Keeping My Word

On Jan. 1 2009 I announced that my New Year’s resouloution would be to run a half marathon.

Growing up I could hardly run a mile, even as a cheerleader at MSU. It wasn’t until I lived in LA, that I enjoyed running along side the ocean so much- that I realized almost anyone can be a runner.

It burns more calories than almost anything else, is free and can be done inside and out- yet many people choose not to run because they don’t believe they can.

I swept my NYE goal under the rug, until four days before the race. I asked Michael Wollpert who’s run countless half and full marathons if it was safe to run 13.1 miles with no training- and he said yes.

I bought a bib on Craig’s list, told only my closest friends and joined my friend Kirta at 7 am for the race.We were late and had to sprint about a mile before we even got to the start- which sent us both into a panic.

The first 4 miles were pure adrenline. Mile 5 is when it sunk in- I wasn’t even half way there, the sun was beating down and I didn’t get to use the potty before the race.

Mile 8 – I waited in line 5 mins for the port a potty, took a small drink of gatorade and felt like a new person.

Miles 9-11 were a breeze and I started speeding up (too fast) towards the finish.

The final 1.1 mile was surreal. People lined the street cheering for the runners, and it dawned on me that anything really is possible- we shouldn’t avoid trying things in fear of failing.

A man collapsed 5 feet in front of the finish line- devestating to watch. I thought I may cry as I crossed the line myself- but I was too tired for tears.

I drained a bottle of water, proudly placed my medal around my neck, accepted a bananna, took a photo and met Kirta and her husband Matt. Kirta rocked and finished in about 1:30- while I finished 2 mins over 2 hrs.

My advice to anyone who wants to run a half is to treat it like you would a long run. I don’t like to eat before or during a run- so I didn’t, while some people swear by peanut butter and toast before and goo during. I ran my normal pace, passing people and letting them pass me when necessary. There wasn’t a single min I felt like I needed to walk or stop- don’t let the distance get into your head. Honestly- anyone who can run six miles can do this, although I am EXTREMELY sore.

Big thanks to: Matt Caroll for being our driver and treating us to a post-race meal, Gina DiCello who’s run a lot of these and gives great last min advice, MW for the enouragment and tips, Erin Smith for the wrist guard I kept my cash in, Kim and RP who text me before and after, and Brad- who pushed me from the second I had this crazy idea.

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