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!


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.

Hilary Topper May 24, 2012 at 02:02 PM
Hi Paul, I guess the and would be, did I do it? Not sure if I'll be able to but I'm going to try. My inclination is to watch tv and lie in bed... It's hard to get out there and run. Are you a runner?
paul.d.spellman May 24, 2012 at 02:19 PM
No the "And" was "and what was the point of this article"?
delete me May 24, 2012 at 02:35 PM
I dislike running. It makes me jiggle.
Amanda Lindner (Editor) May 24, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Please refrain from personal attacks, which violate our Terms of Use for this forum. Such comments will be removed.
Brendan May 24, 2012 at 03:56 PM
No problem Amanda, I think I've said enough.
Elizabeth K May 24, 2012 at 04:31 PM
Hilary, You'll do great. Good luck. A friend is attempting to motivate me, maybe someday. Wish you well...YOU CAN DO IT!!!
Elizabeth K May 24, 2012 at 04:34 PM
BTW did you check out the website wwwc25k.com, Get inspired.
paul.d.spellman May 24, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Amanda, Do comments that critique the accompanying articles violate the terms of use? Are those comments subject to deletion?
Hilary Topper May 24, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Thank you Elizabeth. It's really hard to get motivated and get out there. I have a constant struggle with myself because I'm not a natural "athlete." I was actually one of the kids who got picked last for the teams in school. I appreciate your support and know that you can do it too!
Amanda Lindner (Editor) May 24, 2012 at 06:03 PM
Hi Paul, Critiques on the content of a blog or article are welcome, but we ask everyone to avoid name-calling, personal attacks and general bullying of an individual. Thanks!
paul.d.spellman May 24, 2012 at 06:15 PM
So classifying this article as self aggrandizing and aimless is acceptable?
Candygram for Mongo May 24, 2012 at 06:59 PM
who friggin cares - the lady wants to run a half marathon - plenty of other things to bitch about on this site - jeez
Ima Watchin May 24, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Best of luck on the run! Good for you! As for this article, if people were informed as to the types of articles papers publish, I believe this would be classified as a human interest story. If a story does not interest a reader, the reader can simply pass it by.
Brendan May 25, 2012 at 02:27 PM
If the writer wants to publish their work in a public place, the writer should be ready for some criticism. The "characters" in this story don't make any sense. Who cares about Tripp Doherty? Is he/she a well-known Spin instructor? Should we know who Tripp is? It just comes off as someone recalling a few randomly associated events. The writing is mediocre. As an example, the phrase "came up to me"...not exactly the prose that wins awards. It reads like an immature diary. I think the thing most off-putting about it is the "Real Housewife" attitude and motif that seems to surround it. "I was in these fabulous places with these fabulous people and they all think I can do this *insert hard, but not earth-shattering thing here*...I'm just not sure if I'm fabulous enough to do it. After all, my friiieeeeend is spending the summer in Eurrrrrrooooopppeeeee....soooooooo." The false modesty is pretty transparent and quite unattractive. I'm just sharing my honest opinion here - if someone had done that a while ago with Hilary, she might be a better writer or even a better runner. She just seems like one of those people who has never been told that she isn't up to par and it leads her to have an inflated sense of undeserved self-worth.
Hilary Topper May 25, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Brandan, why don't you give me a call. I would love to have a personal conversation with you. I don't think this warrants a public forum. My number is 631-393-0220.
Brendan May 25, 2012 at 02:38 PM
Sorry Hilary, I don't have time to discuss your problems. Enjoy the holiday weekend!
Hilary Topper May 25, 2012 at 02:38 PM
thank you!
Hilary Topper May 25, 2012 at 02:42 PM
That's too bad Brendan. I hope you have a wonderful weekend too. Hopefully, I'll see you on the boardwalk...
ejohnson May 25, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Brandon, I think you have way too much time on your hands. If you have a problem with the blog post itself just don't read it. I'm not sure who gave you the right to treat people this way. I have this funny feeling you are just some loser sitting at your desk waiting for the next person to abuse. keep your nasty comments to yourself. have a wonderful day!
Jennifer May 25, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Brendan - what's the problem? Hilary is just writing about her struggles as a runner. I don't think it warrants an attack. It's a harmless article that a lot of people can relate to...including myself. I'm don't know Hilary personally, but I do know that she isn't a "Real Housewife" or anything close. If fact, from what I can gather, her children probably miss her from all the time she's away from her family working. We're all entitled to an opinion, but don't you have stronger opinions about something? Taxes, politics, religion? It seems to me you're a smart guy and maybe your argumentative comments would be useful to try and save the world or something. This is a HYPER-local site and Hilary is just trying to reach out to the Long Beach community. Take a chill pill! Oh and who cares where she goes or who she knows - she must work hard enough to have the funds to do what she wants.
paul.d.spellman May 25, 2012 at 02:50 PM
"I don't think this warrants a public forum", did you think your aimless article deserved such?
Brendan May 25, 2012 at 03:07 PM
ejohnson, I do have too much time on my hands. Hopefully you do too, because I have a question for you: How would I be able to determine that I have a problem with the blog post if I did not read it?
Candygram for Mongo May 25, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Tough crowd
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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