Things I Never Expected When Training for a Half Marathon

With fourteen years of soccer playing and tennis all throughout high school under my belt, getting to college was kind of a shocker to the sport side of me. Gone where the days where I could find time to kick around the ball or rally for hours on end, or have 7-7 tiebreaker matches. Or even sleep.

I was determined not to be another victim in the freshman fifteen statistic. So I took up running. First unexpected thing – I was not very good at it. I had self-righteously believed  that my athleticism would be enough for me to able to run carefree miles all over the streets of my hometown.

I may have been in relatively good shape, but I underestimated the mental aspect of running. It’s not sprinting to one side of the court and back or doing a penalty kick. It’s you, wrapped in your own thoughts, seeing how far your feet can take you.

So for the past year or so, I ran intermittently when I could find the time. But a few weeks ago, the competitive part of me kicked in, and I decided to start training for a half marathon, because having a goal is a motivator. There were a lot of things that having that goal entailed that I didn’t expect.

I didn’t expect the running community to be so wonderful.

Heck, I didn’t even know there was a running community. But I have yet to go on a run where I pass at least one other running person, they smile broadly, do a fist pump, or shout words of encouragement.  One day I will concoct my own unique running encouragement for passersby, but for now I stick to a smile and wave because I’m too much of a newbie.

My favorite instance of this phenomenon of community motivation was when I went running with my brother across a bridge with two sides where people frequently set their running paths in my town. From all the way across four lanes of busy traffic, a guy screamed out, “Yeah running for life!” at us as he ran by. Yeah, running for life. If I wasn’t convinced before, he convinced me now.

I didn’t expect the lack of self-consciousness.

Running all over the streets looking sweaty and gross, I thought I would be at least a little freaked out that people driving by in their cars were going to see me and judge, or I was going to have to activate spy-ninja running mode in case I saw someone out and about that I knew. Then I realized I was looking at it completely wrong. Those people sitting in their cars, much like the running community, are more often than not thinking “good for you” or “keep it up!” Either that, or they’re silently hating you for taking the initiative to be healthy while they are stuck in their cars. Either way, with your heart pounding and music pumping in your ears, you learn not to care.

I didn’t expect the decrease in appetite.

More proud than embarrassed that in my prime I can down three cheeseburgers from in’n’out and my idea of a personal pizza is just a regular pizza you order for yourself, I never expected that running would make me less hungry in general. There are studies that both prove and disprove this point, so the actual scientific evidence to the fact that running results in appetite suppression is fairly inconclusive, but personally I have felt the effects. I used to think that when I got home from a five or six mile run, I’d want to stuff my face with any food I could find in my pantry. Surprisingly, if I want to eat at all, the cravings I get are usually for smaller portions of healthier food. Personally I feel like it’s my body thinking, “oh boy, if we have to do that all over again, let’s not crave an entire bag of Doritos” because healthier eating means better running.

I didn’t expect the sometimes crippling boredom.

This is one of the admitted downsides, at least for people like me who cannot switch off their brains. There are those commercials on TV that you look at with people running on beautiful beaches or through the mountains and they look super happy and carefree. Well, I’m sure they are, but they’re also still probably thinking, “Am I done yet?” This is where the mental aspect of running hits – after nearly an hour of jamming to your playlist or trying to pay attention to a book on tape, it’s nearly impossible not to wonder when you’re going to be able to stop running and go home and take a shower. You think you’ve run for another solid ten minutes, and thirty seconds have passed. Running in new places always helps, but it’s still something to keep working on.

I didn’t expect the shocked reactions from people when I tell them how many miles I go.

I expected a pat on the shoulder and people to say “oh that’s cool.” I didn’t expect them to practically flip a table and yell “Eight miles? You’re nuts!” I didn’t think I’d be telling people much about my running distances, but the reactions are too much fun to pass up.

I didn’t expect that I could actually do it.

Each time I lace up my shoes, sometimes reluctantly, I think about how far it is I’m actually going to go, and it seems a little overwhelming. But the feeling of accomplishment that comes after the run is complete make it worth it.

Anyone can do it, all it takes is a little dedication. I didn’t expect that I actually can.




photo source:

Comments 50

  1. I just want to say I’m newbie to weblog and truly liked your blog site. More than likely I’m going to bookmark your website . You amazingly have fantastic well written articles. Thank you for sharing with us your webpage.

  2. I simply want to tell you that I am just beginner to weblog and honestly savored you’re blog. Probably I’m want to bookmark your blog post . You actually come with very good article content. Regards for sharing your webpage.

  3. I just want to mention I’m beginner to blogging and seriously loved your web blog. Very likely I’m want to bookmark your website . You amazingly have impressive articles. Cheers for revealing your web site.

  4. I every time used to read piece of writing in news papers but now as I am a user of web so from now I am using net for content, thanks to web.|

  5. As a Newbie, I am always browsing online for articles that can benefit me. Thank you

  6. Hiya, I’m really glad I’ve found this info. Today bloggers publish just about gossips and web and this is actually irritating. A good site with interesting content, that is what I need. Thank you for keeping this web-site, I will be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can’t find it.

  7. This article will help the internet people for building up new webpage or even a blog from start to end.|

  8. Fantastic site. Plenty of helpful information here. I’m sending it to a few friends ans additionally sharing in delicious. And of course, thanks in your sweat!|

  9. Do you have a spam problem on this website; I also am a blogger, and I was wondering your situation; we have developed some nice methods and we are looking to swap solutions with others, please shoot me an email if interested.|

  10. Awsome site! I am loving it!! Will come back again. I am bookmarking your feeds also

  11. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I do not know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already ;) Cheers!|

  12. Hi just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different browsers and both show the same results.

  13. Reasons why a lot of stuff you might have read about watch is false and what you need to understand.

  14. Hello. magnificent job. I did not expect this. This is a great story. Thanks!

  15. I would like to show my appreciation to the writer for rescuing me from such a circumstance. After looking throughout the search engines and finding concepts which were not productive, I was thinking my entire life was over. Living minus the solutions to the difficulties you have sorted out through your entire guide is a crucial case, and those that could have badly damaged my career if I hadn’t noticed your web site. Your own ability and kindness in controlling every part was tremendous. I’m not sure what I would have done if I had not discovered such a thing like this. I can also at this time relish my future. Thank you so much for your high quality and sensible guide. I will not be reluctant to refer your blog to anyone who will need guidance on this matter.

  16. I like the helpful info you supply on your articles. I will bookmark your blog and test again here frequently. I’m relatively sure I will be told lots of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!|

  17. Hello, i think that i saw you visited my site thus i came to return the desire?.I’m trying to in finding issues to improve my web site!I guess its good enough to use a few of your concepts!!|

  18. Your mode of telling all in this post is actually nice, all be able to effortlessly be aware of it, Thanks a lot.|

  19. Thank you, I have just been looking for information about this topic for ages and yours is the greatest I have found out so far. However, what in regards to the bottom line? Are you certain concerning the supply?

  20. This is a really good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere. Simple but very accurate information… Many thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!|

  21. What’s up, just wanted to mention, I liked this article. It was practical. Keep on posting!|

  22. Hello would you mind letting me know which hosting company you’re using? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you recommend a good hosting provider at a honest price? Thank you, I appreciate it!|

  23. What’s up friends, good paragraph and nice urging commented here, I am actually enjoying by these.|

  24. Good day! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading your posts. Can you recommend any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same topics? Thank you!|

  25. You are so awesome! I do not believe I have read something like that before. So great to discover someone with some genuine thoughts on this topic. Really.. thank you for starting this up. This website is one thing that is required on the web, someone with some originality!|

  26. Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on websites I stumbleupon everyday. It’s always useful to read through content from other writers and use a little something from other web sites. |

  27. I couldn’t refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!|

  28. My brother suggested I might like this web site. He used to be totally right. This put up truly made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!|

  29. Today, I went to the beach front with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is totally off topic but I had to tell someone!|

  30. I will right away grab your rss as I can not to find your email subscription hyperlink or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Please let me know in order that I could subscribe. Thanks.|

  31. I like what you guys are up also. Such clever work and reporting! Keep up the superb works guys I¡¦ve incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it’ll improve the value of my website :)

  32. I am very happy to read this. This is the type of manual that needs to be given and not the accidental misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this greatest doc.

  33. If some one wishes expert view concerning blogging and site-building then i advise him/her to pay a visit this weblog, Keep up the pleasant job.|

  34. I don’t know if it’s just me or if everyone else encountering issues with your blog. It seems like some of the written text in your content are running off the screen. Can someone else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them too? This may be a problem with my web browser because I’ve had this happen previously. Thanks|

  35. I am writing to let you understand of the notable encounter my child obtained reading through your blog. She noticed several issues, most notably what it’s like to have an awesome teaching mood to make certain people just have an understanding of chosen grueling matters. You actually did more than readers’ expected results. I appreciate you for presenting such warm and helpful, trusted, educational and even cool thoughts on the topic to Tanya.

  36. Definitely, what a great blog and illuminating posts, I surely will bookmark your blog.Best Regards!

  37. Wow, awesome blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is excellent, let alone the content!

  38. Hey this is kind of of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML. I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding knowledge so I wanted to get guidance from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!|

  39. Normally I do not learn article on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very compelled me to try and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, quite great article.

  40. Thank you, I’ve recently been looking for info approximately this topic for a while and yours is the greatest I have found out so far. However, what concerning the bottom line? Are you sure in regards to the source?

  41. I really appreciate this post. I have been looking everywhere for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You have made my day! Thx again

  42. Hi there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay. I’m undoubtedly enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.|

  43. I do agree with all the concepts you’ve presented to your post. They are very convincing and can definitely work. Still, the posts are too brief for novices. May you please prolong them a little from subsequent time? Thanks for the post.|

  44. Hi, I do believe this is a great site. I stumbledupon it ;) I will return yet again since i have bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to guide others.|

  45. Magnificent items from you, man. I’ve take into accout your stuff previous to and you are simply extremely great. I actually like what you have got right here, really like what you’re stating and the way in which you assert it. You’re making it enjoyable and you continue to care for to keep it smart. I can not wait to read far more from you. That is really a tremendous site.|

  46. I’ll immediately snatch your rss feed as I can not in finding your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service. Do you’ve any? Kindly let me understand in order that I could subscribe. Thanks.|

  47. Everything is very open with a clear description of the challenges. It was definitely informative. Your website is very useful. Thanks for sharing!|

  48. If some one wants to be updated with most up-to-date technologies after that he must be go to see this site and be up to date daily.|

  49. I’m amazed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and interesting, and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The problem is something that too few people are speaking intelligently about. I’m very happy that I found this in my search for something regarding this.|

  50. My coder is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on various websites for about a year and am concerned about switching to another platform. I have heard good things about Is there a way I can transfer all my wordpress posts into it? Any help would be greatly appreciated!|

Comments are closed.