Nashville, Here We Come

We’re five days away from the Country Music Half Marathon, and running has basically taken over our lives. Subsequently, our gear has taken over our home. We have a lot of gear.

Running Gear on Mirrored Table

We leave on Thursday, and I can’t believe that I’m heading to Nashville as a runner instead of a spectator. There were several weeks, when I was laid up with my knee injury, when I was sure I wasn’t going to be recovered in time to run the half. I felt it in my gut – it just wasn’t happening. I lay in bed night after night trying to mentally prepare myself to watch from the sidelines. I needed to be OK with that.

But I’ve come to the conclusion that my guts have shit for brains. Because that’s not happening! I’m going to line up at the start with everybody else. I’m going to do this thing.

Running Shoes and Foam Rollers

Will I be running the entire 13.1 miles? No, unfortunately not. Will I be finishing with an impressive time? Definitely not. But I’m finishing, damnit. I’m going to get one of those finisher medals and I’m probably going to wear it to bed for the next month. And guess what! The medals have GLITTER on them. It’s like they were made for me.

I’m not going to lie – my training has been rough. I’ll essentially be going into this with only four solid weeks of running behind me, and that’s really not enough. My longest run was Saturday – I ran 6.25 miles and then walked another 1.75 for a total of 8. On race day, I hope to run between 8 and 10 miles, and I’ll walk the rest. According to my coach, that’s the only way to ensure I’ll make it through without re-injuring myself, and that’s just fine with me. If I finish, I’m happy.

This little guy – my favorite running buddy besides Brad – will be keeping me on track:
Running Watch - Garmin Forerunner 210

I can’t tell you how much I love my Garmin Forerunner 210. I have to write a separate post about it when I get back. I know GPS watches aren’t for everyone, but I can’t imagine running without it.

Today is my very last physical therapy appointment. It’s been seven weeks since I started, and well, I’m afraid to tell you how much better my knees feel because I’m terrified of jinxing myself. Let’s just say that physical therapy is magical and I am very, very, very grateful.

This is going to sound melodramatic, but I had no idea how much I took my body for granted until I found myself unable to use it the way I wanted to. I was miserable just because I couldn’t run – can you imagine how awful it must be to lose the ability to walk? Every day that I’m able to put one foot in front of the other is such a gift. I’m going to try my best to remember that.

So, anybody have any half marathon advice?

  • Great post! Enjoy running your half marathon!

    Also, “but I had no idea how much I took my body for granted until I found myself unable to use it the way I wanted to” is starting to mean a lot to me now. My wife has started working as a physical therapy aide, and thinking about the patients there has helped lead to some good talks between us about making exercise more about maintaining activities of daily living rather than solely aesthetics.

    Good luck! Stay injury free, enjoy yourself, and maintain your activities of daily living for a ridiculously long time. 🙂

    • Thank you so much!

  • Grace

    I know next to nothing about running but I know a little about life and learning and being grateful after being here more than half a century. If you’ve gained nothing more than learning to respect and appreciate your body and it’s ability get you from here to there than you are way ahead of the game. it’s pretty unusual to have that kind of insight at 25.
    And, determination is a giant part of challenge. You’ve got that covered!!

    • Maybe it’s all the Protandim!

  • Bianca

    Steph you are so amazing! Seriously. Very few people would be like I’M DOING THIS. Most people would drop out and be like I’ll run again another time. It’s really amazing and just be proud of yourself for getting to that start line!

    And enjoy every moment! It’s going to be amazing and soak it all in. That’s the best advice I can offer — really, truly enjoy it because there will never be another first half marathon.

    And I know you’re bummed about not finishing fast or running the entire thing but think of it this way: every half marathon after this one will be faster! And you’re still going to get a PR since this is your first half marathon!

    I’m so proud of you!!

    • Hahah, THANK YOU! Is it a good quality to be stubborn as hell?? If so, YAY! 🙂
      And you’re right — I’m totally going to PR! And it’ll be an easy one to beat, too. 😉
      THANKS, B!

  • Hello there! Long-time reader, first-time commenter 🙂 I know Bianca, so I’m assuming that makes us friends. I’m right, right? Anywho, you’re going to do AMAZING. Seriously. Times don’t mean squat ; finishing and finishing STRONG are what’s most important in racing. You never want to finish feeling like poop. So listen to your body. If your body says “Nope, I can’t run right now,” walk. If your body walks for a half mile and starts feeling strong again, run. Rock ‘n’ Roll races are SO MUCH FUN so don’t forget to have fun and clap for the bands and dance while you run. High-five some little kids and make sure you walk through every water station (and drink lots of water!!!). I can’t wait to read about it 🙂

    • Hiiiii! That’s so funny – I totally read your blog, too, so yes, we are definitely friends. 🙂 Thank you so much for the advice! It didn’t even occur to me to dance while I run … that’s actually one of the best suggestions I’ve heard so far!

  • A pre-emptive congratulations! I just finished my first marathon, and finishing your first race is so thrilling! I hated when people asked me my time after, ’cause it wasn’t good! So I just told them what I’d heard someone say before: “I’m a COMPLETER, not a COMPETER.” Haha. Made me laugh, and made them laugh.
    Good luck!

    • That is PERFECT! I’m so going to use that! Thanks. 🙂

  • I am SO excited for you and to hear all about it! I’ve been really impressed by your stick-with-it attitude. I feel like so many people (myself included) would take a sidelining injury as a good enough excuse to bow out. Major props to you for going the other way 🙂

    • It’s so funny that everyone keeps saying that — for me, being told I couldn’t do something only made me want to do it more! Spoiled only child syndrome, maybe??
      Thanks, Jill!

  • I am just looking forward to seeing that beautiful medal! Enjoy every minute of it, run with a smile and hopefully your body will stay happy!

    • Thanks, Sarah! 🙂 Hope your training is going well!

  • Kick butt! I’m training for my first half-marathon now, and my goal is also just to finish. You can do it!

  • Hey hope you had fun in Nashville! I subscribed to your blog now so I can read it all the time! It was super meeting you!

    • Yayyyy! I’m subscribing to yours, too! Gotta read more about your amazing little genius kitties! 🙂 Thank you so much again for having us over!

  • Can’t wait to hear how it was!

    • I’m definitely going to post about it very soon! Must find the time!!