Half Marathon Training: The Beginning | The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans LLC


Day Four of Half Marathon Training, August 2009

Dear Diary,

Today I wanted to throw up in neighbor’s yard. I almost stopped to do so, but then I realized that I hadn’t eaten anything, and I was afraid of dry heaving. And so I continued with Mile 3.

I haven’t seen morning darkness since the previous Daylight Savings Time, so it was quite a rude awakening to get up at 5:30 a.m. and see that it was still dark. And that it’s still technically summer. What’s up with that?

My calves hurt so much that I’m kind of afraid my skin’s going to explode, and my guts are going to fall out.

And I realized when I got to work today that I was supposed to do strengthening exercises today, too. Missed out on that opportunity, I guess.

This Starbucks mocha is absolutely delicious, though, and it kind of makes me forget about the pain in my calves, the way I couldn’t get enough air last night when I ran two miles (in 26 mins — moving on up!!!), when I collapsed on the weight room floor after running two miles, when I could barely hold my eyes open at 8:30 last night, when I had to set my alarm for 5:30 instead of 6:45, the nervous anticipation that fills my mind when I think about Saturday’s four-mile run, and the desire to throw up.

ALMOST makes me forget.

But tomorrow is a rest day, so I don’t have to do any running whatsoever until Saturday’s run, because Friday is tennis day. Or raquetball day. Or elliptical machine day. Or whatever-the-heck-you-want-it-to-be-except-running day.

Although, I must admit, it’s nice to have the running out of the way. It makes me just a little bit giddy. But maybe that’s the caffeine and chocolate.

I think I kinda like running.



Running is intense. It’s hard. It’s something that will drive you crazy at first – and then drive everyone else crazy when you catch the bug. My first few weeks of running were not easy. In fact, running did not become second nature to me for at least a year. Now, though, it’s something I look forward to as much as my morning coffee. However, as a new runner, you will have adjustment issues. It’s okay. You can get past them.

Issue No. 1: Why am I not losing weight?

During my first halfie training, I didn’t lose much weight. However, what I gained was muscle – and I lost dress sizes. In fact, I dropped two dress sizes in six months. I slept better, I was healthier, and while the scale didn’t move often, I felt better about myself. If you’ve been running for a bit and you’re not losing weight, consider that it may be that you’re gaining muscle.

Issue No. 2: Why am I not getting faster?

Maybe it was just me, but I expected that after a month of training, I’d be a faster runner. And I was – I could run two miles in 24 minutes instead of 26. That’s a lot, though, when you’re considering running. I didn’t see it as being that big of a deal at the time, but every minute counts.

Issue No. 3: Can I avoid hills?

No. Deal with it. Run the hills. Run them all the time. I read something a few years ago that stuck with me: once you can run hills, you can run anywhere.

Issue No. 4: Dealing with negativity

You’re going to face opposition, whether it’s with yourself, nature, or someone else. One day you’re going to say, “It’s too early,” or “It’s too hard,” or “I’d just rather not.” One day it’s going to rain, and you’re going to wonder if all the hard work you’ve put into training will go downhill because you missed a day or two. One day someone in your life will say, “Oh, just skip your run this time.”

Negativity will pop up in your life. You’ve got to replace it – whether it’s shrugging it off, finding our own running mantra, or just facing a bad day or bad attitude head on and saying, “I’m awesome, and I’m going to run this. See you in three miles.”

New runners face all sorts of questions and issues, but dealing with negativity may be your hardest challenge. But I’ll tell you this – I’ve often regretted missing runs, but I’ve never regretted going on one.

Run on, sisters.

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