San Francisco Half Marathon: from 0 to running it

“HOLY SHIT.” Those were the exact words popping up in my mind when I got the confirmation mail that I was officially registered to run the Half Marathon of San Francisco on the 26th of July.

“It’s real, I have no experience and 2 months to make it happen. I better start training.”

I hate running

Yes that’s correct. I hate running. Ever since I was obliged at school to run laps in mud, competing with my class mates that were way better, I hated it. Back in the days I was a tennis player. I never understood why people would run as a work-out while you can be running and doing something else in the mean time. Like using your arms while playing tennis. Or focusing on a soccer ball.

So why would I suddenly join half a marathon?

Improving my health & getting to know my body

I am 26, and besides biking everywhere (which is harder than it seems if you live on a hill in San Francisco), I don’t work-out. I am fit, my condition is good, but I never work my muscles. Nor do I train my endurance.

On top of that, when I started working for Addapp, I realized I don’t know my body enough. I don’t know how it works, what fuel it needs and how different aspects work together to make me feel alive and healthy. I started using a smart watch three months ago to keep track of my sleep and heart rate. I started logging my food two months ago. And I was fascinated to see how I am performing and how I can improve this. But insights in my exercise are lacking, simply because I don’t exercise. By signing up for the half marathon, I want to see how every aspect comes together and how running is going to affect all of the other aspects like sleep, nutrition, mood, and muscles.

What’s the fuss about?

A couple of years ago, some colleagues at work went running together for an hour at noon instead of taking a lunch break. A friend of mine would fly to Spain to join marathons. I see people doing city runs every month. And I don’t get it. What is the fuss about? Am I really the only person on earth who hates running, or is it because I don’t know any better? I never believe what others tell me, so I want to see for myself.

Give me a goal and I am not a quitter

I tried swimming, rollerblading and other sports, but I quit them all. A part of me never grew up, and things are just not as fun and motivating if there is not something to win at the end. I need a goal. A challenge. And a deadline.

I was living in Belgium when I learned about the Hollywood half marathon in the States some months ago. I had enough time to train, and I decided to run it. However I never ended up registering for it and thus never training and running. I happened to be in Los Angeles when the half marathon took place. The coolest streets were blocked off for traffic, there was music everywhere and the atmosphere seemed like fun. I felt like a pussy and a quitter. I decided to use those emotions as motivation for another half marathon.

The SF Marathon might be exactly what I need.

Pride

Because I have quit every sport activity before, I’ve set my mind on finishing this. I want to feel utterly proud that I made it. And that I have only myself to thank of it. I’m already looking forward to the moment I can pop a bottle of champagne to celebrate my accomplishment.

Bring it on: I am excited

Last week I went to one of the best running shops in San Francisco to get myself a pair of excellent running shoes. One hour, a lot of debating, and $130 later I felt totally ready to take them for a spin.

I went on my first run and I enjoyed it.
Lets see if I feel this way as the race gets closer.

Although it scares me to be obliged to run four times each week for two months, it also excites me. I want to push myself. Push myself out of my comfort zone and finish it. From 0 to half a marathon, bring it on!

(You’ll be able to follow my progression, used apps, struggles… through this blog!)

Community manager @Addapp. Fascinated by sleep tracking, healthy nutrition, technology, social media, sunny days and Addapp users.
Training to run the Half Marathon of San Francisco.

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