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Half Marathon Dread

So the Expert and I are running the Rock and Roll Half Marathon in Savannah, GA on Saturday…which is fun for many reasons.  Savannah is my hometown –and all of our family is still in that area. Can’t beat a trip to see family AND run a ridiculously long distance first thing in the morning.

We originally planned to run the FULL marathon. I decided against it after breaking my foot in February and just getting back up to long runs before Augusta 70.3.

And then I decided that I wanted my first marathon to actually be in an Ironman.  Since my first half marathon was in a half Ironman.  Tradition and all (crazy once, crazy twice).

I have run one “stand-alone” half marathon to date (where I spent the vast majority of the race chasing a man dressed as a Pabst Blue Ribbon can…)

Beer on the left. Me on the right.

But I have completed two half marathons… in half Ironmans. For some reason, I don’t “mind” the 13.1 miles after a swim and bike.  But the stand-alone 13.1 fills me to the brim with dread.

I think because in a triathlon, I am able to take each event at a time… the swim and the bike are all I can think about for four or so hours, that by the time the run appears, I’m so “warmed up” and ready to finish up the race, that I don’t dread the run as much. Also, in a triathlon, I have moments where I feel fast… in the swim and on the bike.

In a running race? I never feel fast.  Never. Nev-uh.

Also, I’m waking up to only RUN.  Which is tough. I like to swim and bike. A sane person would think… “That’s easier. Two less things to do.”


But… running.  Oh, running.  Me and my chicken wing.

Technically, I guess this is my fourth half marathon and I shouldn’t dread the distance….

Maybe I’ll get up at 3:00 am… swim 1.2, bike 56 and then roll up to the starting line. “I’m here! Ready to run now!”

Is it totally weird that… that idea actually sounds more appealing to me?


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  • Katie Salte

    November 1, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    You’re definitely not alone in that one! I’m the same way. I don’t mind the run as much in a triathlon because at least I’ve gotten to do fun sports first. But waking up to only run has no excitement in it at all. It’s work, its challenging and I am also no good at it so its not as much fun! Good luck!!

  • Allyson

    November 1, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    My hat is off to you, my new coach insists I run 2 full marathons before my Ironman, I was thinking one but OK. I will have run 3 half marathons before I attempt my first half Ironman as well. Since running is not my thing, I could not do an Ironman without knowing I could go the distance in the run. Have fun this weekend!

    • Swim Bike Mom

      November 1, 2012 at 1:41 pm

      Oh, I ran 13.1 before my first half iron (once)… just not in a RACE. 🙂 I, too, needed to know I could go the distance. However, for my Ironman, I will not run more than 22, probably. Because if I have swam 2.4, biked 112, and run 22… you’re darn right I can finish the last 4.6 on raec…. even if I have to drag my lifeless body across the finish line 🙂

      • Allyson

        November 1, 2012 at 2:51 pm

        I have noticed that most marathon running programs do not go the whole distance before the race, my hubby who has run 6 only runs 20 miles for his longest run. The thought of a marathon still scares the pants off me but I have committed to Disney 2014 with my hubby who is doing the Goofy. I am sure you will not have to drag your body across the finish line, your amazing.

  • Gen Matchette

    November 1, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    OMG, M! You are forever cracking me up! Yet again, another missed opportunity to meet you in person. I was going to run Savannah as well since my longest BFF lives near there and a bunch of my friends are running it as well. Instead, I am flying to AZ tomorrow to run the Lady Speed Stick Half-Marathon w/my beloved SIL. It’s going to be her very first half and I am so stoked for her!!!

    Re: stand alone runs… Crazy Joe (my better half) says that stand alone runs ARE actually harder than doing the runs in 1/2 and full IM distances. It’s harder on your body for some reason, so your “dread” is understandable. Anecdotally, many of my IM and 1/2IM friends and I will tell you that we have all recovered faster and easier from our IM endeavors than our stand alone marathons (half or full). Now, that being said, I LOVE running, so I’m actually really looking forward to my run on Sunday. I will be thinking of you and cheering you in my head though. Here’s a song that invariably comes on my iPod when I’m at my low points. Hope it helps you too…

    Cheers, Gen =)

    P.S. Glad you enjoyed the blog post. The one I did for Athleta was the funny one. The personal one was, well, more personal. 🙂

  • Ashley Wilkinson

    November 1, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Throughout all of your training you are working on a stronger body and a stronger mind. Just look at this as getting your mind a little stronger. It’s something you’re uncomfortable with, and that’s ok! It’s another step toward your goal, and another half under your belt. You’re going to do great, and I can’t wait to read about it :-). Good luck and have fun!

  • Nicole

    November 1, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    I agree with you 100%. I trained for a triathlon while I was also training for my first marathon. Just going for a run was so BORING and I thought I was losing my mind half of the time. I prefer to run after my swim and bike any day!

  • Andrea

    November 1, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    I ran at least 10 half marathons and 3 marathons before I did my first half ironman this summer. It was comforting to me to know I have run that distance before. Remember… foot in front of the other…..and use the time to plan all your future successes!!!

  • Txcristen

    November 1, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    I totally get you on this one. Running training days are my lease favorite. I have done 3 half-marathons (stand-alones) and don’t really have a favorite of the bunch. One was more flat than the others so I guess it’d be that one. I have not done a 70.3 so it is good to hear that the “half” at the end of it isn’t the same as the half’s I’ve done. That 10K at the end of my Olympics hasn’t been a bowl of cherries either….

  • Rennay

    November 3, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    I’m with you! I just see the run in a tri as the quickest way to get to the finish since there’s no water and you can’t use your bike. Definitely don’t LOVE running.


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