Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Birth of a runner, from 5k to half marathon in 6 months!!

I have always been intrigued by runners. Many of my friends ran and I lived vicariously through them. I always thought I would like to try to run a 5k at some point in my life.  I even dabbled with running from time to time. Well, it was actually more like walking, but I called it "running" because I run a few feet then walk again. I certainly never considered myself a runner like my cool friends. Then, in late April 2011, my friend Gayle asked me to do a 10k with her.  I knew I couldn't run for 6 miles but I figured I could at least walk that far.  So, I did!  I finished that first 10k in 1 hour and 23 minutes.  It wasn't a very fast time, but something happened on that day. I finished!!  I started something that was very complicated and I completed it.  I had something that I could be proud about!!  It was an amazing feeling!!  And I was forever hooked!!  I ran a 5k with my friend a couple of weeks later.  I was enjoying myself but I knew I needed to learn about form, breathing, pacing, etc so  I went out, bought new running shoes and clothes and signed up for No Boundaries, the 5k training program at Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa.  I met the most amazing people in my life and we started training for a 5k.  Our goal race was the Bedlam run at the end of July.  We trained 2 nights each week during the hottest summer on record ever in Oklahoma.  I ran a few more 5k's during our training.  We ran our goal race on July 30th.  It was at 7:30 in the morning but still very hot and humid.  I didn't have an outstanding finish time but again, I had the satisfaction of finishing.

I knew I wanted to keep running and keep learning so I signed up for another training program at Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa.  This one was called Pathways and our goal was to run a 10k, well actually we ran a quarter marathon 6.55 miles.  I met another amazing group of people and we began training.  It was still hot when we started so the increased distances were challenging but we had a great coach who encouraged us to keep going.  We ran our goal race on October 15 and I had an outstanding run!!  But, I couldn't stop there, so I kept going.  Now, my goal was the Tulsa Run, a 15k or 9.3 miles.  The increased distances were even more challenging.  I started having pain in my knees.  My time @ the Tulsa Run wasn't quite as good as I had hoped, but I had the opportunity to run with my friends and that was awesome.  I was hoping that I would be able to build up to the Route 66 half marathon 2 weeks after the Tulsa Run, but I wasn't sure.  I've never been a very confident person and I was starting to doubt myself.  I tried a 10 mile training run with one of the Fleet Feet Sports half marathon training groups and was able to do the distance so I went ahead and signed up for the half marathon.

The weekend of the race finally arrived.  I made all the necessary preparations.  I downloaded plenty of music, charged my ipod, pinned my bib on and laid out my race clothes/gear in advance.  I made sure I was drinking plenty of fluids all week and had a good, high carbohydrate meal the night before.  I tried to get a good night sleep but that was difficult due to all the butterflies.  I woke up at 0400 to check the weather.  It was colder than I was hoping it would be.....in the 30's and not likely to get much warmer so that meant a wardrobe change.  I ate my usual pre-run breakfast of toast, peanut butter, honey and banana and drank more water.  We left home before 6am to get to Tulsa in time to find a parking place and walk to the start line.  I met my friends from Fleet Feet prior to the race.  Many of them were in the same corral I was in.  We made our final stop at the porta-potty then proceeded to the starting corral.  We waited in the cold for what seemed like an eternity but actually was closer to 30 minutes. Then, we were off!!  I ran with my friends Lynn and Kenna for about a mile then I saw my friends Jessica and Stephanie from my Pathways training group.  They were running run/walk intervals.  I ran with them for about 4 miles.  I was feeling pretty good both physically and with my pace at this point, so I started to run my own race.  I did pretty well until about mile 8 when I started to have some pain in my left foot.  I kept going until about mile 10.5 and decided to walk for a couple of miles.  My foot was hurting and I wanted to save what I had left in it for the finish.  I walked until about mile 12.5 then I saw some more of my friends from Fleet Feet and ran to the finish with them.  I finished my first half marathon in 2:43, 15 minutes faster than I had predicted!!  I was pretty pleased with myself!!  My biggest fear was having to run by myself.  I was essentially on my own after I left my friends, but every so often, I would see someone that I knew from Fleet Feet so I never felt like I was truly alone.

I enjoyed my experience and look forward to doing the next one!!  I have made some of the most amazing forever friends and I've learned something about myself.  Over the course of my training, I've learned that I am strong and can do anything that I set my mind to.  I learned through running to look for the silver lining and that no one is a loser.  And most importantly, I've learned to have confidence in myself!! To date, I have run 14 races including: 8-5k's, 1-5k obstacle race, 1-6.55 mile run, 2-4 mile runs, a 15k and the half marathon!!  I have many more miles to run and I am now proud to call myself a runner!!  Running changes lives; Running changes everything!!


  1. I am SO proud of you! What a great achievement you have had. Keep going, you can reach your dreams!

  2. Beautiful post! You have a lot to be proud of and so much more to look forward to! Way to go!

  3. Hey!! Thanks for the blog follow!! :) Congrats on your first half marathon! That's a great accomplishment! :)
    If you'd like, I'm having a Christmas Card Swap on my blog!! Feel free to join! We'd love to have you!! :)