Guest blog: from two miles to a half marathon

Please welcome Amber. Remember when I guest blogged for her not too long ago? Well now she's returning the favor and I couldn't be more excited! I think Amber might love Jillian's 30 day shred workouts as much as I do.

Hey guys, Amber from Amber Alert here. I’m blogging for Sassy while she’s gallivanting around Europe (lucky b*tch!). Since Sassy is such a hardcore runner, and her blog is one of many things that inspired me to start running and training for my first half-marathon, I thought I’d talk about my half-marathon experience a couple of weeks ago. And most importantly, what I’ve learned from it since!

On May 3, I ran my first half-marathon in Vancouver. Stumbling upon running blogs, like this one, is what first motivated me to train for a half-marathon. Even though I’d been going to the gym and playing numerous sports since I was 13, I’d never been a runner. I didn’t have the endurance or the patience for it. So, I decided I’d try running again; maybe having something to work towards would make all the difference.

It really did. Back in January, I struggled to run two miles. I thought I’d never be able to run an entire half-marathon. But I kept working at it, building my mileage, week by week. Without even realizing it, I fell in love with the training and running. It wasn’t the running part that I loved, it was the feeling I had after I’d finished a run, even when I was dripping sweat and gasping for breath, I felt accomplished and I felt really good.

I was hoping to lose about 10 pounds over the four months that I spent training for the marathon. Unfortunately, mostly due to relaxed eating habits, that didn’t happen. At first I was really disappointed in myself for not losing the weight then I realized how much stronger my body had become.

My arms had more definition, and my legs were 100 times stronger than they were before. When I used to look in the mirror all I could see was my flaws: my too-big thighs, my belly pooch and my underarm sag. That’s all changed since running my half-marathon. I pushed myself hard for four months, and my body delivered. It carried me through the marathon and allowed me to finish strong. Yah, I still have a tummy pooch, and a little too much fat on my hips and butt. But ya know what, this body got me through 13.1 miles and hopefully, one day, it will get me through 26.2 miles. I’m proud of my body, love handles and all, and I owe this newfound self-confidence to running!

How has running, or any exercise, improved your self-image?

P.S. I'll be back from this little vacation on May 30. I go right back to work on June 1 so let's just say I might be a LITTLE jet lagged, but it's worth it.

P.P.S. I second that running has given me a lot of self confidence that I wouldn't otherwise have. No matter how I'm feeling about myself or how behind I am with a project at work, knowing that this bod can survive 26 miles makes me feel a little more unstoppable and not gonna lie, damn proud.


Great post, Amber! :)

I had a similar experience w/ running. I was never a runner, then in 2005, I ran my first 5k and loved it. The next spring, I ran a 1/2 marathon and then I ran a marathon in the fall of 2006. It is crazy that I went from doing my first 5k in May of '05 to running 26.2 miles in Oct of '06. I always tell people - if I could do it, so can you!

And now I am telling myself that all over again since I sort of stopped running in grad school... So now I am starting over again & relying on those memories of my first days of running to keep me moving towards my goal.

@ Sassy - hope you are having a blast! I love the little updates that you've been posting! Makes me miss Europe so much!!!
erin said…
it is quite elating to see how things have changed internally with running. I never thought i'd fully enjoy running, but there is something about finishing! it's a definite high! i need to sign up for another 1/2 marathon..... working on the budget.
Caz said…
While I have no goals for a 1/2 marathon yet I do have plans for a 10km run. I've recenty remembered how much I actually love running (ok I hate running itself, but I like being able to get away from everything (computer, internet, tv, family, friends etc.) and clear my head. It works wonders for my attitude and mental health.

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