The One with the Running

Have you ever bought a $44.99 wreath after wandering around Target for hours just because you felt like you needed it? Me too.

Have you ever signed up for a half marathon after looking at a website for 2 minutes just because your friends signed up? Oh, that's just me. Okay.

Yesterday I crawled 13.1 miles in the Good Life Halfsy with my best friends. It was awesome, hard, hilarious, miserable and inspirational.

Text conversation between Courtney and her boyfriend after registering.

Text conversation between Courtney and her boyfriend after registering.

I never could have finished if it weren't for my friend Courtney. She literally walked like every half mile with me and would say awesome things like, "Let's just run to the corner! OK let's walk through the water station. We only have 5 miles left – that's like nothing!"

I have to admit the whole "oh my gosh I'm miserable" thing was my own fault. I'm that person assigned a semester-long project that chooses to start and finish it the day it's due. Also that person who can go a whole day without drinking water because I'm too lazy to walk to the filtered water dispenser at our office. I love myself and I hate myself.

On May 4, Courtney innocently asked a few of us girls if we'd ever wanted to run a half marathon. To which the others responded with things like, "Yeah, absolutely!"

Two minutes later, my fear of missing out (FOMO) kicked in and I registered to run approximately 10 miles farther than I'd ever ran in my life. No problem right? We had 20 weeks to train and created a group text for accountability called Halfsy 🏃‍♀️💨.

We asked for professional advice from our marathon-running friends. We researched all the answers on Google. And mapped out the world's most ideal training plan on Google Sheets. Let's do this!

Fast forward to the week before race day. We're making plans to pick up our packets and it hits me — my longest run in 20 weeks of training was 5 miles. To be honest, running wasn't that bad. I didn't really mind it and I normally didn't get very sore.

But the time it took to train was so annoying and really fell at the most inconvenient times. It was either burning hot because summer or freezing cold because fall. The sun was up later so we wanted to go out or the sun went down too early to run on a trail lined with trees hiding scary people. The weekends were booked with travel. Or I worked late. Or I skipped because I needed forty-five recovery days in a row.

OK so I'm queen of excuses.

Moral of the story it is possible to run 5 miles and then double it and add 3.1 to finish a race. I don't recommend it if you love your calves and knees, but it is possible.

Shout out to Courtney and a random stranger for handing me a tissue and a water bottle after throwing up in the trashcan just 10 meters from the finish line. You're all the best and I'm forever thankful for you hiding me from the finish line camera man.

Our friends Mackenzie and Anna crushed their goal time and finished with Mario Kart power boosts at their backs. I was so impressed and am still beaming with pride. Way to go girls! Courtney easily, seriously easily, could have finished with them, too – except that I wrangled her in to finishing with me so we could be "the last one" together. Thanks, Plucky, I owe ya one.

What's next? New goal to run one race a month for a year. No half marathons included. But I may dress up like a pilgrim for one coming soon. Stay tuned.

Brandi Arnold