Sunday, February 03, 2013

My Half Marathon Journey

I am told that I should blog my journey to the Illinois Half on April 27, 2013. Hmmm, well, ok, I'll try...On one hand, I've always thought it would be cool to run. ALL healthy people run, right? And I WANT to be healthy and so if I run, I'll be healthy. I started the C25k program back in....late summer/early fall 2011 and ran the Turkey Trot in Oglesby. I puttered at the Y and half-ass tried to continue the program trying to use it to get faster. I ran the Walter Payton 8k in June, 2012 and then didn't really run much until the fall of 2012. When Michael got sent to St Jude, all I could think of was "I may never get to run a 5k with him". I know that wasn't the right attitude, but I was terrified. When we experienced St. Jude, I wanted to give back. Sure we will be a Partner in Hope until the day we both draw our last breath, but I wanted to do something harder than just donate money. It became a crazy, crazy dream to run the St. Jude Half Marathon in Memphis. You see there is a picture at St.Jude of which I am particularly fond, it is a famous athlete, bit I don'to know who it is, wearing a St.Jude Hero singlet. But that is a long time away. Could I train and focus on a goal that far away?

I started thinking about a "warm-up Half" and found the Christie Clinic Marathon in April in Champaign and THEN, I discovered that I could run the Illinois Half as a St. Jude Hero individually or I could form a team. Anyway, to make an endless story short, I formed a Team "Team Michael and the M&M'S" and thus I am now committed to running the Illinois Half Marathon as part of a St. Jude Hero team. Eeekkkk... The good news is that I can kill two birds with one stone!

SO... When swim season started, I got myself to the Y as often as possible. I did Lose to Win in the fall and started taking Power Hour on Mondays and Wednesdays, a Cardio class on Fridays and started the c25k again. Attempted the Jailhouse Jog in Peoria (benefits St. Jude and Walked the 2012 Turkey Tot because a friend was walking. December 1 I started the training for the Half. I am using the Galloway method. I am at a 1/1 progression. Meaning I walk for a minute and then run for a minute. I am shooting for a pace of 15 min per mile which is extremely slow and kind of shameful for a runner, but it is what it is. I have learned that people run marathons and Half marathons this way or some variation of this method all the time. I had always thought that all marathon runners ran the entire 26.2 or 13.1 miles. This is evidently not the case. When I found out I could run/walk I thought, "Hey! Maybe I can really do this?" and I began training in earnest.

I am scared, scared to death. I don't look like a runner, I look like a linebacker. I have told people, too many people for me to have to face if I don't do the race...I have haters, haters who when they hear of my adventure will scoff and say nasty things behind my back and ask me what my time was. I have a response ready for them. People who love me have said, "oh, you'll cause yourself osteo problems" and "aren't you taking too much time from the children" and "oh, marathons are so hard on your body". In all honesty, many people have encouraged me to the moon and back. I work almost full-time, have a husband, 3 kids, 2 dogs and all the other issues of a busy woman in 2013. But I have decided, I will stick to the training, I will put in the time and log the miles. I will run this one Half Marathon for Michael and when that is over....I'll see if I want to do another one, or not....