I really need to watch my trigger finger. The one that so quickly registered me for the Women’s Half Marathon in Nashville two weeks ago. It was an impulse that struck after working the HudsonAlpha Double Helix Dash 5K Twilight Run.
I got caught up in the runner’s rush during the Dash. I recognized many of the runners from my previous, though brief, stint on the runner’s circuit and missed being a part of the action.
My short-lived running career nosedived last fall after my first half marathon, the Huntsville 1/2. With no proper training, I ran the first 8 miles and barely made it through the final 5. My body crumbled and my spirits sank. I was broken.
At least this go-around, I pulled the trigger well in advance. The Nashville race isn’t until September, giving me plenty of time to follow a friend’s advice (thank Lori Gierloff!) and complete Hal Higdon’s “Twelve Weeks to a 13.1 Mile Race.”
If only I had that foresight when I signed up for the Huntsville 1/2. I had read about Greta Waitz in Runners World and was immediately inspired. Then I pulled the trigger, registering for a half-marathon just days before the event. I was completely unprepared, mentally and physically.
When I first read about Greta, I figured, ‘I am a runner. I had been running 6 miles all summer. If I could do 6, surely I could handle 13.1.’
After the Huntsville 1/2, someone posted a picture of me from the run on Facebook. I begged them to take it down. “I look old, tired and ugly. Really ugly.”
The person kindly removed the photo, but said, “Karen, that was only taken at mile two.”
That tells me I was stressed beyond belief from the very start. I had every reason to worry!
On September 22, 2012, when I tackle my second half marathon, I vow to be fully trained. I therefore expect to feel much better before, during and after the Lady Speedstick Women’s Half Marathon in Music City.
And dear God, please, help me to take a better picture!