How Not to Train for a Half Marathon, Part 2

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It seems highly unlikely that a woman who’s peanut M&M consumption is more regular than her exercise routine, who is chasing forty, and who’s attention span is lower than the high school seniors she teaches would be able to set a goal of completing a half marathon, let alone two in the same year.

Last fall I ran/walked my first half marathon and with my next goal in sight, I trained for my second in ways not recommended by your family doctor.

DON’T think that running and riding a stationary bike are the same thing. While the latter is definitely low impact and can be done, watching these guys

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and these guys

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is no excuse for not getting out there and allowing your body to feel your true body weight. It does not matter if there’s a new guy on the show.

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It does not matter if… Um…

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Well, maybe it does.

DON’T think that running with your dog will help you run faster. You might think that he pulls you when you no longer have the desire to get that stupid 13.1 medal when really all he is doing is dragging you to his favorite spots to drop a load.

Also your dog, such as this seventy pound lovable mutt here,

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may point out habits that you didn’t know you helped him develop as in

BUDDY! STOP DRAGGING ME TO STARBUCKS! WE’RE NOT GOING THERE!

*whispers* Okay, maybe later…

DO use past knowledge. I am lucky that I don’t have to work everyday so when I knew the date of the race, I immediately asked for the following day off.

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DO learn more about keeping up your energy during long races. After my first half marathon I could barely move once the adrenaline wore off. I crossed the finish line and grabbed a sandwich and water. What did I know about gels and carbing up the night before and sports drinks?

Absolutely nothing.

I divvied out the pack of three mini vanilla scones from Starbucks every four miles! Yep, pretty sure you’re not supposed to do that but did that stop me?

Obviously not since the halfway point for my second half marathon was within a half a mile from my house!

Hey babe, can you bring me a Coke Zero? I’m so thirsty!

Yep, I had a soda during a half marathon! In hindsight, I know I shouldn’t have done it but my husband shouldn’t have listened to me. Also I was delirious and freaking out a bit since there were several students I’ve subbed for all around the course.

Miss G! Hey, how are you doing?

Six miles later it’s

Gatorade! Here you go ma’am. Wait a minute, aren’t you my sub?

Yes, delirious.

DO encourage others to join you in your next race. Misery loves company. When I break down the facts of the race, it really is not all bad.

People who race are very encouraging. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of runners who take this very seriously. But more often than not, you’ll meet so many people who jog and/or run for fun. They are more than happy to share their stories with you. I would return the favor but I’m usually out of breath and/or melting after the first half.

While my genetics and lifestyle do not lend for a typical delicate and petite Asian body type, that doesn’t mean that I (or anyone else not built/trained for running) don’t have the strength or stamina to finish 13.1 miles. Both are essential for any sport and dare I say, anything in life.

Strength ? Check. Stamina? Check. Stupidity? Check. {Lol!}

Bottom line: if I can do it (twice), anyone can.

Dear Boston

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Dear Boston,

I’ve never seen you in person but I know you’re beautiful.

The day after the horrible tragedy I went to the gym. The first time in weeks. The following day I went again.

All this week I’ve been wearing the shirts I’ve gotten from races that I walked or run. No, shirts I have earned.

Last year I set my sights on running my first half marathon, a goal I quickly deemed a mere dream.

Life got in the way. Excuses piled higher than the laundry (albeit clean) in my room. The dream became a fantasy.

But I can’t do that, Boston.

I won’t.

You with your courageous survivors, with your brave residents who ran toward danger. You with three casualties. Three who were there to enjoy the race in your fine city.

You who will not cease this glorious tradition of the Boston Marathon.

Thank you, Boston. Thank you for reminding me that I am a runner. I run for you.

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