Thursday, June 19, 2008


I have ALWAYS been jealous of runners. You see them outside, doing their thing. Exerting their bodies. Destressing. And running in itself sure as heck doesn’t get you any fatter. Plus, when you get asked “so, what do you do for fun” runners have an answer. They run.

It may have started with my doctor that I’ve been going to for the past 16 years. Every appt includes him telling you when the next nearest marathon is and asking if you’re planning on it. The d├ęcor in the exam rooms and down the hall are posters from the marathons he has run in all over the country and pictures of him crossing the finish line. A requirement for his staff is taking part in the 5/3 River Bank Run every spring, either by walking the 5k, or running the 25k. It is a running office all the way around. Well, until you look at the patients in the waiting room. I think he only sees little kids and very old people. And me.

Every time he asks me if I ready to run the 26.2, I laugh, say of course not, and secretly wish I was. Lucky for my, this spring I thought it would be a good idea, and low and behold I had that though 7 months before the local marathon, not 2 weeks. I emailed little Jill, and she thought it was a killer idea too. Our plan was to follow the training plan, and then on 4th of July weekend, evaluate where we were, decide if our 26.2 goal was a little too lofty to begin with, and decide between the half and full marathon. At that point we would officially sign up.

And all logical signs point me to the half. We all know my sister ran the Green Bay half marathon after 8 weeks of running/training, and she ran it strong. 2:12, give or take a minute.

So now I’ve got a decision to make. And I’ll tell you the silly thing that is probably going to be the deal breaker. It’s called a HALF marathon. You mean you want me to completely change my life? I’m supposed to be out there running and sweating 4 days a week when I have NEVER stuck to any kind of activity longer than one week in my life? All for HALF of something?? Why can’t they call the 13.1 mile distance something else? The thirteenathon perhaps? There is nothing unimpressive about 13 miles. And if I could get my head around the fact that it is its own distance, and not half of something else, I probably wouldn’t even consider 26.2. I’m pretty sure with 17 more weeks of training, I could probably run a half in a time that I would be proud of. As it is, the marathon would be just to finish. And if I can run most of it, high five to me. In my mind, I see the full as such a huge, monstrous achievement. I’m not going to get an MBA anytime soon, but I could move my self 26.2 miles down the road. Without my car.

Then throw in Thanksgiving dinner at my aunt Judy’s. We’ll all be sitting there, Sarah will tell us how she did at the Chicago marathon, Uncle Mike will tell us which ones he ran in this year, and I’ll pipe up with my half. No, that’s not going to fly. I want to say that I ran a marathon too. I'm already the only chubby person in a family of the freakishly thin. I want to do what they do.

If you’re still with me after all that rambling, I’m not asking anyone to tell me that the half is the better decision. Or that it is something to be proud of, I know it is. But I’m going to do the full. And those are all the reasons why.
Next year I’m going to do all halves and work on times, and then the next year I’ll maybe throw in another full. This is all of course provided I don’t die at mile 18 in October or hate all things running.


Megan Hall said...

Awesome. The marathon will change your life, before *and* after you do it.

julie said...

yaaaaaaaaay! I'm with you 100%. Once you've done 26.2 everything else comes easier- finish the 26.2 in whatever time then focus on speed afterword. Keep the miles coming, keep smiling, and don't even think about that half. On your race day, you'll grin like never before when you pass 13 and just keep on going, like it's nothing.

Jillian said...

Aww man, I was hoping I could back down and do the 1/2 with you! Haha! No, honestly, I'm glad you're on board for the full...because that means I have to as well! : ) When I ran the half I could feel the admiration everyone had for the full marathoners...I knew that what I was doing was HUGE and MONUMENTAL but I still felt like I wasn't as cool as the full runners. Let's kick some butt in our training these next few months and we'll finish the marathon together - no matter how long it takes, because it doesn't matter. Next year, we should go somewhere fun to run a half...there is a lady in town here that has run a marathon in every state....that could be a fun goal. : ) I'm very proud of you!

chris said...

Well, I am going to go the other way and say I think it is fine for you to do a half this year and wait to do the full next year. Nothing wrong with that at all. It will give your body time to get use to all of those miles.

Just my $.02. Of course, I will support you either way.

Jenn said...

Do it, do it, do it - - do the full marathon!

Karen said...

I'm so glad you decided to do the full! Sometimes I think I'm crazy to do it but at this time next year we'll all be veteran marathoners. Do you believe it????

By the way, I can identify with being the one that has the extra poundage in a family of freakishly thin people. I think both of my sisters are size zeros.

Tanushree Baruah said...

You go girl! I shall be cheering you on! :-)

Topher said...

Hi Amy, found your blog on the Virtual Run Club. I LOVE the 1/2 marathon. Call it what they want, it's a great distance for me to train for and run. Not too long, not too short and you generally get the same swag and finisher's bling that the 26.2 folks do with only half the effort ;)

That said, I'm currently training for my first 26.2. Motivation: only to say I did it. Then I'm back to 10k's and 1/2's for the rest of my life. Unless I catch the marathon bug everyone says I will. Regardless, you're not in it alone if it's any consolation/motivation.