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Beth’s First Half Marathon

by Meghann on November 17, 2010

It’s official – I’m sick. 🙁

No point in fighting it any longer, BUT I promise to stops complaining about it – I’m even starting to annoy myself on that one. 😉 Not another peep from me – I promise!

Luckily this head cold hasn’t effected my appetite, if anything it’s made me hungrier than usual. Is that normal?

Between meetings this morning I had a mini Larabar (it was the easiest thing to grab from my snack drawer in a hurry).


For lunch I wanted to load up with nutrients by cramming as many vegetables as possible into my meal.


Fresh arugula, left over Butternut Squash Quinoa Salad, left over roasted veggies, cheese, and bbq sauce.




Per the request of my co-workers I’m working from home the rest of the afternoon. This way I hope to keep my germs to myself and not spread them to the world.

Beth’s First Half Marathon

Hi everybody! I’m Beth from Will Run for Books. Meghann has been so kind as to let me share my “First Big Race” story with you all.

It all started when I was training for the Shamrock Shuffle 8k, which is in March. It was my first winter actually running outside (previous winters had been spent on treadmills or taking a break from running) and my mileage was increasing steadily. While training for the 8k, I went on my first 9 mile run. It went great. It was somewhere around this time that I decided “Hey, why don’t I run the half marathon in September?!” So I signed up. In February. Seven months before the race.

half mary.JPG

I ran the 8k in March and kept running after that, building up mileage, but didn’t actually being “training training” until June. My training program looked like this:

I can’t remember all of the runs, but I can tell you that I only completed one 12 miler and two of the ten milers. Both 10 milers were incredibly hard and a little bit terrible and had me shaking in my boots. The 12 miler, however, went great! It was also an incredibly, incredibly hot summer in Chicago, making sunrise runs (even on the weekends) a necessity. I. am. not. a. morning. person. It made for some rough mornings – I feel sorry for those that had to deal with me!

Finally, it was race day. My goal was to finish in 2:15. Due to two other big events happening in Chicago that day, they moved up the race time to 7 am. I live in the suburbs, so this made a pre- 5 am wake-up call necessary. Again with not being a morning person. (Meghann, I envy you!) I guess all those early training runs came in handy!

The race started on time, but since it was such a large race it took 9 minutes for me to get across the start line. Then it was on! The course itself is a little bit boring. It is on the south side of Chicago along the lake front, and is basically an out and back:


There is very little shade and it was SUNNY that day! Fortunately, it wasn’t too hot. I felt great for the first 7 or 8 miles. I was dead on in my pace though, and just kept running. Around mile 10, my knees started to hurt. This was a little strange because I hadn’t really had knee problems while I was running. It was around mile 11 that I realized I was going to finish.  

Despite my goal of finishing in 2:15, I think I had lingering doubts of finishing at all. When I realized that I was going to finish, I teared up a little bit. I have asthma, and crying just makes it worse, so I had to take quite a few deep breaths and will myself not to cry. When I crossed mile 12 into the farthest I had ever run, I just wanted to be done! The race organizers are mean and start marking meters at this point so the race just seems to drag on and on and on. After what seemed like forever, I crossed the finish line!


(Note, this is not actually my finish line picture, but the only halfway decent one of me from that day.)

I was done! The first thought I had was: Holy #$%#% I can’t imagine having another 13.1 miles to go! (Major kudos to all you marathoners!) A little while later I got my official time: 2:11:50! Despite getting really sick of running while training and the pain in actually running the race, I have plans to do another in June – sub 2:00, I’m coming for you!

Thanks again to Meghann for letting me share my story!

1 Hannah (Running In Freedom) November 17, 2010 at 1:59 pm

This is so inspiring. Thanks for sharing! I just began training for my first half and love hearing other’s stories. I love this series! 🙂
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2 Chelsea @ Strawberry Sweat November 17, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Meghann–feel better! It’s great you have a job where you can do some work from home!

Beth–great story!! Way to rock your first half-marathon!
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3 Kelly November 17, 2010 at 2:03 pm

I have my first half this weekend, I’m a mixture of nervous/excited!
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4 Hope November 17, 2010 at 2:09 pm

Hey Meghann, hope you feel better soon! Rest up, drink lots of fluids – you know the drill!

5 BIOCHEMISTA November 17, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Hey Meghan! I hope you feel better soon!!! Rest, rest, rest, drink LOTS of fluids and take vit C and ZINC! Make sure you take zinc with a meal though 🙂

Feel better <3
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6 Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat November 17, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Get well soon Meghann! And congrats Beth, that’s such an inspiring story! 🙂
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7 breakingsilence @ Freshman -15 November 17, 2010 at 2:29 pm

Hope you feel better, Meghann!! I too get hungrier when I’m sick and I have no idea why!
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8 Jenny November 17, 2010 at 2:31 pm

I’m sorry you’re sick 🙁 You tried so hard to stay healthy too!! Drink lots of tea 🙂
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9 Lindsay November 17, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Feel better soon! And no worries, I think it is totally normal to feel more hungry when you are sick. Whenever I have a cold I am ravenous! So you are normal!

10 kelly November 17, 2010 at 2:40 pm

I totally eat like a cow when I am sick! It is just so comforting! hehe
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11 Jessica@tastyandtrim November 17, 2010 at 2:50 pm

I hope you feel better! Your lunch looks delicious. Good food always helps make me feel better when I am sick 🙂
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12 Robyn November 17, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Hey Meghann, I’m a senior dietetics student and I immediately thought about my Medical Nutrition Therapy class when I read this post, ha.

When you are sick your metabolism usually increases to cope with the infection. It is due to a number of things – a higher body temperature which causes all your bodies normal processes to speed up, the increased energy needed by cells to fight the infection and the increased energy needed to cover the cost of energy actually USED by the infection. Because of these things your caloric needs increase!

Listening to your body and eating an adequate amount of calories that are nutrient rich will help your body fight the infection. Looks like you’re on the right track 🙂

Help you feel better!

13 Honey B. November 17, 2010 at 3:02 pm

Feel better. Lots of hot water with lemon. And lots of garlic if you can – great immune booster!! Most importantly – well done for leaving work and taking care of yourself – and not infecting people around you!

Great story about the first half marathon – well done! I love hearing stories about people get started with running. Best thing you could do for yourself, right?!
Honey B. recently posted..The Journey as the Roadblock

14 Alison (Ali on the Run) November 17, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Mini Larabars?! I’ve never seen mini ones! Where did you find them? Amazing.
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15 Maria @ runningcupcake November 17, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Yay what a great achievement! 🙂
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16 kathleen November 17, 2010 at 3:19 pm

sleep! and maybe take a day or two off running or just do shorter runs. there are mixed reviews on this though. you’d have to do more research but i believe that long runs, like more than an hour, suppress the immune system but short runs don’t seem to.
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17 Lisa (bakebikeblog) November 17, 2010 at 4:56 pm

Thanks for sharing your story Beth!!
And Meghann – hope you start to feel better soon xx
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18 Tab- Just Weighing In November 17, 2010 at 5:02 pm

That’s quite the salad! I didn’t know they sold mini Larabars! Hope you feel better…
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19 Luna November 17, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Meghann, I hope you feel better soon…if elderberry doesn’t work, try with echinacea 🙂

20 Erin November 17, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Get yourself some Zicam and get better!!!
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21 Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) November 17, 2010 at 5:52 pm

What a great story- well done to Beth!
Hope you feel better soon Meghann! 🙂
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22 thetreadmilldiaries November 17, 2010 at 6:27 pm

Thanks for sharing your story, Beth!

Meghann – fabulous looking quinoa salad. Love the colors in it.
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23 Tangy @ A Taste of Tangy November 17, 2010 at 6:35 pm

I have found that sadly, nothing ever takes away my appetite. When I have a migraine, I actually crave greasy foods! So to me, it’s normal 🙂

Beth- great job on achieving your goal for your first half!
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24 Nicole November 17, 2010 at 7:43 pm

Sorry you’re feeling under the weather!

25 Semisweet Courtney November 17, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Hope you feel better soon, Meghann! 🙂 Also I was wondering if I could share my 5k story on your blog. I know it’s not a big race, but it was huge for me in that I had en epileptic seizure 3 days before it, and still got 3rd place in my age group! 🙂
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26 Jillian @ Reshape Your Life November 17, 2010 at 9:11 pm

At least you got to work from home!!

Awesome job on the half Beth! I’m planning on running my first half next october!
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27 RunningOnCoffee November 17, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Where do you get the mini Lara Bars? I love them, but have only found them at expos. Would love to BUY more!
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28 Meghann November 17, 2010 at 10:12 pm

You can buy certain mini ones at Whole Foods, BUT none of the fun flavors 🙂

29 rebecca lustig November 17, 2010 at 10:11 pm

i cant find mini larabars anywhere!! tell me your secrets!

30 Meghann November 17, 2010 at 10:13 pm

That one was from a race expo

31 Alexa November 18, 2010 at 10:03 am

Can I just say how jealous I am of those mini Lara Bars? I found them at the Twin Cities Marathon expo, but wish I would have picked up more, because they’re the perfect size, and I’m SO in love with the new flavors. Just had to share. =)
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