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list 15: how to rock a half marathon

May 31, 2010

I’m a runner. It’s my thing. Something about the speed, the fresh air, the loud music blasting in my ears… it’s everything I need to tame the beast. I used to get picked on quite a bit in High School and was always chosen last for team sports so I had to find something I was good at and I’ve been running ever since. Nowadays, my average run is 6-10km three to four times a week and last time I ran a considerable distance was when I trained for the Around the Bay 30km race back in 2000. A decade ago. Yikes!

But this past weekend, I laced my shoes for a half marathon, having promised my friend Kevin that I would help him complete the Caron Trifecta, as he calls it (he’s done this race with both my sisters and wanted to close the circle by running it with me).

When I first signed up months ago, I had planned on completing the race in 1h45min but training quickly got replaced by snow storms and trips to faraway lands and long hours at work and any other excuse I could come up with and my goal eventually turned into… I’m just going to run for the fun of it. Yes. 21km. Woohoo. Good times.

To make matters worse, I caught a cold about 4 days before the race and thought for sure I’d be crawling to the finish line but as it turns out, you never really know how you are going to feel on race day. You could train for months and bomb. Or you could do everything wrong and come in under 2 hours.

Case in point… I present to you Jeanine’s list of things you will never read in a running magazine but that may very well help you rock that race!

  1. eat & drink your way through iceland and nyc 2 weeks before scheduled run.
  2. work many, many hours of overtime so that you don’t have any time to train.
  3. inoculate self with common cold virus 5 days before race.
  4. drink whiskey the day before (in my expert opinion, you don’t want to shock your system too much before a race. abstaining from alcohol might raise red flags and lead to total system shut down. you don’t want to take any chances).
  5. go to cheapest, most questionable mexican restaurant in town and load up on bean burritos & sangria.
  6. wasabi. eat lots and lots of wasabi. for the head cold and because it prepares the body for pain. if you can survive wasabi nostril burn, you can take a little leg burn.
  7. drink so much water before going to bed that you spend the entire night going to the washroom.
  8. on race day, at the start line, rub belly counter clockwise three times while tapping top of head. ha. not really. although superstition and rituals are widespread in sports.
  9. high five children on the sidelines any chance you get. it’s good ju-ju.
  10. sing silly songs about greek salad and break out your most ridiculous dance moves along the way. because, really, there’s not much point in doing this unless you are going to have at least a little bit of fun.
  11. take the vaseline, people. chafing is not your friend. i saw men with bleeding nipples at the finish line and that is not something you ever, ever want to see, trust me.
  12. be grateful for your health, your legs, your youth, your everything. if men and women three times your age, or people in wheelchairs can do this, you can certainly do it.
  13. find running partners that will encourage you and make you laugh. thanks kev & michelle.
  14. visualize, visualize, visualize. mind over matter. KNOW that you can do it.
  15. again. and most importantly. HAVE FUN.

before: in which i am either doubting my abilities or i have a wicked need to pee

during: running partners extraordinaire. en feu!

after: it’s all about the thumbs up, apparently. sheesh. now where’s the whiskey?

8 Comments leave one →
  1. May 31, 2010 9:56 am

    yay!!! i have a huge crush on your list habit!!
    (is it even correct english???)

  2. May 31, 2010 10:07 am

    Well done! I love the pics. : )

  3. May 31, 2010 10:16 am

    you girl have the most amazing smile i have ever seen.
    well done.


  4. Linni permalink
    May 31, 2010 2:12 pm


    Must say in these photos it does not seem as if you are actually running a race… teeehee… looks more like a supermodel pose with a sportsteam.. but i’ll take you anyday! Well done! xx

  5. Alison permalink
    May 31, 2010 6:50 pm

    Yay yay my courageous beautiful daugthers.

    Boo boo on crappy high school bullies. They would have eaten your dust yesterday.

  6. May 31, 2010 7:05 pm

    you are such a bright light in the world!

  7. wingedpaths permalink
    June 1, 2010 5:08 pm

    freaking fantastic!

  8. June 2, 2010 12:47 pm

    A goal on one (maybe two) of my lists is to run for five minutes straight without falling, collapsing, passing out or vomiting. I haven’t quite made it past the run for the streetcar phase but I have flipped through a few running journals and can tell you I have never been more inspired than I am at this moment to lace up my running shoes. Thanks for the amazing advice and congratulations on a your fabulous run!
    And yes… boo-hoo to crappy high school bullies. Yuck. I can’t stand them…

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