The Day I Failed My Half Marathon Shirt - A Sweaty Love Story



When it happened, I wore the shirt from a half marathon I had completed 3 years prior. How ironic? My legs were screaming, my lungs were burning, the bile was running up my esophagus, and I just had to stop… less than a ½ mile into my run. 

I was crushed.  My body had betrayed me.  And this the body that had run more than a few half marathons and even a triathlon.  I use to run a 7K in my sleep, and now I folded in less than 2640 feet. My shirt said I could do it, but my body was saying “Nope, not today.  You’re 41 years old; you haven’t run a mile in a year. You sit on your ass most of the day, had over 200 pieces of pizza in the past year, an uncountable number of fries and so you’re going to have to walk the distance.”

The next day, I put on another half marathon shirt and did it again.  I had a bunch of medals and race shirts in my closet that proved I could get it done.  But the same thing happened:  ½ mile reached, stop and walk. My body wasn’t going to let me just start running miles and miles after all this time. It had been almost 2 years since I had done some serious running. 

 When I returned home, I felt everything…. frustration, nausea, cramps and a feeling that can only be described as really fucking pissed off.  I was going to run, dammit.  I didn’t care if it was July….in Florida….in 492% humidity.  I was going to complete 3 miles without stopping to walk. I had run half marathons,  I could do this.

So I did.  I ran 6 days a week for a month… June… Florida. 

I ran at night after work and in the morning on the weekends.  Like a newborn learning to walk, my feet cramped and went numb as I found my stride again, and I chaffed in unmentionable places.  I sweated buckets in the high humidity and endured strange looks as my neighbors wondered why I was running laps past their house.

I love running for its simplicity and silence. Running doesn’t require a special place, machines or weights.  Unlike the gym, the road is open 24 hours a day.  It is an activity which doesn’t require a spotter or a partner. I’m left alone. The first time I was able to run 3 miles without stopping, no one was around to share it with me. My running app stated the time and mileage, while I pumped my fist in the air.  I celebrated that victory on my own and promptly took myself out to pizza (I showered first)

I am not evolved enough to listen to a podcast or book on tape while running.  I need tunes…hard and fast.  I’ve included a few of my favorite Spotify playlists for you to use as motivation:

Running - When You Need Your Ass Kicked: Sometimes I need someone to yell at me

Running - When You Kinda Free Sexy: I meant for this list to say "Feel Sexy', but auto correct got me.  

Running - When You Feel Something Beyond Girl Power: This my "I'm a Badass List"

Running - When You Hate Your Co-Workers: Self explanatory. Have been using this alot lately.

Running - When You Actually Feel Like Running: Sometimes I truly want to sweat my ass off in 845% humidity. 

I’m now up to 5-7 miles per day.  My neighborhood is a giant loop measuring .75 miles.  I treat it like a high school track and run laps.  My neighbors, now accustomed to seeing my sweaty, tomato red face, cheer me on from their porches and driveways.

I run whenever I’m tired, sad, hungry, frustrated and happy.  My body is basically purging my entire day on to the asphalt as my feet pound lap after lap.  Any anger or bitterness I absorbed throughout the day is melting off my skin as the sweat pours down my body. And as I hear the very annoying Nike app lady count off my miles, I remember a month ago when I couldn’t even handle a ½ mile.