Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Half Marathon? What Am I - Half-Crazy?

I've always enjoyed running for exercise and as a way to relieve stress. I'm not very fast, but I have decent stamina. After my son was born (about 14 years ago) I did my first 10K. I ran terribly, but I finished. Since then I've run a few more 10Ks, sometimes improving on my time, sometimes not. Just a few years ago my alma mater, Indiana University, announced it would host its first half-marathon. At the time I was in somewhat decent shape, but I had been having knee issues and was only running occasionally. The race was also scheduled for an early Fall weekend, which didn't exactly work for me having three school-aged kids. Each year I think about running in that half-marathon, and then either my knee keeps me from it or just my laziness and overall nervousness of trying something like that. But now some things have shifted in my favor. Just last week I received a Cortizone shot in my knee and it feels so much better I can't believe it. What was I waiting for? So the IU half-marathon crept back into my thoughts. The next one is scheduled for April, 2011, which just happens to be when my kids are on Spring Break. The timing would work. My knee is feeling good. We replaced our old broken treadmill . . .

I'm not a competitive person - this isn't something I'm thinking about doing because I want to win. In fact, a runner friend of mine asked me to run the Chicago Marathon with her a few years back, and I said no way. I trained with her and did some long runs, but the thought of running 26 miles just seemed (and still seems) crazy. I don't need to say I ran a marathon. I don't even need to say I ran a half-marathon. I just think it would be pretty flippin' cool to run through my old beloved campus - just about 20 years after I left. I imagine my iPod would be filled with John Mellencamp (Cherry Bomb) as I'd puff past McNutt, my old dorm. I'd remember my crazy roomie and her big hair and wild partying that kept me up most nights. I'd jog on by Ernie Pyle Hall, where I found my niche in Journalism and wrote for and edited the Indiana Daily Student. It would be like a step (well, lots of steps) back in time.

My son is 14 and he is a runner. A pretty fast runner. I mentioned the half-marathon to him and he didn't hesitate - he said he's in. What a neat way to introduce him to my old campus. The last time he was there he was 2, and he spent most of the time napping. He's now at an age when he could appreciate the beauty and charm of IU and Bloomington. It would be a very cool mother-son bonding experience for us to run the half-marathon together - except that he'd leave me in his dust. So we'd have to do our bonding during the 5-hour drive there and when I show him around my old haunts.

I haven't registered for the race - yet. I'm going to do some preliminary training and see how I feel. I want to do it right. I will follow a plan for a beginner's first (and possibly last) half-marathon. I will rest on the days it says to rest (always a tough one for me to follow) and log the miles on the days I need to do them. I'll try to share my training here (oooh, now that's exciting!) - probably on Tuesdays. But I'd love to hear from anyone who has done a half-marathon - any advice?


  1. Good luck if you run the 1/2 marathon, Lauren! You are braver than I am!

  2. good luck Lauren!! look forward to reading about the training and commenting on the aches and pains you are going to have!! you are a better woman than me, gently dog walking in the woods and down by the lake is enough for me!!

  3. We Canucks aren't known for our cheerleading but I'm behind you all the way!!!! GO LAUREN!