Sports column: Running toward a commitment of the half marathonOn June 15, 2012, I made a promise to a friend: I would run the Garry Bjorkland Half Marathon.
On June 15, 2012, I made a promise to a friend: I would run the Garry Bjorkland Half Marathon.
Most importantly, I also made that commitment to myself. I promised myself that not only would I accomplish it but that I would continue on the path I had begun for myself, to live a healthier and more active lifestyle.
And now, here I am, one week away from starting and finishing my first half marathon.
I’ll admit, when I was selected for the Garry Bjorkland Half Marathon, the nerves kicked in. My heart sank for a minute, thinking, what if I couldn’t do it? What if I wasn’t fast enough? What if I just stank at running?
In February, I had never done more than 3.1 miles of walking/running consecutively in my life. I had participated in only two 5Ks and was not sure what my body was capable of.
I found a 16-week training plan and began to follow it exactly, running on the treadmill at the gym and getting outside when Mother Nature allowed. In the first month or so of training, my times improved. I was already feeling less winded and more confident of my running abilities.
This was exciting.
One day, I even ran for 60 minutes non-stop, something I had never done before. Seeing these changes, I became more confident, emotionally. I knew that I was training the right way, for me. I stopped using my guide as a must-follow and listened to my body.
I added in leg workouts and core workouts, to decrease my chance of injury and also increase my strength. I did other type of cardio workouts such as Zumba, step aerobics and basic biking and elliptical training.
I’ve gone over 10 miles and felt strong. And I know that when it comes to race day, I’ll do 13.1 and feel even stronger.
Growing up in Duluth, Grandma’s Marathon is one of my favorite sporting events. I’ve always loved being along the racecourse volunteering or just watching and cheering for all the runners. Now, I’m anxious to see Grandma’s from the side of an athlete.
I know that when it comes to race day, I’ll be doing a mix of walking and running. That’s OK. There is absolutely no reason for me to run 13.1 miles consecutively. For me, it isn’t about putting up a record time. I’m not even shooting for a specific time. It’s about doing something that I couldn’t have done a year ago.
For me, this race is about keeping a commitment, to health.
Duluthian Sarah Packingham writes about sports for the Budgeteer. Contact her at email@example.com.