You can’t just go out and complete a half-marathon. . .

I’m going to pass along my advice on training for a half-marathon. Do it. Train, that is. And that is all.

I have old-lady hips now.

I’m not even 40 yet.

We participated in the Shamrock Half-Marathon this past weekend in Va Beach. We’ve known about it for a while. We signed up sometime last year. I even printed out a training schedule to be able to slowly train my way up to being able to run 13.1 miles. But I wasn’t going to push myself. In fact, I wasn’t even sure if I’d complete the race. The friends I’d be running with were planning on stopping along the way to listen to the bands and drink beer. BUT, I wanted to train just in case they ended up not racing.

Then it got cold, and I don’t like the cold. I did not train. I didn’t even think about training.

Marathon stickers on car

That’s me on the right.

Last weekend arrived and we made our way to Va Beach. I thought to myself — I’ll just walk the half-marathon. I’ll walk the whole way. I’ve even gone to NYC several times and have walked all over that city. It had to be close to 13 miles that I’ve walked around NYC. Granted, that was over three or four days, and not all at once, but still. I was sure I could walk 13.1 miles in less than four hours. How hard could it be?

Before the VaBeach Shamrock Half Marathon

That’s me on the right (my husband ran the whole way)

Countdown from 10 to 1–all the racers left the starting line. My friend and I began to walk (along with plenty of other walkers…we weren’t the only ones).

Va Beach Shamrock Half Marathon

See, we’re all walking

 

And we walked.

And we walked.

Mile 3 of Va Beach Shamrock Half Marathon

So happy to reach Mile 3…THREE…ten more to go

And the wind blew, and we walked.

We jogged a couple of times, and then we walked some more.

There WAS NO PLACE TO STOP AND LISTEN TO BANDS. There was not even a place to cut off the course and have someone come pick you up if you just wanted to quit. You had to get an ambulance for that kind of service.

So we walked, and walked, and jogged, and walked.

Mile 7 of Va Beach Shamrock Half Marathon

I wished I were lying on the ground like that Mile 7 banner.

By the time we got to the half-way mark, I could feel it in my legs. Really just in my glutes and hip flexors. By the time we were about 3/4 of the way done, I knew I couldn’t stop or else I’d stop walking all together. In fact, my walking pace increased. I think I was desperate to reach the finish line. We were hobbling more than walking now.

After the race they corralled us onto the beach into the finishers’ tent, where you could get food (glorious food) and drinks. ONTO THE BEACH. Who can walk on shifting sand after having just completed a half-marathon? I was so desperate for food though that I hobbled through the sand to the tent.

And then I sat down. Mistake. My legs didn’t want to cooperate after that.

Finishers' tent at Va Beach Shamrock Half Marathon

He’s holding me up. Notice, he had time to go back to the hotel and shower before I finished.

I did end up making it back to the hotel. I couldn’t run across the streets though. I had to rely on the mercy of the oncoming traffic to slow down. I think a couple of boy scouts wanted to escort me to receive badges. And we slept for the rest of the day.

Yesterday we drove home. Each time we got out of the car I had to relearn how to walk, convincing my hips that they indeed did want to help my legs move back and forth.

Moral of the story: you absolutely must, without a doubt, train for a half-marathon. Even if you’re going to walk 95% of it. You’ll thank me for that advice. And you may not end up with old-lady hips.
   Not So SAHM

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3 thoughts on “You can’t just go out and complete a half-marathon. . .

  1. i think walking the entire thing is actually harder on your legs and hips than running. My hips hurt more when I just walk and my chiro told me that it’s because you use different muscles to walk than to run. Sounds good to me ;).

    Last year I was training for my second Cleveland Half Marathon but around the halfway mark of my training, I was struggling because of calf pain and icy roads and I decided not to train anymore and not do the race. Two days before the race, I changed my mind and decided to go for it and I did the race walking and running. It took me a half hour longer than my first half marathon but I felt the normal leg and hip soreness after. I think for your first half, you definitely need to train but I think if you have already done one and/or you’ve been running a little or doing 5 and 10ks, you will still be alright. Anyway, this was fun to read and good for you for going for it anyway. Races are so fun!

    • Wow, I had no idea that walking would be harder on your body than running! Some friends have invited us to participate in another half in October. I’m debating on whether to say yes. It definitely *was* fun to get out there and walk with my friend, and there’s nothing like the feeling of accomplishment once I crossed the finish line.

      BUT, I hate running! I even ran two years of cross country in college, and I hated the training. 🙂 The best part was crossing the finish line because Coach would take us to get something to eat. 🙂 That being said, I have begun to realize that time spent training = time to myself. As a SAHM/Homeschooler I don’t get much of that. SO, with the weather starting to warm up and become more spring-like, maybe I will start training for real and run/walk the race in October.

      Thanks for the tips, Jacquie! I noticed on your blog that you are homeschooling and are about to cut the cord with the online public school. The world is your oyster, and the curriculum choices are overwhelming. Ha! BUT, since you know your kids and how they best learn, that should help narrow down the choices some. And, since you won’t have to report to anyone you can change midstream if you want to. I believe that there are ways to get diplomas for homeschooled kids now, too. I’m going to have to start paying more attention to that since my oldest will be in 7th grade this fall. They used to have to get their GEDs, but I think there are other options now. Anyway, have fun doing the research this summer!

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