Can I call myself a runner now?

Another weekend has passed which means another race is in the books. This one is something I thought I would never accomplish.

I finished my first half-marathon. Holy crap, I can’t even believe I typed those words.

I ran 11 miles of the Wicked Half Marathon as per my training plan, and I walked 2.2 miles.

The morning started very early, race time was 7 am, so I needed to be out of the house by 6. I had prepped all my stuff the night before, so all I needed to do was get up, make & eat breakfast, do my morning routine and leave the house. Easy, right?

The night before I was full of nerves, emailing my Team In Training coach and not sleeping through the night. When I woke up, I had no choice, I knew I was prepared to run 11 and I just needed to DO IT.

It was pretty chilly but the long bathroom lines and nerves definitely made me forget the temperature. Before I knew it we were lining up to start and just like that we were off.

The first 4 miles were great, they were hilly & tough, but my legs felt great and mentally I felt fine. The race course was awesome, we ran through Salem and into Marblehead alongside the ocean. It was foggy buy you could see the beach and smell the salt water. I couldn’t think of a better first race course.

I took some fuel right before mile 5, my coach passed me at this point and it was nice to see a smiling face. I had this. I got a little nervous around miles 5 and 6 since there wasn’t a ton of race support and since I was in the back of the pack there were not any other runners that I could see. I kept wondering if I was going the right way.

Around mile 7.5 my upper thigh muscle started to hurt, I tried walking and massaging it for a bit to see if that would help. I ended up walking one of my miles at this point. I started to get in my head, thinking I can’t do this, why was I so foolish to sign up for this!? After a mile I started jogging and slowly increased my speed. I definitely was not running the same min/miles as I was in the first half of the race and that was disappointing, but at least I was running.

Miles 8.5 – 11 were pretty uneventful, lots of hills, at mile 11 I was going to walk my other 1.2 because I knew I wanted to run in to the finish. I met a woman from North Carolina who was running her first half and we power walked together. Once my watch hit 12.2 I started running again, I had to run past my parked car (what a tease) and other finished runners so I kept picking up my pace.

As I was coming into the finishers chute, I saw another TNT coach, my mentor, a TNT runner (and one of the alums that helped with our team) and they were all cheering me on. As I came through the finish, the announcer was congratulating me on my first half-marathon finish and my coach was waiting for me! It was so exhilarating, coming through the finish.

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I have never considered myself a runner, so can I know? I don’t know. My finishing time was 3:18:12, I know some people can run marathons in that time, and sometimes that makes me feel like less of a runner, even though I know I shouldn’t. I am still very proud of what I did this weekend!

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Finisher Medal

I have a lot more to say on this, but I will get to that later this week! When did you start consider yourself a runner?

I can honestly say I would have never gotten this far without my running coach from TNT, without my trainer and without the friends and family who have continued to support me!

31 thoughts on “Can I call myself a runner now?

  1. Okay this post just gave me the motivation I needed! Girl, that is fan-flippin' tastic! One of my long-term goals is to run a half marathon (I've only completed three 5kms to date) and reading about how well you rocked it and overcame all the mental obstructions… Just amazing! You are definitely a runner, and nobody can take that from ya!
    Keep up the fantastic work! :)

  2. OF COURSE you're a runner!! You trained and ran a race, didn't you?

    Ok, I'll admit, I have the hardest time calling myself "a runner". Not sure why we put so many qualifiers on ourselves. We run, therefore we are runners. I mean, I drive, therefore I'm a driver. What's the difference?

  3. You've hit the nail on the head. I think when it comes to sports & athletics as adults it can be hard to label ourselves if we aren't winning gold medals or placing first. But you're right. We run therefor we are runners.

  4. Ok, first off, you are a runner and I think you have been for a long time. You did awesome and I loved your recap.

    It seems we have a lot in common. I have only been running for just over a year, Sunday I did my first half marathon, I am a New Englander and I also signed up with TNT to run Nike.

    This has been an amazing journey and I bet it has been for you too. I am happy to have found your blog and look forward to following you.

  5. This is a GREAT post. I have never been a runner but have recently begun to enjoy it. I'm participating in the color run in Nashville October 21 and plan on doing a couple of 5K's before the end of the year. Recently a bug has been planted to do our Knoxville Half Marathon in the spring. I have never EVER wanted to do one before- this post makes me want to make it a goal!

  6. Way to go! A half marathon is definitely no small feat & I must say, you don't even need to run races to call yourself a runner. If you're out there on your feet running, you ARE a runner. No matter how fast or slow or short or long you go!

  7. I found this post through Best Body Fitness a week or so ago and am finally finding the time to read it. Way to go! This is such inspiration to me. I am training for my first half marathon – the Disney Princess Half Marathon! I haven't run any kind of race since the 200 meter sprint in jr. high track. Yikes!

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