You’re doing a Half-Marathon WHEN?!

That wasn’t exactly what I was asked by a friend – and fellow new runner – last night on Facebook, but I’m pretty certain that was what was in his head when he posted his comment about our plans to run a Half-Marathon in March.  But here’s the deal: March’s Half isn’t really our Goal Run.  We’re using the Germantown Half-Marathon as a test run during our preparation for the Half-Marathon that is part of The US Air Force Marathon Weekend.

We’re using Jeff Galloway’s half-marathon training method and plan to follow that pretty much to the letter.

I’m figuring the Germantown in March will be done in a pretty even split between running and walking with no particular finishing time in mind.  Okay, maybe we will have a finishing time in mind, but it will be a pretty generous number!  The real goal will be – as Galloway says – to finish “vertical and breathing”.

I’d say that’s a pretty good goal for someone running a half only six months after finishing her first 5K as a runner!

And so, we ran!

This past weekend was St. Jude Marathon Weekend here in Memphis.  Rich and I ran the Memphis Grizzlies House 5K.  It wasn’t a “best run” for either of us by a long shot, but that really isn’t the point of the 5K at this event.  This is one of those “It’s more about the cause than the race” 5Ks.

Here are some pictures from the day.   Enjoy!

At the Starting Line pre-race.


Me! Ready to rock!


See that little girl? She's why we ran. No, we don't know her. But she's why we ran.


My Stats as of when I finished. I can live with them given the three weeks 'down time' from training due to illness and injury.


Finishers' Medal!


The Halfers and Marathoners. Next year we'll be running The Half.

In fact . . .

This is me at the Half Marathon/Marathon Starting Line! Practicing for next year's Start!


Celebrating our finish!

The best part of the race for me – aside from knowing that we were doing this for The Kids of St. Jude – was finishing this race literally hand-in-hand with my beloved husband Rich.  Because he has been running longer, is taller, and has a longer stride than me he runs at a faster pace; therefore we don’t finish a lot of races actually, physically Together.  This time he held back on his pace.  In part because he was coming off three weeks of injury recovery,  but also intentionally to stay with me to keep me encouraged and “going” up the hills.

And we crossed the finish line hand-in-hand.  Which was really very cool!  And yes, I puddled up.

More than one way to run a race

In addition to running in 5K races, this spring there will be a new 5K Race here in Memphis that all started with simple question about why nobody had done a 5K for the Ronald McDonald House in conjunction with a local radio station’s annual radiothon that has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for The House.  Not only is it for The Kids at The House, it is in memory and honor of one of Memphis’ finest sons.  Ever.  

John “Bad Dog” McCormack was part of the “Wake-Up Crew” on Rock103 (WEGR) and they were the ones who started the Radiothon in February 1991 and his devotion to The Kids at The House was second only to his devotion to his own two sons.  In March of this year John lost his battle with Cancer – a battle he saw as a blessing because it made him better able to understand what The Kids at RMH went through every day.  They were his heroes.  And he was everybody else’s.

There are about two months’ worth of Divinely Providential occurrences, not the least of which is the tremendous team of three other people who came together in the first few weeks of this who are working with me in getting this event pulled together in less than six months!

But the first hurdle was getting a date and then approval of our event for that date on the calendar of Memphis Runners Track Club (MRTC from here out).  They are the biggest running club in this area, and someone recently said one of the biggest ones in the country but I haven’t verified that, and if you want to have a successful race around here you really need to have MRTC involved in it.  Not only that, but they are simply the best resource for race related services.

This was really the start of the Moments of Divine Providence (MoDP – I love initial based abbreviations!).  Between the Club’s own events and a plethora of cause-based races MRTC’s calendar fills up with a quickness.  As “luck” would have it, the very day I contacted their Admin they had an event cancel and I asked what we had to do to get that date for our race.  She told me (provide them with the requested date, time, event name, purpose, and location) and following my committee’s third meeting I sent a fairly well-written email with our request.  That was November 15th.

Our next Committee Meeting (we really need a snazzier name than “Race Committee”) was fast approaching and I hadn’t heard anything back from Terri (the Admin) so yesterday afternoon I fired off a little ‘gentle reminder’ email asking if she’d heard back from their Board of Directors who have to approve all race requests.  She had one of those “Oh my gosh!” moments because with all the rush of the holidays – perfectly understandable – she’d forgot to send our request.  (She had actually held off on sending it immediately after I’d sent it because she didn’t want to get it confused with another event that had also come in.  I appreciated that!)  She sent it off sometime yesterday afternoon and tonight at 6:11 pm I got her reply: GIRL!  All yes votes!!  You’re on the calendar!  My husband and I were in the car on our way to the gym for our last run before Saturday’s 5K and he swears he temporarily lost hearing in his right ear from the scream I let loose.  And then I got all puddled up.  (That’s ‘Southern’ for “I had tears in my eyes”  I use it a lot.  Add it to your Southernisms Lexicon.)

There are details to work out and there is a LOT of work to be done between now and then.  

For tonight I am simply overwhelmed: A) that this is going to happen; and B) (and this feels pretty braggadocious to actually put into words) that I am actually turning my little idea into a reality.

The greatest irony of this whole thing: I likely won’t actually get to RUN IN my own 5K!  I’ll be too busy runNING the 5K.

And can I just point out that this time six months ago I couldn’t even run a single mile.  With or without stopping.  And now . . . Well now one mile is a warm-up for me, I’m going to start training for a half-marathon in a month, and I am planning and coordinating a 5K to benefit a wonderful organization.

Who am I and what have I done with my sedentary self?!

On Another Note Altogether:

Tonight was my last practice run before the St. Jude 5K on Saturday.  I wasn’t going for speed, I was going for endurance. I did 3.5 miles in 48:26 with only about three walking intervals for less than a minute each.

I had really begun to waver and falter a little on that whole “I’m gonna run a half marathon!” thing again, so I needed a good, long-ish run that I didn’t feel like ten miles of bad road at the end of to reassure me that I do, in fact, have it in me to do that very thing,


Okay, I have GOT to get some sleep tonight!

A sleep-deprived Julianne isn’t exactly an at-her-best, race coordinating, race running Julianne!

Nite y’all!