13.1

Well, it’s official. My quest for 13.1 miles (as in: a half marathon) began a week ago when I signed myself up for a local race that will be held in early November.

My running career started way back in elementary school for the track team. I ran sprints. The 100 meter dash and the 200 meter were my specialties. I was a fast little thing! I also did the same short, fast races for my high school track team, and I was a forward on the soccer team, which required speed. Long distance running wasn’t at all for me.

Then about five years ago, a few of my friends convinced me that I should do a 5K fun-run (the Color Me Rad run) with them. I didn’t even know how long a 5K was in miles! I don’t remember their exact argument, but it was something along the lines of having to prove something to myself.

Well, that one fun-run did it. I became hooked on running. The freedom of running. The runner’s high. The pushing my own limitations. The strong and sexy legs. The race bibs and fancy finisher’s medals. The camaraderie with other runners. It was as if I suddenly belonged to a not-so-secret club.

Fast forward to now. Five years and fifteen fun-runs and timed races later, I’ve logged nearly 400 miles. That’s really not that impressive when you do the math. Turns out to be only 80 miles a year. However, I can say that I’ve run in five different countries, and that’s pretty impressive. Also, I’m somehow the local chapter leader for a nationwide women’s running club.

Despite the evidence to the contrary, I am not an avid runner. Thirteen miles sounds so daunting right about now! The most I’ve ever done at one time was eight miles and that was three years ago. I’ve since had another baby and let running turn into walking. As of this post’s publication, I’ve got a mere 164 days to get myself ready. Oh and did I mention that the temperatures are already up into the 100’s here? What did I get myself into? What sane person willingly signs themselves up for miles and miles of running, mostly in the heat during the training months, and even pays a race fee for it?!

And yet, all of my runner friends (there’s more of them now, so I am outnumbered) are trying to convince me that I’ll do fine. That I won’t die. That it will be an amazing achievement. And yes, I’ll admit that maybe the prospect of breaking in a new pair of running shoes did give me the slightest feeling of excitement. So did the idea of being able to cross the finish line after 13.1 (grueling?) miles…even if I have to drag myself across it.

13.1… Bring it.

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