And The Saga Begins….

So going back to the previous post, I mentioned that a few of us girls got to talking about running and 1/2 marathons.  Well since the majority of the girls in the conversation were slightly less sober than I figured that all this whimsical discussion of running 13 miles would never be mentioned again….I was wrong.

Promptly on Monday I received an email linking to several running sites and instructions on where to find training schedules for beginners.  I thought, “WAIT WAIT WAIT.  We were serious?  Seriously?  Well crap!”  So sweet readers I am now training for a half marathon…..13 bloody miles of nothing but running.

Ok lets break it down.  I know how to physically run.  I also like to fancy myself as a fairly good runner at that.   I began running at an early age, our house keeper, Ms Ruth, would often use bell peppers in her cooking, so I would run through the house while sneaking bits and dodging being hit, I often chased after my older-younger brother when he chose not to obey my commands as the older sister.  I have continued my dedication to the sport, but now I choose instead to be counted among the great sprinters.  I sprint almost daily.  When Kalie (the whippa-dore) takes off chasing a squirrel…across the road, when Colin is trying to tickle me or make me do something I do not want to do.  This is my running history, my track of choice if you will.  I do not however run non-stop for 13 miles.  That’s like…a really long way.

So Runner’s provided me with a “beginners training program.”  In 8 weeks I will be able to run for 30 min straight….why?  Why do I want to run for 30 min straight?  I could just drive there!  Colin informs me, “THAT is not the point.”  Apparently, the point is to start an exercise program, from hell, and finish it.

I bought my first pair of running shoes yesterday….I now have shoes that would fit Big Foot.  My dialogue with the shoe lady went something like this:  “You want your shoes to be big.  In long distances….are you ok ma’am?”  “Yes, I’m fine.  You were saying?”  “Are you sure you are ok?  You just turned sheet white, then green, then you shuddered.”  “It was the words long distance coupled with the intent of running long distances.”

She fitted me with Brooks, I have a tendency to run on my toes–something about the 10 years of dancing–and these shoes are made for runners like me.  So I’m blogging my experience of training for my first marathon, or should I say my first 8 weeks of torture–I mean of learning how to run here.  Any comments or pointers are welcomed as I don’t have damn clue what the hell I’m doing.

Today is day three.  This week I’m supposed to run for 1 min and walk 2 min then repeat 10x.  I do this on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and GET THIS: Saturday!!!! I have to run on bloody Saturday!  (I’ve got to learn to keep my bloody mouth shut!)  Monday Colin and I ran, oh yeah did I mention Mr Fitness is doing this with me, he has 0 inclination to go easy, yesterday we did our whole “walk easy for 30 min,” now tonight we have to run again, and I already want to throw in the towel… new mantra: I like the thought of possibly maybe being in better shape that I might be in now-maybe.

Talk to me.  Tell me how to beat the mental thing and how to become a better runner….I need all the help I can get.



  1. Kristina Provinsal

    AWESOME! You can do this girl! I ran my first half marathon in February (Cowtown) which is an awesome run and doing it again this year! Woohoo! If I can do it then you can blow my time out of the water! Looking forward to you keeping us informed!!!

  2. kate j.

    that’s right leighanna! drunken running conversations are no joke! but seriously, you’re doing better than me. i need to buy shoes AND start my routine. but it gets better. once you start getting into the habit of running, i find it really helps (and this may sound hard, but try it) to stop thinking about it being over. when i start focusing on the moment i think it goes faster/easier. we’ll do 5k and 10k races between now and the half. you can do it!

    • cumbiedays

      Colin won’t even let me talk about races. He keeps saying, “Your goal is to finish the next 8 weeks!” It’s hilarious. Well my legs hate me and the rest of my body I think is in shock. It truly does not understand this whole “work-out” thing. Kalie things it is a great idea till halfway through when she stops running and walking. That is so bad that my dog can’t run for 30 min straight!

      I’m trying to focus on the here and now…when my mind wonders to the ever after, I moan at Colin–“How does Kate just focus on the now? Is she crazy?” No but seriously, right now I think I just need to keep telling myself-I CAN do it and I WILL LEARN to if nothing else appreciate the benefits.

  3. Amy

    I’m so jealous!!! I want to do one too! I run, but just 30-45 min a few days a week. Not sure I could handle a 1/2 marathon though. Good luck girlie. Love you!!

  4. Rachel

    A marathon! You’re on you’re own, girl. The only marathon’s I can do are power hours and shop till you drop. Sadly, I have no words of encouragement. If you need a shoulder to cry on call me. I’m crying now just at the thought of running for thirty minutes straight!

  5. Luis Rodriguez

    Way to go, keep up the hard work (I wish could get motivated like you when it comes to running) and by the way if you are interested I am planning to take a group of friends to camp and canoe on the uppper Buffalo river in Arkansas sometime spring of next year.

  6. Kelbe

    If you need advice, I am actually running my 9th full marathon on the 25th in San Fran. And, I have done a few half’s before too. I think the advice above about running frequently and enjoying the moment is great advice. And if you got your shoes at Luke’s listen to what they say, they are ussually spot on.

    Good luck, and remember you don’t have to run the full distance you can walk in the middle.

      • Kelbe

        If you feel like you cannot breath enough, here are some hints.

        1. To get better at breathing, do sprints. Run as fast as you can for 100 yards, then walk for a while then repeat, do this a few times. It’s called interval training, similar to what your are doing in your last blog, but this time when you run, SPRINT. It probably won’t be for a full min. That’s fine. The point is for your body to get better at proccessing oxygen. In technical terms it’s called improving your VO2 max. (How fast you proccess oxygen)

        2. When I started first running long distance. I found it was important to just keep running as long as could, even if I was going so slow people walking would pass me. So if your trying to do a distance training run, and your having problems beathing, just slow down. It’s about how long you run, not how fast.

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