Fear & Training for a Half Marathon

So, I’m training for a 1/2 marathon. Seriously.

My sister Nicki and I, and two of our friends who are like our sisters, all signed up for the Rock N’ Roll marathon in Savannah on November 5th. Why? I can’t remember exactly. I guess after my sister Maureen passed away, the four of us appreciated, more than ever, the amazing bond we’ve had since we were kids, and we wanted to come together to do something fun and challenging to support that bond.

I signed up for the run months ago. That was the easy part. Then in August I had to actually start training. Now I’m about 1/2 way through my training, and I have to say, it is HARD. For me. A non-runner. (I’m an exerciser but NOT a runner.) The funny thing is, it’s not the running part that’s hard. It’s getting myself to run that’s hard. And if it weren’t for this 1/2 marathon, there’s no way in hell I’d be running this much or this far.

I have to add though, it’s also awesome. Because it’s hard. Because I’m not a runner. Because I’m actually doing it. Because we’re having beautiful fall weather and I live in a beautiful place. But mostly because it’s so inspiring. It’s good for my brain, and makes me think so much about my life and aspirations.

How so? Well, forgive me if you are a runner and have already been through the revelation of how running is a metaphor for your life. But it’s new to me, and it’s inspiring the heck out of me.

Here’s what I’ve discovered about running:

  • Signing up and committing to a 1/2 marathon, especially with other people, makes me accountable and driven.
  • Training takes up a lot of time, and finding time can be hard, but I always make the time because I have to. Because I’m committed.
  • Running is mental. I’m going to run as far as I decide to run. Which ends up being as far as my training plan tells me.
  • My plan starts with a distance that is doable, then incrementally increases my distance.
  • The hardest part is starting. The second hardest part is the first mile. The third hardest is going up those hills, and in my case, the stairs.
  • The best part is when I hit my stride. Actually, the best part is when I’m done. The second best part is hitting my stride.
  • When I’m done running I am sweaty and tired, but happy. A beer tastes really really good. And I sleep well.
  • Now that I’m up to 6 miles, the 3 miles I started with seems easy.

There’s a saying I love, that is: Have faith in the timing of you life, and I think it’s pretty interesting that I’ve signed up for this half marathon at this time in my life – at the same time that I’ve decided to launch Suzanne Harrison Home – an endeavor, I’m realizing, that is actually very scary for me. Wouldn’t it be easier if I stuck to web development? But I really want to do it. It makes me happy and it’s important to me. But it’s scary.

So I’m going to take the 1/2 marathon approach:

  • I’m committing to a big goal of creating pillows and stuff I’m proud of, a great Etsy site, a great e-commerce site and blog, and selling wholesale.
  • I’m making time to do the work. I’m committed.
  • Even though it’s daunting, I just need to get started! Up until now, it’s like I’ve just been exercising, but now I need to step it up and really run with it.
  • I’m creating a plan with incremental steps for achieving my goal, starting with what’s doable.
  • I know it’s going to be hard. Especially at the beginning. But eventually I’ll hit my stride. Sure there’ll be some hills and stairs, but I’ll make it in the end. I hope.
  • If I work hard and stick to the plan, eventually I’ll reach my goal, and when I look back at where I started I’ll think That was the easy part!

Sorry if that was super corny! It’s just that I haven’t been very good at allowing myself the time to work on Suzanne Harrison Home. What I’ve been good at is psyching myself out of it – convincing myself that there’s no way I could ever make money doing this, spending my time working on other “more important” things, contemplating full time employment and steady paychecks.

But in my head, and every time I go running, I think about Suzanne Harrison Home, the stuff I want to make, how I want to my web-site to look, and how I’ll set up a studio for myself some day. Ugh, I keep wavering between thinking it’s just a dream and thinking it’s totally achievable!

But maybe it’ll be like my six mile run the other day. I intended to go first thing in the morning, and finally got my butt running at around 2pm. I ran for a couple of miles, then a black cat ran in front of me, I tripped, fell into the road and got a bloody cut on my hand and knee, got back up, and kept running. I ran through my neighborhood, through town, past the marina, along the beach, through the woods, up many many flights or stairs, and then finally back home. And it felt great. It made me feel like Suzanne Harrison Home was really possible.

This weekend I have to run seven miles, and I’m dreading it. I think I’ll probably take a similar run and figure out how to add another mile through my neighborhood. I’m sure I’ll procrastinate and wait until the last minute on Sunday to do it. But I will do it. Because I have to. Because it’s the next step. Because I want to achieve my goal, and I know it will feel great in the end.

Here are some photos from my training…

My training buddies:

Running past the Marina: 

Stairs, a lovely trail, stairs, and more stairs:

I’m still not completely convinced I can do this, but there are a heck of a lot of people on this planet who have run much much further, so the odds are good. But something I don’t understand is why most runners don’t say “hi” to each other when they cross paths. Walkers almost always do. Hmmm. Curious…

7 thoughts on “Fear & Training for a Half Marathon

    • Thanks! I just got back from my run – from my house, past your hour house, around Greenlake and back was 7.44 miles. A beautiful day, but a VERY slow. And I had a big plate of leftover mac n’ cheese when I got home. Hehe…

  1. It’s such a beautiful day that I got myself out for a run this morning. It’s been quite a while for me. Our undisciplined dog still yanks on the leash so he helped me for that first tough mile pulling me along. But then we settled into a nice rhythm. I have been thinking about doing a half marathon. I’ve never done one either. Do I have the time to train for it? Then I came home and was thinking of you and saw your post. Hmmm. I agree with everything you say. If nothing else, a good run definitely justifies a nice cold beer at the end of the day. Makes it even more delicious. And it’s fun to get sweaty (like Helen Reddy). Thx for the motivation & good luck with the rest of your training!

    • OMG, I just saw your comment now for the first time – I’m not sure how I missed it – and it makes me SO HAPPY to hear from you, even if it was months ago. SORRY! Let me know if you ever decide to sign up for a 1/2 marathon, I would love to do it with you. Not to mention I would just love to see you, it’s been far too long. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo!!!

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