Posts Tagged ‘half marathon motivation’

Why I run

In Bucket Goals on September 21, 2012 at 9:02 pm

I am an organizer for a marathon/half marathon training program. As we near the end of the season, I sometimes struggle to find the right topic that is relevant and motivational.  This week I seemed to touch the right nerve in myself and a few others. I received the most positive comments about the newsletter. So I thought I would post it out here for posterity.  Note, it was written with small kiddos jumping all over me, preparing for school/work and participating in their normal am shenanigans.  But somehow with its imperfections in grammar and punctuation, it came out perfect.  Given the chance to re-read and correct, I may never have hit send.

Race day swag

Why I Run – USA Fit Albany Newsletter for September 21, 2012
“Race season is here! As you can see by the photo above, I have expanded our closet. The Palio does not pass out medals (which I knew about ahead of time), but it reminds me of the topic of the week..”why we run”.

I am a big medal junkie! I myself just booked a whirlwind last minute trip to run in the Nike Women’s Half marathon. Nike magically opened up bibs on Monday and after 5+ years of trying I got it. It is a dream event for me for several reasons, one of which is that the medals are necklaces packaged in perfect Tiffany boxes and handed out by fire fighters in tuxedos on silver platters. But as I was frantically booking my dream running trip across the country it sort of hit me, “why is this a dream to me”.  Anyone who knows me, knows I would run 100 miles for a one of a kind designer item.  And I run even harder and farther for an event that supports the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (like this one does). But that is not why I started running. I did not start running for the medals.  After all, it would be cheaper for me to drive to Tiffany’s in NYC and buy my own necklace. I did not set my goals for a marathon or half marathon for the swag.

I have my own personal reasons why I run, why I keep going, why I sign up for event after event.  The medals are great, but they are all sitting in my basement collecting dust.  I run for me. I run to be healthier, to keep my sanity living with three males, to have a goal, to do something others most others have not, to do something hard, to constantly improve,  I run because I want to see what my body can do (instead of what it can’t), to help others, to see things in the world others will miss, to enjoy the fresh air, to tell my children and grandchildren stories of accomplishment, to be me.

So remember as you approach your event, to have fun and run for your reasons. It is your own two feet. Your event may or may not go the way you want it to. But remember, you have done the hard work. As Jenika said this week the “hard part is over, now its fun, what would you tell that person you were back in April who was not sure they could do x”.  We think there will be a lot of positive things you can say. We think you would tell them,  you will accomplish so much, GREAT JOB!

❤ Jennie

Lucky 13.1?

In I thought they said "rum" on October 13, 2011 at 1:07 pm

This past weekend I embarked upon my thirteenth half marathon. Seven years ago after the birth of my son I was suckered into joining a half marathon training group.  My son was only five months old when I started training. Had it not been for the lack of sleep and judgement I may have never begun this journey. But here I am 13 half marathons later and loving it! I picked an easy flat almost downhill course. The Mohawk Hudson Marathon attracts Boston hopefuls with its fast course.  It is listed as one of the top 10 Boston qualifiers. You can read more in the article 10 Best Boston Qualifiers. It was also on my own turf. I run parts of the course several times a month. This was going to be no problem to a seasoned half marathoner! In fact, I planned to blow away my personal record.

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.


But something about this 13th scared me. After all, there are 12 months in a year, 12 apostles, 12 hours in the am and pm, 12 days of Christmas, the 12th Man (whoop, I am an Aggie!).  My 12th half marathon was my hardest and I PR’d by 26 seconds. Would number 13 finally do me in? Hotels and airlines go through great lengths to often re-number floors to skip unlucky 13. Friday the 13th = bad luck. I sweated through Friday the 13th of my first pregancy only to be relieved he was born on Saturday the 14th.   Triskaidekaphobia is a word to describe the fear of the number 13. This could be serious! (Insert dry humor here.)

I prepared for months. I even organized a running group to help motivate others and to keep me motivated. I worked HARD!  But the season had a few setbacks for me. A flare up with a neck injury causing bad migranes and pain. Some personal changes had me distracted over the season. Then three weeks before the event I caught a bad virus, lost my voice and was riddled with bad headaches and exhaustion. Attemps to run had me looking pale and glazed in fever sweat. One week before the race I spent the weekend in bed on Sudafed, Amoxicillan and Advil nursing the baterial infection that resulted after the virus. Then there was a quick visit from the kidney stone fairy and an unseasonable heat wave race weekend. It appeared the trifecta of bad luck was upon me. —Oh the drama!  The mental runner in me wanted to take over.

Whether you believe you can or believe you can’t, you’re probably right.”
-Henry Ford

But by Sunday, the race day, I was functional and felt I could have a safe run. I was going to have to be conservative. Goals of blowing away my previous times were most likely gone but I had trained hard.  I kept up with my conditioning doing yoga and strength training. I could do it, even if it meant just scraping into a PR. And I changed my mental attitude. Yes, it was going to be very warm. Yes, I was weaker from 3 weeks of viruses and infection. But I have run next to individuals in cancer treatment who out ran me.  Yes, I did not run the way I wanted to the last two weeks. But, maybe 13 is not so unlucky, particularly in sports. Dan Marino, Alex Rodriguez, Wilt Chamberlin and Shaquille O’Neal, Yao Ming have all donned the number 13 at some point in their careers. Maybe in sports, 13 means something different. I was going to run safe, run consistent and I WAS going to get my PR.  And I DID! By 2 minutes and 58 seconds!

Mohawk Hudson Half Marathon Bib

My 13th Half Marathon Bib

As I dragged myself to the post race massage tent to repair my cramped up muscles a girl in line started small talk. This was her first half marathon and I congratulated her. Then she asked if it was my first. I told her it was my 13th waiting for the comment on “unlucky 13”.

 Instead she said, “Oh, wow! Well this is a pivitol run! You have completed thirteen, 13.1’s!”

And there lies the poetry. I picked an event to love that in itself should be considered “unlucky”. Each time I sign up for a half marathon I elect to run 13.1 miles. Maybe 13 is not so unlucky after all….



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