I’m Gonna Do It. Thirteen Point One.

This picture keeps coming up on my Google ads.

rock and roll half marathon

Wanna know why?

Well, that’s cuz Google is smart enough to know what sites you recently visited and even what products you viewed, and then it shows you ads based on your recent web activity.

Creepy, right?

But that’s not the point of this post.

The point is, I just signed up to run the Rock-and-Roll Half Marathon in Philly this fall.

Honestly, I feel a little bit cheesy even posting about it. I mean, suddenly the half marathon is the new black. Everyone’s doing it. So what, right?

And up until about a week ago, it truly was not on my radar — although I’ve said a few times that some day I would love to run the Disney Half. But it was one of those things that you say because it sounds like a cool thing to do, not because you really plan to make it a priority.

Currently my fitness goals are to improve my 5K time and get my feet healthy (I have some plantar fascia issues going on at the moment; in fact, that’s another post I was planning to write — my first ever chiropractor visit.) Any-WHO.

My point is, I really wasn’t interested in the longer distance races. I thought I might do a 10K (6.2 miles) or the Broad Street Run (10 miles.) You know. Eventually. The half marathon seemed like a distant reality, and I honestly have NO interest in a full marathon. I know you think I will change my tune on that, but I really don’t think I will.

But everyone keeps commenting on my running updates on Twitter and Facebook, asking me when I’m going to run a half. And I keep laughing them off. But every time I laugh them off, I weaken just a bit.

Then out of the blue, last week my trainer told me that she thinks I should sign up for this Rock-and-Roll Half Marathon.

At first I told her she was crazy. It really wasn’t even something I really wanted to do. But then she brought it up again this week, and I agreed to think about it.

Truthfully, if I’m going to do a Half, this sounds like a fun one. Anything that combines rock-and-roll with running has to be cool, right?

I came home and googled training plans and very hesitantly printed one off, but I still wasn’t seriously considering it.

But the more I looked at it, the more doable it seemed. I started to think it actually wasn’t so crazy after all.

The final test was the chiropractor visit this morning. After my evaluation, I asked if I should sign up. The price goes up after April 30th, so I really wanted to make up my mind today. He said that it should be fine, that he hopes to keep me running throughout my treatment, and that my issues aren’t severe enough to prevent me from training for a half marathon that is 5 months away.

So. I guess I have no excuses left.

I bit the bullet, so to speak, and I just clicked the “Process My Payment” button.

I feel a tad nauseous to tell the truth. I’m not entirely sure what I’m getting myself into or if I want it that bad. Running 13 miles is one thing. I know I can do that; it’s more a mental challenge than a physical one. I get bored, y’all.

But what really scares me about this is the logistics of a big city race. The hugeness of it all. Getting there. Parking. Finding my corral.  Yes, they have corrals, as everyone starts out with a group of runners of similar ability. And the biggest stressor of all, of course is WHERE WILL I PEE?

I expect that once I actually start running, I’ll be fine. It’s just the getting there, getting a chance to empty my bladder, and figuring out where to go that has my stomach in knots.

Not to mention, I have to train through the hottest months of summer. NOT looking forward to those long runs. But there’s only one long run a week, and you increase your mileage very gradually, so it seems doable.

Can you tell that I’m still trying to talk myself into it?

I know this much. If I see this thing through, I will be getting one of those 13.1 stickers and pasting it proudly on the back of my car!!!!!!


Have you ever run a half marathon? Did you survive? Tell me it won’t be so bad.

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43 Responses

  1. Woo! Signing up is the first step, right?

    And of course me commenting the week before running Broad Street prob is skewed b/c I’m scarrrrrrrred out of my mind. But here’s the thing – if you follow a plan, and train – you will be good! (That’s what I keep telling myself!)

    And as far as where to pee – I know with Broad Street they supposedly have port-o-potties over the place. Not ideal but when you gotta go, you gotta go and there’s an option 🙂

    Woo! Congrats on signing up! can’t wait to hear how the training goes (and the race!)

    1. I don’t mind using a port-o-potty when I have to, but I have been in REALLY LONG port-o-potty lines at other races. No fun.

      I really thought I’d do Broad Street first – in 2014. And then maybe go for a half marathon in 2015. LOL. But why not do it now, right? I have PLENTY of time to train.

  2. I just ran my first half-marathon in March. I only started running a year ago. I trained for four months, and had a hard time when I got to my last mile. You’ve been running a long time so you got this!

    1. You’re too sweet. I can definitely tell my kids are proud of me. That’s the best part. I love feeling like I’m doing something that they admire. And I do hope it inspires them to push themselves to do the hard things they want to do.

  3. My husband just finished his first half marathon two weeks ago. When he finished he said it wasn’t as bad as he thought it was going to be. He picked a training plan that really helped him. You’ll do great though since you’ve been running for so long!

  4. I’m so excited for you. I have a very simple 10 week training plan that I follow. I got it from Runners world magazine a few years ago. It is only 4 runs a week and you build up mileage slowly over the 10 weeks. I am running my 4th half in Pittsburgh this weekend and I’ve used the plan for every half. I remember feeling very confident that I was going to finish my first half and it was because I followed the plan to a T. If you want I can scan and email to you.

    I’m also glad you are trying chiropractic. I’m married to a chiropractor, so I’m a big supporter/believer in chiropractic, but I know you mentioned in the past that you were hesitant. I’m also struggling with plantar fasciitis right now and I’ve been icing, getting adjustments and I just got a new pair of fitted orthotics. I should be good to go on Sunday…hopefully.

    I usually do a fall half too in Hershey PA. Training in the summer isn’t so bad as long as you do it early in the morning, like 5:30 or 6.

    Good Luck!

    1. Yes, the plan I am using is a 4-day plan. I didn’t want to commit to running 5 days, esp with my 2 strength training workouts a week.

      And I really liked the chiropractor. He didn’t seem at all hokie. 🙂 I think it’s going to be very beneficial.

  5. You are going to do great!! It won’t be bad at all and what an accomplishment it will be! Congrats on biting the bullet:) And…the Rock and Roll Half is a perfect, fun, flat one to start with!

  6. Wow! That’s awesome. I agree with what Melissa said above, about this having a ripple effect for others. Also, the advice about training early in the morning hours of summer? Take it. I feel so accomplished having checked off my run first thing. It’s not at the back of my mind nagging all day long, because you already did it! And it’s much, much cooler than an evening run once the pavement has had a chance to heat up all day.

    I’m taking some time off of running now, as I’ll be 8 & 9 months pregnant over the summer months and that’s just too much for me, but you are inspiring me to get back to once baby arrives! My plan is to sign up for a 5K to begin with, next summer. I used to run 5Km 2-3 times a week, so that should be no problem after baby #3 right? Gosh, I hope so!

    Congratulations! I hope you are able to post your training schedule as well as keep us all updated. Very excited for you!

  7. The most I ever ran was a 5K, but my dad has ran many marathons. He ran two in one week and a 50 mile run at the peak of his craziness! Runners have some strange habits…have you learned how to blow your nose while running, yet!?!

  8. Oh sure, you finally sign up for one and I will be out of the country! You couldn’t do the Philly Half in November, lol?

    In all seriousness, PDR (I still call it that) was my first half and has a special place in my heart. I’ve done it many times, and it’s a ton of fun, although I think when R-n-R took it over a few years ago, it lost its small town yet big city feel. But the crowd support is great and it’s well-organized. It does end on an incline, though, so be sure to train for that…they changed the course to come up the opposite side of the river two years ago and that threw me for a loop b/c I never looked at the map. If you can, I would even do the course ahead of time…I would even come in to run it (or up to Valley Green) with you…that will be around where I will be for MCM training.

    Training wise, you’ll be fine. I did the Nike Women’s Half on Sunday and haven’t run more than a 5k since Goofy in January. And I’ve only run about 5x total since. And other than some stomach issues that were my own stupid fault, I was fine 🙂 Schedule a massage for the day after NOW 🙂

    I’m so excited for you!

    1. I debated doing the Philly Half in November, but it’s also a marathon and I like the idea of it being JUST a Half. I dont know why. And it just sounds like fun. But it would be cooler in November so I’m not sure this was the best choice. It was just my GUT – that said this one sounded cooler for my first. 😉

  9. Oh, and the good thing about the corrals are that with the timing chip, it doesn’t matter if you’re even at the start at the gun. I’ve been in the porta potty lines for the gun before 🙂

  10. I struggle with plantar fasciitis each spring when I switch from real shoes to flipflops and flats….

    Here is the the single thing that cured mine….

    that and I bought myself a pair of plain old crocs to wear around the house as a slippers year round…ugly yes, but the support and cush is perfection. During flare ups, I keep them at the side of my bed and slip them on before taking my first step in the morning (the worst). Hope your’s resolves quickly for you and good luck with your training!!!

    1. Thank you SO much! I have heard that flats and flips can be really bad for it – and I live in those. I might take your Crocs advice. Are the cuter ballet flat styles and flip flops as supportive? And I will definitely check out the video. Thanks!

  11. My oldest daughter (currently working on her Masters in exercise physiology) is running the ZOOMA in Chicago in August. My middle daughter is running 10K of it with her. I will be on the sidelines with my youngest daughter cheering them on! Personally, I don’t get it. I’m a walker and so not a runner. But, hey, different strokes for different folks, right?!

    Best of luck to you! Hope those port-a-potty lines are tolerable!!

  12. Hi Jo-Lynne,
    Congratulations on signing up. I’m not able to run but have walked a half. It was an amazing experience. For the first time I was “an athlete” and the feeling of accomplishment was incredible. Have an amazing time training and running!

  13. How motivating! I’m so excited for you, this is a big task to accomplish and I know you’ll do great! I’ve only done a few 5K’s and my exercise has been slightly altered due to pregnancy. It’s so exciting to see that others have similar goals to my own! I wish you luck in your training, keep us posted throughout!!!!

  14. WOW! Yes, I just ran one on Sunday!! This is my 3rd and I ran the Rock n Roll Savannah, GA in Nov. You can do it, survive it and get your sticker!! Have fun and congratulations on taking the step and the challenge!!

  15. The Philly Rock n Roll Half was my first half 20 years ago. I love that race and course. I just ran the Nike Women’s Half in DC on Sunday – my first half in 20 years.

    I suggest you follow a good training program and figure out what and how you are going to eat and hydrate. All my training was done in coldish conditions and the race day was warm – so I needed more fluid than I did during my training runs. Also, find a buddy! It is so much easier to push through those last 2 miles if you are running with a friend.

    My goal now is to do a full marathon in the next 2-3 years. So maybe you can be my running buddy for that (I’m in southern chester county).

    You can do it!!

  16. Good for you Jo-Lynne! I just ran my first 13.1 this past fall right after I turned 40. I was nervous because I had only done a 5k, but I followed the Hal Higdon half marathon novice training plan and it was great. I actually extended it because I had more weeks to fill up (plus you never know if something comes up during your training) and ran 13.1 three weeks before the race as a trial race. It’s funny how your mileage goes up each week and that one more mile becomes 13.1. Lots of prayers and good music (some Toby Mac, Group One Crew) did it for me. YOU CAN DO IT!

  17. You are going to do so great and Rock & Roll has one of the best half marathon (and marathon) series out there! I’ve run Nashville Country Music marathon three times (my husband did the half twice) and I’ve run Virginia Beach half once – all Rock & Roll series and they are so fun and so well organized! I think it’s a great one to be your first half marathon. 🙂

    1. Oh, and I’ve run a lot of half marathons – my ninth was this past Sunday in DC. I’ve run 5 full marathons and the half is so much better. 😉

      1. I was in DC…what did you think? The drums and flashing lights in the tunnel 2weeks after Boston nearly gave me a panic attack but I loved the course otherwise!

  18. You go girl! I am NOT a runner yet in a moment of insanity I registered for a 5K this summer! Yikes! Just started my training. 🙂

  19. I’m so excited that you’re gonna do this!! Esp because that means there will probably be even more running posts and those are some of my fave from you. 🙂 I ran my first half in 2004 and ran one every year through 2010. (and one full in 2007, but that was probably a one-time thing!) I haven’t run another half since I had my second child in 2010… you know, time to do it and all that. I’ve enjoyed running a few other different type events (marathon team relays, etc.) that were still challenging (and so much fun!!) where my long run didn’t have to exceed 8 miles. I felt I was better able to commit to something like that, personally. Can’t wait to follow your training!

    1. Thanks so much for the encouragement! I know the fitness stuff irritates some people but it really keeps me going to share and read the encouragement here. I feel like the half marathon may be a one and done for me, but then again, I was reading a running mag on the plane and saw an ad for a half marathon in Virginia Wine Country in June and I started calculating to see if I could make it! LOL. So I have a feeling this Rock & Roll half marathon will be the first of many.

  20. The Philly half is “easy” – meaning it’s relatively flat until the hill in front of the art museum at the end! I ran it in 2011, and I LOVED it. It was my first half – the route is great, the people were great, and it’s simply a lot of fun. When I trained, any time I ran over 5 miles I would run for 9 minutes, then walk for 1 minute. It’s a bit easier on your legs that way, and this method of training was suggested to me by my chiropractor. (He’s run several marathons, so I trusted him completely!) That way your legs recover on the longer runs, and you don’t feel totally beat by the end of training. Plus, it doesn’t impact your time. A lot of times these longer training runs that were broken up by walking had a faster per mile pace than those without walking. Good luck – it’s a great race for your first half!

  21. Yea!!!!!! You will kill it! I have heard the Rock n Roll races are fun. Plenty of places to pee, before, during and after. I never have to pee while running. Is that weird? I struggled with the mental aspect of training this last time. I’m not going to lie–looking at your running schedule and seeing you are committing to a training run and knowing it will take an hour and a half and knowing you could do so much with that time will be a bear to confront. But you’ll do it. And regardless of your time, you’ll feel amazing when you finish, just knowing you did it. People keep saying I’ll eventually want to do a full too, but I have zero desire. The commitment just to do a half is enough for me. Can’t wait to follow your progress!!

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