13 Miles in 13 Weeks – SLC Half Marathon


That word seriously makes me want to gag, cringe and hide all at the same time.


I’d be lying if I said that I enjoyed it. I’d be lying if I said that one of my hobbies is running. It’s not, never has been, and probably never will be. So how in the world did I get myself to run a half marathon? I’ve never been that girl who has wanted one of the “26.2” bumper stickers, nor have I been one to say “Oh yeah, I only had time for a quick run” (a.k.a. ten miles). These things simply aren’t engraved into my DNA.  

But here’s what is crazy, I actually finished the SLC Half Marathon. Believe it or not, this short legged, impatient, slow moving girl ran 13.1 miles in under 2 hours. Now obviously that isn’t the best time, maybe it’s not even a good time. Let’s be real, I have no idea and I’m not an expert; but what blew me away was that I finished! I completed the race. So how did I do it? Here’s some advice from yours truly - the rookie runner:


1. Believe it’s impossible

Yes, you read right.

I finished something that I seriously thought was literally impossible.

You might think I’m crazy (if you don’t believe so already), but that right there is the key. The key to completing something is thinking that it in fact is impossible. What is more satisfying than finishing something you thought to be unimaginable? What better way to push yourself than to try something you have never done before?

A French Proverb said, “To believe something is impossible is to make it so.” Technically, everything is impossible until it is done. Progression is doing the impossible everyday. This is how we grow and learn as individuals. If we aren’t progressing towards something, then we’re digressing. That is how I initially signed up for the half: I wanted to work towards something and have something to “look forward to”. I wanted to make a change in my life, and that started with making a big goal. Besides, it is kind of fun to do the “impossible”!


2. Find a good training plan

Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t all fun and happy times. Just because I finished doesn’t mean I wasn’t freaking out the months, weeks, day, night, morning, and moments before, nor did it mean that I enjoyed training. My body had been running nonstop for a good 13 weeks. A medal should be given for keeping up with training alone, by the way.

All jokes aside, I am so thankful for that 13-week training schedule I found from University of Utah Healthcare. This sheet of running miles was my best friend for the past couple of months. It not only helped me enjoy running a tid bit more, but helped motivate me and keep me on track. I got to explore the valley by foot, and I loved it! We really do live in such an incredible place. Make a good playlist, keep pushing through and remember to reward yourself during the process. Personally, I made myself pazookis to say good job.


3. Focus on not winning, but finishing

My favorite thing about the marathon was running with, not against, others. The individuals are amazing. It was so inspiring and awe striking that we as runners make a commitment months ago to run the race, trained for it with great dedication, and woke up at the crack of dawn to finish it. The journey that these people took to get here was enough reason for me to run with them. People work so hard to get here and I simply felt lucky to be part of the group.

If you think about it, you honestly have nothing to worry about when running a race. If you aren’t there to win (which, kudos to those that do), then you’re there to simply enjoy. My friend I ran with (which is a great training tactic – the buddy system) said, “The key is to focus on the moment and enjoy it, because it’ll be done before you think.” It’s not about winning, beating the person next to you, or any of the competition. It’s about doing YOUR best and creating a memory; a memory that you thought was impossible to achieve.


So get out there and run. Live the life you want to tell. Make big goals. Make the impossible happen! Make your body proud and blow your mind. It’s amazing what these bodies of ours can do – let’s not waste this time we have with them.