Sunday, February 19, 2012

Anything For 10-- The background story

When I was in college, I was fairly lazy. I always thought my best friend was crazy for running all the time. I thought she's seriously lost it when she ran her first half marathon. My younger sister also took up serious running when she was in college. She was always posting pictures of her at the finish line of a race with her uber fit friends. I pretty much wanted no part in any of that business.

One day at a family get together, my sister Grace was trying to talk my muscle head brothers into running a half marathon. I decided that if she did it, then I could do it. I piped in that I would run the half. My family laughed. My sister-in-law didn't laugh because after all, she was married into our family and isn't quite as rude. She was probably originally just trying to make me feel better, so she said she'd run it with me. Then as my friends found out that I was going to "run a half marathon," they all conferred with each other that there was "no way in Hell." That, my friends, made me determined to run a freaking half marathon.

I had a couple months before I needed to start the training plan my sister had lined out for me. My friend Lindsey helped me do my pre-training, which mostly consisted of jogging 1/4 mile and walking 2 3/4 miles. Even though she was one of the only people who had really ever witnessed how out of shape I was, she still told me all the while that I would be able to complete the half I signed up for. When my first week of real training rolled around, my sister was about to move to Bangkok, Thailand. Yes, the one who convinced me to do this crazy thing in the first place was leaving me all alone to train for and run a half marathon. She did run a couple runs with me before she moved. I was still at the run-walk stage that was more walking than running, and after the first mile I wanted to walk already, but she told me that I needed to run some more before I started to walk. She said, "Michelle, you can do anything for ten minutes." I pushed a little further before walking, and at this point, I really can't remember if I pushed for ten for minutes or not. As my training progressed, I was more and more wary about being able to actually do the half. When I told my sister, the saying she had given to me as a mantra before had suddenly changed. She told me, "Michelle, you can do anything for three hours." What!? I thought it was only ten minutes! Then I really panicked, but in the end she was right.

By the time race day rolled around, only one of my brothers and his wife, the polite one, ended up running the race alongside me. The others chickened out, and I proved my family and friends wrong. I ran the Kansas City Half Marathon on October 15, 2011. The race was much tougher than I thought it would be. I stayed with my sister-in-law for the first 4 miles, and we made pretty good time, but then I decided if I didn't walk for a bit, then I would never be able to finish. She decided that if she stopped to walk, then she would never finish, so we parted ways. Around mile 6, which I had run many times before, I felt like I was about to die, and I hated Westport more than I ever thought I would. When I got to the Plaza, I wanted to punch the spectators who kept cheering me on. I wanted to walk to the sidelines and wait for my family to come find me, but I just kept going...slowly. Somewhere around mile 9, I started to walk when I heard a voice say, "Just keep going till that sign up there, and then I walk with you." I looked over to see an older woman next to me. I did as the stranger said. She talked to me briefly. I found out she was a former teacher of a college friend of mine. Then she told me that if I wanted to finish in under 3 hours I had better get a move on, so I did. As I neared mile 12, I saw a person ahead of me who looked familiar, and yelled, "Joe!" To my surprise, my brother turned around and yelled, "What?" I said stupidly, "What are you doing?" He replied, "Running a freaking half marathon, what does it look like?" I caught up to him and we walked for a bit. I explained that I thought he was already done, and he told me part of his race story. I picked up the pace for the last mile and ended up beating my brother's time by less than a minute once we got our chip results.

I started my training for my next half marathon today. It was a little chilly for running outdoors in my opinion, but I am going to make myself do it anyway. I will be running the Joplin Memorial Run this May, and I am looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead of me. I can still remember how crappy I felt during my first half marathon, but I can also remember how great I felt that I had finished. I have grown to love and crave running. This blog will be my outlet for everything running, but I can't promise that a little bit of life won't get mixed in as well. This winter I set a new goal for myself, and this time I pushed it off on my "anything for 10" sister. This blog will be my journey to 26.2 and beyond. 


  1. Haha, I love how you thought I was crazy! It IS hard, but it's so worth it, as you've found out. :)

    I hope we will be able to run together someday... maybe this summer! I won't be able to come in town in May to do the one in Joplin, but maybe one in the summer (or even just a 5K or 10K if there are no halfs to do) then.

    What is the training schedule you follow? I haven't run a half in so long I don't even know where to begin now.

    1. I think I have my schedule typed up that I can email you. I will look for it.

    2. That would be nice. I would appreciate it! :)

  2. What is the "beyond" part in your last sentence all about? No way in hell are you making me run more than a whole marathon.

  3. here is a great site for training schedules as well. It is the one I follow for each of mine.