there are so many beyonce song lyrics that i could use for this post title

yesterday marks day one of week one of the 24-week half-marathon training program i dropped nearly $100 on.

it is possible i have lost my mind, but stick with me.

i’ve tried to get back into running a few times over the past few years, and always found a reason not to keep it up. my knee hurt, school was insane, i was tired, there was something shiny elsewhere. i’ve definitely improved my health (my weight fluctuates less than it used to a year ago, and i make an effort to eat healthier things), but i am keenly aware of my lack of muscle mass. so, when a favorite internet person (nicole antoinette) mentioned this half-marathon program that she was putting together, i thought…maybe. she did a beta test of it a while back, and then announced that it would officially roll out this month. and it did! and i bought it! and i have such good feelings about it.

so what did i get for the money i spent? a crazy detailed 24-week (plus two weeks of recovery) training plan, loads of information on warming up and cooling down and preventing injuries, access to a private facebook group so i can get advice and talk one-on-one with my coaches (nicole works closely with a professional running coach for the program) and other people training, and more. what i didn’t realize, going into this, was that training does not consist solely of “run a lot”. there is cross-training (low-impact cardio that isn’t running), strength-training (woo, i have no muscles), and core training (ow). and i do interval runs – which, awkward. i did my first one today (with a head cold. fun.), and it was simple: run for 15 minutes, but really it’s run for a bit, walk for a bit. i was surprised to find that my legs were more sore than they’ve been on an out-and-out run. i need to do more digging into the benefits of this kind of interval training, i think. i get the impression that it’s really going to help me learn my pace – which has always been a battle for me. i never run with a consistent pace – the first mile is fast, the second mile is pathetic and limping. hopefully training in a super-structured program will really help me be a good runner.

the other burning question: why on earth am i doing this? well. i want to be a good runner – like i mentioned, i know i need guidance there. one of my goals is to make running a part of my routine. i also really love the idea of being able to say, “oh, 2013? that’s the year i completed a half-marathon with a blah-blah pace” (with “blah-blah” being, clearly, some amazing number). this year has been rocky as all hell, and i really would like to have a goal that gives 2013 a silver lining. and for me, a lot of my big things this year involve other people – which is fine, i love those people. but i also want one thing that is just for me – a selfish goal. a half-marathon is a selfish goal, a goal i’ll brag about, and hopefully one that sparks a lifetime of being the obnoxious runner girl with lots of t-shirts from various races.