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A Couch Potato to Run a Half Marathon?

Signing up for a half marathon after being a couch potato for so long is going to be a challenge!

I’m a nervous wreck. I just signed up for the Hampton’s Half Marathon, and I can barely run four miles!

About two years ago, I ran the NYC Half Marathon with my husband. After that, I developed shin splints, Achilles pain, and a knee injury. It took a long time to recover and now, at age 50, I decided to go for it again.

Marti DiPaola of Long Beach, my running partner, and I ran a race two weeks ago on the boardwalk in Long Beach, NY. It was a four-mile run. We both did it without stopping. That was the first time in almost a year that we ran.

Believe it or not, it actually felt great. We didn’t talk much but we didn’t take any breaks either. We just ran and ran and ran. As we got to the second mile, it felt as if I were flying. I just saw people passing me by and I watched the waves. I didn’t even feel like I was running. I just was…

When we crossed the finish line, we were both really excited that we were able to do it. It felt so good!

The other day, my friend Constance Korol of Syosset, asked me during spin class at the Equinox in Woodbury, if I would consider running in the Hampton’s Marathon.

“I don’t know,” I said.

“Come on,” she said, “you did it once; you can do it again.”

Then Tripp Doherty, the spin instructor came up to me and asked if I was in. I said I was but I really didn’t mean it. He was so excited. “I got six people from this class to sign up,” he shouted. I just smiled. I walked out of the gym and wondered if I could do this again without getting injured.

The next day, I had a training session with my personal trainer, Jason Kerr. I asked him what he thought. He loved the idea. “Maybe I’ll do it too,” he said.

I was still on the fence. I decided that I would run an easy two miles on the boardwalk today to see how I felt. As I ran, I got that same euphoric feeling and I knew that this would be the right race for me.

Before I signed up, I asked my running partner if she would join me. “I’ll be away in Europe most of the summer,” she said. “But why don’t we consider a different one in Pennsylvania.”

“Maybe I’ll do both,” I said, feeling overly ambitious.

Can I run a half without my running buddy? Can I do this solo? Constance and Tripp will be there, but my speed is no faster than a turtle, so I guess I’ll just see them at the finish line.

Okay, I thought. I’m just going to do it. And you know what? I did. I’m now in training for the Hampton's Half Marathon in September!

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Hilary JM Topper, MPA is the President/CEO of HJMT Public Relations, Inc. She is also an active blogger on Hilary Topper's Blog and is a radio show host on Hilary Topper On Air on Blogtalk Radio. She has many free offers on her web site including a copy of her first book, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Social Media but were afraid to ask.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Michael May 25, 2012 at 06:43 PM
I get regular requests from Patch in my Facebook feed looking for more people to become bloggers on Patch. Yeah... become a blogger and get attacked and abused by the likes of the trolls who posted above... such a deal. No thanks... I'd rather get a domain name and set up my own Wordpress blog. I might not initially have the traffic and exposure I would receive with Patch, but at least I could moderate the comments. ... And yes, this is a public forum... and yes, everyone has a right to free speech. But if you're a troll, just get off your computer and go back under your bridge... you're not adding any value here. Note to Patch editors: Some of your bloggers probably expect hostile feedback with the controversial content they write about, but the lady who wrote this piece wasn't out to get harassed. Hers might not have been a story for everyone's taste, but she certainly didn't deserve to be picked apart by these particular trolls who take it upon themselves to "patrol" the comment sections of most of your content. If you, Patch, are truly interested in recruiting more bloggers for your online publication, I would suggest you improve your mechanism to guard against these kinds of attacks that would make someone think twice about taking you up on your offer to become a blogger on Patch.
Denis G. Kelly May 26, 2012 at 11:50 AM
Dear Ms. Topper: Ignore the bullies. Keep writing. Denis G. Kelly
Hilary Topper May 26, 2012 at 07:07 PM
Thank you Mr. Kelly... I appreciate your support! :)
Ima Watchin May 28, 2012 at 03:19 AM
Some people make themselves feel better by criticizing other, just ignore!!
EF May 28, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Good luck Hilary - as a fellow runner, more or less in your "demographic", I am very interested in reading about your half-marathon journey, and I agree with Denis Kelly.

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