True Life: I’m training for a half marathon…again

Remember that time I told you about running my 4th half marathon? Yeah, I barely remember it either! I took some time off of training and didn’t participate in any races in the spring. I let my coach talk me into training for the Lexington Half Marathon again (I hit my PR there last year and had the luxury of passing what looked like a deer carcass at around the half way point so obviously I was all “definitely ready to tackle this one again!”).

sign up

Like last year, I’m way ahead on my mileage (#overachiever / I get really anxious that I’m not going to train and force myself to amp it up) so this week I got to take it down a notch to a relaxing 7 miler (ha!). In celebration of passing the mileage midpoint of training, I thought it’d be fun to share what it’s really like to train for a half marathon.

half way

Confession: I have been planning this post during my last 4-ish long runs and literally start laughing…out loud…while running. For someone with my lack of coordination, this is dangerous [and has led to near suffocation…okay not really, but it could’ve!]. I hope it means that you’ll enjoy reading this post as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.

Without further adieu, I introduce you to the thoughts of a runner {or maybe these are only applicable to me?} / conversations I have with myself while running long distances…

The run begins…< 1 mile

3 seconds in…THIS IS SO GREAT!

running elf

3 minutes in…Why am I doing this again?


Ok, let’s review your motivators (so you can be motivated):

  1. Pizza
  2. Ice Cream
  3. Your metabolism can no longer keep up with the amount of 1 & 2 that you consume.
  4. Because you’ll let down your coach if you give up. And you hate disappointing people.

4 minutes in…

4 mins

Gosh this hydration belt is so annoying. Why can’t there be water-delivery-fairies along my path so I can avoid carrying this bulky thing. I’m pretty sure it’s slowing me down. I’m going to blame my speed issues on the belt. It’s definitely the belt.

running belt
Oh girl. If you ever find a belt that makes anything look good, please tell me.

Mile 1

I think for my next race I should order a t-shirt that says “will run for pizza” on the back. Or cupcakes.

That should be entertaining for the hundreds of people passing me. It’ll be like my gift to them (my other gift: generously volunteering to be the last one to cross the finish line #SomebodysGottaDoIt).


I’m pretty sure that’s what’s holding me back from “looking like a runner”…pizza. It’s pizza’s fault for being so damn delicious.

My life story.
My life story.

Maybe I should cut back on my pizza intake…

LOL – I think I just blacked out from talking crazy again.

Yes! TACOS! Add that to my list of motivators.

Mile 2

Ooh! I think I may know that person driving by. I hope they didn’t see me.

[while running through USC…]

Is that girl wearing a cotton t-shirt? Has she not realized it’s over 100 degrees…and sunny…and why am I sweating profusely while she is only showing a subtle glisten? Life is so unfair.

Maybe I should write a post called “Things you learn by running in the blistering heat.” Lesson 1: Dri-Fit only.


Is that girl wearing make-up while running? She must like early wrinkles.


Lesson 2: Your gym bag is incomplete without make-up removing wipes. #AintNobodyGotTimeForCloggedPores… speaking of, I need to pick up some face wash at the store. Note to self: Don’t forget that by the time we finish this run.

Am I too old to be running through a college campus?

too old
Am I though?!

Oh, who am I kidding…I look younger than half of these kids anyway! #BabyFace

UGH! When will I ever look my age?!

Calm down. Remember that gray hair you found sticking straight up above your forehead? What a gift!

Mile 3

Just hang in there. You’re almost to your sweet spot (you know…that spot where your legs forget they hate you and they convert to autopilot…so for a bit it’s like they’re not complaining…until you stop and your knee feels like it’s going to spontaneously combust. Ok, stop thinking about that!).


Mile 4

Once I get up this hill, I’m totally taking a water break!

Surprised this is my first water break? Don’t be, Mom. I hydrated today until my pee turned clear. #CoachsTip


Mile 5

I’m really craving a second walk break. Too soon? Yes, it’s too soon.

Ugh. I told you: once you open the flood gate with a walk break, you’ll want a billion. Should’ve kept on truckin’ a little longer. It’s way too early to be feeling like this:

never again
Except instead of AFTER I’m feeling this way DURING…

Maybe taking up yoga is a better idea.

Who are you kidding?! You tried that. You eat way too much pizza for yoga to be your main workout. Nice try. Keep running.

Mile 6

Surely I’ve burned enough calories for cheesecake!


Gosh I haven’t had cheesecake in forever…intentionally. Nothing is more sad than an aging metabolism. #Truth.

Mile 7

Running lesson #465689: Running makes me hate my body less. Isn’t it cool what the human body can be trained to withstand?


Mile 8

I DID IT! And oh emm gee my knee is definitely locked. And WHERE IS THE PIZZA?!

gscout cookies
Yes, please. #BringOnTheThinMints

In all seriousness, I do enjoy running. There’s little in life (aside from pizza) that is more satisfying than a runner’s high. I truly enjoy the time with myself – it’s a time of reflection that is so valuable.

running quote

But to be honest – my desire to quit is a real challenge. That tiny voice in the back of mind that tries hard to creep in – telling me I can’t do it – can be hard to suppress. I’m sure every runner has experienced it and overcome it at one time or another. It’s always worth it, but it’s tough!

The moment you realize that your competition lies in beating your own personal time or your own goals (rather than being faster than the person next to you), a real revelation occurs. That happened for me before I even ran my first race. I have always been fascinated with what can do – with every mile I added, I felt such a huge sense of success. I’ve always been a slow runner (in my defense: I have very short legs 😉 ) so I never thought that I would win any of the trophies at the end of the race which also helped (perhaps if I thought I actually stood a chance, I’d be more disappointed when I didn’t take home the gold?).

Focusing on competing with myself and avoiding comparison with others has been the greatest lesson.

just run

One last thing: I hope this posts sheds light on what it’s really like to train for a half marathon. I hope I did this in a manner that doesn’t scare you off, but makes you feel like “If she can do it, I can too!” because I’m slow…I’m short…and my track coach in high school (I pole vaulted for a very brief time) gave me “permission” to quit (yes, it was a real conversation). If training for long distance running isn’t your thing, who cares! Whether you run 10 miles or just around the block, do what makes you feel good.

fake runner

Side note: All photos are linked to their original source. I am in no way endorsing the websites that are linked…in fact, I did not read most of them. But I believe in giving credit where it’s due, so sources are linked in case you are interested. 

Author: Jordan Slice-Metcalfe

My name is Jordan. I'm a full-time working mom whose coffee cup is always half full (and probably still in the microwave). I've got a weak spot for rescuing old dogs, pretending pizza is a vegetable, negotiating dessert with every meal, propagating more plants than any home needs, dreaming of sewing projects while my husband is talking to me, and loving my tribe too deep.

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