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Half Marathon Diary: Week One

June 1, 2015
News and Sentinel Half Marathon

This is the first in a series of columns by Erin Iafelice-McCullough, a 29-year-old who is training to run in the News and Sentinel Half Marathon on Aug. 16.

First, an introduction. I'm Erin Iafelice-McCullough, 29 years old, former semi-serious runner/athlete but fell out of my healthy practices after a string of injuries. I tried to get back into the swing of healthy habits, but I've never been the type of person to ease into anything. Inevitably, I would end up pushing so hard that I'd either reinjure myself or be far too tired and sore to make exercise a routine.

A few months ago, a friend of mine mentioned she was in the River City Runners and Walkers Club, the annual beginner's clinic was starting soon, and it could be a good way to ease back into running. The clinic runs 10 weeks and in the end participants are ready to run a 5K (3.1 miles). There's homework to do throughout the week but if you put the time in, you see the results. It was also helpful for me to see that I didn't have to run until my feet bled to make progress. Six weeks into the beginner's clinic, we were presented the opportunity to train for the News & Sentinel Half Marathon, and I gladly accepted.

Sunday was the first training session. Five miles, one water break, and a playlist (full of Beyonce).

Now seems like a good time to mention that I've been dogmatic with the homework from the beginner's clinic. I stuck to it and worked to challenge myself with every run. It was one of the only ways I knew, even though I hadn't finished the clinic; I was going to be able to complete the first training session.

Was I among the first to finish? No. Nowhere close, actually. I ran the five miles in under an hour. That's better than I expected but towards the end of mid-pack. I wasn't first, but I finished. My legs were tired, sweat dripped into my eye (which stings), I smelled awful, and, because I'm pasty, have the beginnings of a sunburn, but I completed the run.

Fact Box

This is the first in a series of columns by Erin Iafelice-McCullough, a 29-year-old who is training to run in the News and Sentinel Half Marathon on Aug. 16.

I know, as this was only week one, I have an unbelievable number of miles still ahead of me. The runs will get longer by a mile with each passing week.

I read an e-card that said something along the lines of 'your body can handle just about anything, it's your mind you have to convince.' I may only be one week in, but something about that rings true to me - if it's on the internet, it must be true, right? I know this much though, it's a lot easier to convince your mind to do something challenging when there's a group of people doing the same thing all around you.

Support is essential, and knowing there's an entire club to run with, and incredibly wonderful volunteers making sure there's water to drink, makes the run a whole lot easier.

 
 

 

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