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Fat girls can run! (LONG: My first half marathon)

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Old 03-11-2013, 02:45 PM   #1
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Default Fat girls can run! (LONG: My first half marathon)

Anyone who has been on this board for awhile knows that I love triathlons and I am a big advocate (pun intended!) of you doing your dreams, no matter what size you are. I did my first triathlon at 276. If you want to do a tri, I recommend just going for it.

When I do a tri, here is my ranking of my favorite things to do:
1) Swim
2) Bike

Running isn't even going on the list. I loathe the run portion. I have dreams of creating a triathlon called the Swim-Bike-Swim so we can just skip that running nonsense altogether. But I realized after my last triathlon that the running isn't going to go away and I was probably going to keep doing triathlons so I needed to conquer this running problem. Not that you can't walk the run portion but after awhile I was bored walking and just wanted it to be over. So running!

I've been training for this half marathon for eight weeks which was really a stunted schedule. I should have allowed a bit more time -- like 12 weeks. My schedule was basically run 3 days a week. Monday/Wednesday (3-5 miles) and Saturday a "long run" (5-9 miles). On the days I didn't run, I did yoga or walked or sat on my butt. I loosely used this training plan.

The thing you should know off the bat that I was not perfect with this training plan. You don't have to be perfect to succeed; you just can't give up. There were weeks that I skipped workouts, meetings came up, laziness took over BUT the next time I needed to work out? I was putting feet to pavement.

You should also know that I didn't just start running. I didn't strap on expensive shoes and say, "Woot! I'm a runner!" and take off doing miles. Even now, I am slow. SO SLOW. In the beginning, I walked and ran a little and walked some more. Even when I built up enough stamina to run miles, I didn't necessarily do that. The week before my half marathon, my "easy 5-mile run" became a walk while listening to a book and a half-hearted jog in the middle of it. I think "perfection" as a means to accomplish something is a huge downfall for people who are beginners.

Now, on to the race!

On the eve of the race, my friend and I (we both have small children) got a hotel room just steps from the start. It was such a great idea. We went to the Old Spaghetti Factory the night before for dinner and then headed to bed. Being it was DST, we had to set the clocks ahead (ack! Even earlier race time!).

We joined our wave and there were 10,000 runners that day (not an exaggeration). So it was crowded and energetic. Friends of mine who run marathons all the time warned me not to get caught up in the wave of people and excitement and blow my pace (13:30/mile). I concentrated on that.

The course was beautiful and we had the perfect weather. I had spend some time going over the course map and picked some mental milestones. I knew I wanted to run (with no breaks) until Mile 6. By Mile 6.5, I was happy because, for me, there was no turning back. As this point, if I quit, I would still have to get back to the start of the race and now it was equal distance from the finish line so I just had to keep running.

Mile 9 was all uphill. A steep enough hill that I only saw 4 runners actually RUNNING up the hill, everyone else was walking.

Mile 11-12 was probably the hardest miles for me. My body was starting to hurt and cramp. It was all downhill, thank goodness, but it was still tough. My friend who was running with me definitely kept me going. I tried to pick out children about my daughters age in the crowd and thought about being a role model.

The last half mile was fun. All the people cheering! The signs! Most of the tris I do don't attract this kind of a crowd so it was great to see so many little families out there supporting one another. My own family was at home (totally my choice!) but it didn't matter because everyone was cheering for everyone. There was a sign that said, "You are amazing, random stranger!"

At the end of it, I was way more sore than I thought I would be but I enjoyed it and I would do it again. I hope you will too if you haven't. And if you have? You know what I'm talking about.

My friend's husband took a quick pic at Mile 11. (I'm the one on the right... duh).


Mile11 by SweetEnnui, on Flickr

I finished in under 3 hours (just barely)! With a pace of around 13:17 (based on my GPS, not the race's).

Last edited by Goddess Jessica : 03-11-2013 at 02:46 PM.
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Old 03-11-2013, 02:57 PM   #2
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That is awesome, congrats
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:12 PM   #3
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So awesome congrats!!!
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:28 PM   #4
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Thanks for this... I was a little worried about starting because I really want to run one but I am not very graceful (think phoebe from friends).
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:34 PM   #5
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Amazing! Congrats! I just finished my C25K and I've been meaning to sign up for a race but it hasn't happened yet.
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:35 PM   #6
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You are an amazing woman!! Congratulations!!! So inspired by this thread, I hope I can run one day. So happy for you!
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:50 PM   #7
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You are super brilliant!
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:56 PM   #8
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I love this post X1000! You are beautiful, amazing, and inspiring!
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:01 PM   #9
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Impressive!!! Congrats on your accomplishment and thanks for sharing, it's very inspiring.
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:08 PM   #10
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Awesome. Awesome. Awesome!!!

So pleased for you. And inspired, too!

I'm intending to run a 10K this summer, but have been derailed from my training a little bit by an injury. I have decided to stop running for the time being. But Im doing swim and spin instead. (I feel about swimming probably the way you feel about running.) But hey if you can train for a half-marathon in eight weeks, I'm sure I can do my 10K in well less than the 16 week training plan I was intending to follow.

Perfection, bah! Just keep moving!
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:25 PM   #11
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Congratulations!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goddess Jessica View Post
The thing you should know off the bat that I was not perfect with this training plan. You don't have to be perfect to succeed; you just can't give up. There were weeks that I skipped workouts, meetings came up, laziness took over BUT the next time I needed to work out? I was putting feet to pavement.

You should also know that I didn't just start running. I didn't strap on expensive shoes and say, "Woot! I'm a runner!" and take off doing miles. Even now, I am slow. SO SLOW. In the beginning, I walked and ran a little and walked some more.
^I love this. I'm loosely following the C25K program, and I say loosely because I've skipped workouts and have repeated days, although I haven't given up and I'm admittedly a lot better off than where I started. I spent a lot of time walking when it was too much for me to run, but still threw [extremely slow] running into the mix whenever I could. I'm slowly working on my form and my breathing. I love the growing strength I feel in my legs and I'm learning to love how running makes me feel. But there was no way I was able to grab a pair of fancy shoes and shout, "Hey, I'm a runner" right off the bat. When I started this weight loss journey I could barely make it from one end of the room to the other (literally, I once ended up in the hospital because of it)! When I first attempted to run last year, I couldn't even last a full ten seconds.

I still can't claim I'm a "runner," but I'm getting there. I'm still amazed I can do a quarter mile without stopping, and I can't wait to do my first full non-stop mile and beyond without having to stop with a walk. Before this, I hated running. Until I started working on this I don't think I spent any amount of time running past what I was forced into during grade school and I hated it back then too. Heck, I still don't fully like running, but I'm getting there and I love what it's doing for me.

Thank you so much for being such an inspiration to those of us still beginning.
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Old 03-11-2013, 06:26 PM   #12
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What a fabulous accomplishment! And I think your time is very respectable for a first time. I ran my first non-stop mile this week so I can't even Imagine doing a half but my husband and son in laws and brother all compete. Fantastic job!!!
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:39 PM   #13
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I am super SUPER impressed. As someone training for a 5K, I can't even imagine running 3 miles, but you just ran over 6 miles straight! Then walked up a hill! YOU ARE AMAZING!
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Old 03-11-2013, 07:52 PM   #14
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Oh my gosh...You showed such determination and completed it. Yes you did. That is awesome! That is sooooo good and thank you for sharing!
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Old 03-11-2013, 09:48 PM   #15
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I'm getting ready to start training for a 5k..I hate running..so much..

You are so inspiring! Great job! Thank you so much for sharing your story!
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