Bucket List: Run a Mini-Marathon: CHECK!

Once upon a time, I made a bucket list. I included items like, cook a whole meal completely from food I’ve grown in my garden, knit a pair of socks, drive Route 66, etc. In January, I decided to sign up for my first mini-marathon, 13.1 miles. I was already too late for the most popular race in Indy, so I signed up for a local one and I’m glad I did. The route was scenic, running by local businesses and through neighborhoods, lined with residents cheering us on and even offering to spray us or give a drink from their hose. My good friend ran it with me and provided much needed encouragement- thanks, chica!

This was one of the most empowering things I’ve ever attempted. I started running about a year and a half ago, with a looooooong break after running a couple 5Ks last spring. Truth be told, running in heat and humidity makes me ridiculously angry. I mean, don’t talk to me-get this over with-get out of my way when I see a water fountain- ANGRY. So I started running again (for real, not just a mile every few months) in January. I joined a group through the Blue Mile to run on Saturdays for our long runs, especially. Training was hard and there were definitely days I wanted to never run again, days where my whole body screamed “give up!” and days that I looked up the road, thinking “I’m gonna have to call and have somebody take me home.” But many days were A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Knowing I was tired, but also knowing my muscles would power through and experiencing such a high from those beautiful things called endorphins…very worth it. I ate things I didn’t know existed, primarily gels, Clif bars, and electrolyte tablets. I slept like the dead, stretched in funky positions, became a avid fan of sweat-wicking everything, couldn’t stop talking about running, ate carbs like it was my job, lost almost 20 pounds, and gained an incredible sense of I-can-do-it-ness. My prayer life, my body, and my resolve became stronger.

That being said, here’s a summary of what it was like:

  • good start, pumped up, adrenaline rushing, surprised by the number of people there
  • waving to our awesome “fan club” around mile 3 Smile
  • humid, warmer than during training, starting to worry about why I’m not hitting my stride or getting in the groove yet, like I did on most of my longer training runs
  • gel around mile 4, water breaks, feeling okay
  • bathroom break around mile 6, glad for the brief pause
  • hit uneven pavement halfway through (mile 7.5ish) and twist ankle- freak out, walk a bit, decide I’m going to be okay, and continue running
  • hills- not as steep as I expected,  getting tired and still frustrated at the non-grooveness of my running
  • mile 10- friend asks about ankle, I own up that it’s been tingling for a while- we stop by an aid station where the wonderful nurse ladies make me sit down, took off my shoes, iced and wrapped my ankle, and band-aided my blisters, and gave me some ibuprofen- really nice to sit down and have ice on!
  • after a rest, continue running, getting really tired and wondering if I can run to the end- frequent walk breaks, ankle okay, but weird to have it bulked up with the wrap
  • Really struggling to keep going- awesome encouragement from my friend-don’t think I would have done as well without her!
  • Mile 12 marker in sight- gonna run to the end- only 1.1 miles left.
  • Just keep moving, just keep running, don’t think about how tired I am…talk to me, friend- starting to feel cold chills and not the excitement kind, the I’m-running-really-low-on-fuel kind- just talk to me, make it to the end
  • VICTORY! Crossing the finish line, feeling like I’ve conquered the world!


Things I love about running: mint chocolate Clif bars, Nike stability running shoes, strength, and running with friends.


P.S. Currently, I have patella femoral syndrome and have been advised not to run. So, I’m exploring swimming, biking, and as the physician recommended, “working my quads and glutes until I don’t want to sit down the next day.” I’m signed up for another half-marathon in October…and I plan to run it!

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