doing hard things and a personal best

Sometimes I do hard things. On Saturday, I ran my second half marathon and earned a new personal best time of 1:44:08. I was shooting for 1:40:30-1:45:00, and I accomplished my goal, barely.

I trained so much better than I did for my previous run with hopes to feel better after crossing the finish line. My first half nearly killed me. This one only half killed me.

Before the race started, I wondered if I could propel all my training into a training regimen for a full marathon. At the end of the race, I decided my body may not be cut for 26.2. I felt pretty good until mile 9, with the exception of my left foot. My left foot has given me problems since high school. I used to get cortisone shots between my third and fourth toes a couple of times during running seasons. Those shots make epidurals seem painless. Still unsure of the cause, I am leaning toward some nerve compression that inevitably happens on long runs (runs over 6 miles).

Around mile 9, my left foot sent a burning, numbing sensation up my calf and into my hamstring. By mile 11, my hamstring felt extremely tight. The pain was awful. I walked for about a hundred feet hoping to get some actual feeling back into my foot. It didn't work. I knew that the pain would remain whether I walked or ran so I started running and even managed a decent finish at the end.

I know I could've done better. My time really dropped off in those last four miles, but I'm proud of myself for finishing. There will always be more races. And if nothing else, I did learn a few things during this beautiful Mermaid run:

  • San Diego runners have nothing on Utah runners. Sorry San Diego, it's the truth. Utah runners are legit. 
  • It is beyond weird to be running at the front of the pack. I like to pace myself with people in front of me, but for most of the race, I was alone. (I ended up getting 4th place for my age group and 17th overall.)
  • I will never run another long run in my current shoes. Never. 
  • I now know I prefer a few hills/downhills to a completely flat run. 
  • Running races is not nearly as fun to do without friends. I felt like a total loser before the race started as I sat alone watching all the groups celebrate whatever it was they were celebrating before the race. 
  • I'm quite certain I have runner's shoulder. My shoulder started giving me problems two weeks before the race but calmed down a bit just before, but it is inflamed again. I guess I never thought about my arms while running. I've always just focused on my legs. 
  • Watching the sunrise over the water is one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen in my life and to run next to it was nothing short of magical. 
  • I feel complete gratitude for my husband, who sacrificed a lot to help me train for this thing. 
  • I was quite certain V was going to jump onto the course once she saw me running toward the finish (hence the picture with my hand up in the air). My girls really helped me make to the end. 
A friend of mine once said the following phrase to me in passing: "Anyone can do just about anything for two hours. The problem is they just don't want to." I doubt she thought anything about it, but there isn't a day, a long run, a tantrum, an unexpected meal and/or babysitting request that doesn't make me think of that thought. I've adopted that philosophy in my life and know I can do just about anything for two hours. 

I can do hard things, and I bet you can too. 


  1. Way to go! You are amazing! I don't run--ever. I fall victim to the elliptical... so naughty. If you need help with your feet, talk to Derek. He's a foot pro. He can also give you some shoe suggestions if you are interested!

  2. YAY!!!! You did it!!! Go Janine!!! And pretty awesome that you can run 13.1 miles and have your hair look that adorable at the end. Way to go on your time!! :)

  3. You go girl!!! Great job. You are awesome! Makes me have an itch to do it again. I will have to wait till I'm done being pregnant. You look great!

  4. Janine! You are nothing short of amazing! I've been looking forward to reading this post since I saw your pictures on FB. You are speedy girl! You would surely leave me in the dust! So proud of you!


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