That's right my bloggie friends - I did it! I finally reached my life's goal of running a half marathon in under 2 hours. If you haven't figured it out, the title of this post was my time.  I am on cloud 9 right now.  And into the bucket list it goes (sorry for the lack of pictures in this post!)

Only ... it did not happen as I expected.  I ended up having to leave the course at mile 4 at the National Half in Washington DC (I posted about that race here).  I made my PR just yesterday in the Wilmington Delaware half marathon.  Want the full stories? OK.

The day before the National Half I woke up with awful chest congestion.  My kids had been pretty sick for the prior couple of weeks, and I was on an antibiotic myself as I had a sore throat earlier in the week.  I felt great all week though and was excited.  However, that Friday was not good.  I hoped it was early morning funk and I'd feel better.  I tried Mucinex and water.  When that didn't work, I tried green tea, Emergen-C and vitamin water and more regular water.  I sounded and felt awful.  I tried a nap, spicy food ... nothing.  I was coughing but the congestion was not loosening at all.  I knew this was bad: running is all about breathing and my chest hurt.  I was confident I'd wake a new woman, so I pressed onward.  I woke up the morning of the race and felt a little better but not 100%, not even close.  I felt a little warm but not so warm that I couldn't give it a go. I got to the start, felt fine, and ran normally for a few miles.  Around the 5K split, I started feeling really bad: I think I had a fever, my chest was screaming and, scariest of all, I was light-headed and dizzy: something I have not felt in the 20 years I've been running.  I told my friend with whom I was running that I didn't think I could go on and she should keep pressing.  She was kind enough to slow her pace and tried encouraging me, but I felt that awful at mile 3.9 ... I knew I could not handle another 9.  At mile 4, I told my friend to go kick butt and I ran off the course.  I sat in a beautiful spot in between the White House and the Washington Monument on a glorious day and hung my head and cried.  I felt like a quitter, and I do not quit.  But I knew in my gut that if I had continued I would have toppled over.  Quitting was the smart thing to do.  So I hobbled back to my hotel and crashed in the bed.  

Later that night, I was feeling marginally better, but still disappointed.  I decided to look for another half the following weekend. I was trained, ready, and committed to making my goal.  Lucky for me, I found a half marathon in Wilmington Delaware the next weekend. I signed up on the spot.  I felt better and better each day last week.  My runs were hard - my chest wasn't happy with me, but I kept it up and was easy on myself. 

This morning, the weather was cool and damp.  I love running in the cold, so this was perfect.  The cannon went off (seriously: this race starts with a cannon, not a gun!) and off I went.  I was stunned that my first couple of miles had an incredible pace - probably because the course was all downhill.  The rest of the course was good, if extremely hilly, and culminated in a .25 mile climb up to the finish line.  When I crossed and saw my time, I jumped and yelled and OH MY GOSH I did it.  I had that feeling that you only get when you finally reach a life's goal. True and total joy. 

Next up: a sprint triathlon in a few months.  Onward!

See you swoon,


  1. WOO HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!!!!!!

  2. Oh my goodness! You're amazing! I'd be excited if I finished a half marathon at all. Great job!

  3. HI Shanna!!!! Miss you!!xoxoxo Soooo proud of you....you are a complete inspiration to me!!! Hope to do it one day.