Running Diaries: My Road to a Half Marathon


Not one but TWO of our fabulous SMB Contributors are running the upcoming Susan G. Komen Women’s Half Marathon. Today you’ll hear both their stories about training for the race. Read on for Angela’s, and check back this afternoon for Tracy’s. Enjoy!

Running Shoes
image credit: Flickr user timtak

At the first of this year, sort of as my New Year’s resolution, I decided I wanted to take up running. (I actually called it “jogging” to anyone who asked. I wasn’t very fast and I didn’t want to over-exaggerate my abilities!) It was my way to get some time for myself each day to do something for me. I started slow, alternating running and walking until I could run for a full mile, then two, and so on.

Once I got fully “running,” a friend talked me into signing up for the Susan G. Komen Women’s Half Marathon. Walkers are welcome, so there is no pressure for me to run the whole 13.1 miles. But in retrospect, I probably should have tried a 5k or even a 10k race first before jumping into a half marathon. Seriously, what was I thinking? I only ran my first mile not that long ago. Am I out of my mind? Sometimes the training has been too much and I take a step back. I actually want to like running at the end of all of this, so I don’t want to burn myself out to the point where I never try something like this again. The summer training was pretty brutal, but now that the weather is cooling and I have a few long runs crossed off my training schedule, I do feel like I will be ready for the race.

A few things have been key to keeping me motivated: (1) I need a good mix of playlists on my iPod – the right songs can keep me running for the long distances; (2) Early on in my training I bought the Nike+ Sport kit for my iPod Nano (which is very inexpensive at $29). It is a two piece device, with one piece attaching to my shoe and the other plugging into my iPod Nano docking port. It tracks my distance and speed. After each run, I then upload the data through my computer to the Nike+ website so that I can compare my results to the previous run. This has been extremely motivating for me to go faster and further than before and be able to visually have proof of my progress; and (3) I have to run in the morning before everyone in my house wakes up. I have always been a morning person, so I don’t have a problem getting out of bed and out the front door.

I love and appreciate my children, but it took five years of full commitment to them for me to realize that I really love this time for myself too. I don’t think I could have done it sooner, what with raising babies and everything, but I am really happy that I am doing it now.

It has also helped to talk to other runners about their experiences and training, and I can’t wait to read about Tracy’s training experience later today.

Who else out there is training for the upcoming race? Any beginners out there like me? Anyone a little bit nervous?


  1. I’m training for the same race! I ran a 5k 4 years ago, and loved it so much! I, too, have young children, so I haven’t really kept with running, until this summer! I started training for the half marathon in July, and I feel prepared but also nervous! It’s coming so soon! I know I will feel so awesome after I finish!

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