says:

    I’ve been following your training as I train for my first half. Congrats girl!

  24. MizFIt says:

    SO IN AWE.
    A life goal of mine…

  25. HealthyHollywood says:

    I loved reading your recap of the race. I’m doing my first 13.1 in July and I’m hoping that mine goes something like yours! Sounds like we have a very similar pace:) Congratulations on your accomplishment!

  26. Jessica Robinson says:

    Hi Jenn,
    This is Jessica from the half marathon! I am now training to do the full marathon with my good friend Lindsay and I was thinking about my last race which was the Olathe Marathon with you! Since then I got married and had a baby. It was nice to have read your entry, I’m so glad we got to get to know each other and finish the race. I hope to see you out again sometime!

    1. Jenn says:

      So good to hear from you Jessica! That’s great news! I ran my first full marathon last year and LOVED it! https://fitbottomedgirls.com/2010/01/i-can-do-anything%E2%80%94i-ran-a-marathon/ What marathon are you doing?

  27. Jessica Robinson says:

    I am doing the Oz marathon! Formally the Olathe Marathon