It’s just a half marathon…

OK… since when did I become a snooty, “half marathons are short runs”, long distance runner?  I was standing in line today at packet pick up for a local half marathon I entered tomorrow (my last official run over 13 miles before the marathon!!!!) when a girl asked if I was running the whole thing or doing a relay.  I mumbled something about this “just being a training run”.  She looked crushed.  She said she had been training for this race for months.  I felt like a stuck up running snob…!  I apologized profusely and said I didn’t mean it the way it sounded and then proceeded to pour ample amounts of encouragement over her.  What a horrible thing for me to say.

See, I can still remember when the half marathon distance was a huge and daunting task.  I was pretty stressed out at the starting line of that race and really worried  that I wouldn’t even be able to finish it.  That was only 4 short months ago.  Now I think I can snort at a half marathon like it’s nothing?  Shame on me…

For those of you running your first half marathon during this season, great job!  You are in better shape than 90% of the U.S. population.  It is a distance to be proud of.  Have fun with it!  And don’t listen to us crotchety, old, jaded runners when we poo poo the distance like it’s a sack race.  It’s just running that marathon mileage is obviously warping our tiny little brains…

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3 Responses to It’s just a half marathon…

  1. Guess what.. they’re in better shape than 99.9% of the population!!!!
    Have fun tomorrow.

  2. Pokey says:

    Please don’t feel too badly. I am the Doctorate of Saying Stupid Things to people. Good on you for realizing it might be a bit discouraging and building her back up! Besides, if you didn’t feel that a half marathon was a mere training run, you wouldn’t be mentally (or physically) prepared for the marathon. And, for the record, I stumbled onto your site a couple of weeks ago, and I’m finding it most encouraging as I train for my first half marathon. 🙂 Best wishes to you.

  3. I haven’t gotten excited about any race except my first marathon. I’m told I went about it all wrong: By the time I ran my first 5K, I was used to knocking off 10-mile training runs, and by the time I ran my first half-marathon, I’d already logged a 16-miler, so I was genuinely bewildered (and a little amused) when they handed me a finisher’s medal at the end.

    Of course, a full marathon would seem like a light jog to Catra Corbett, and you’d feel like a failure if you finished a race with my PR for that distance. It’s all relative.

    I got a nice dose of perspective last fall when I signed up for a full and then dropped back to a half at the last minute to pace a friend who was running her first half-marathon. My normal pace is literally five minutes per mile faster than hers, so I was actually a little embarrassed to accept a finisher’s medal at the end of the run, because I knew I hadn’t touched anything close to my potential that day … but for my friend, the medal was a precious thing, hard-won and definitely well-deserved. Every run is different for every runner. Your companion at the packet pickup needn’t feel bad because you used this race as as training run. The fact that you’re running at a different level and for a different reason doesn’t take anything away from her achievement.

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