Yellow Brick Road, here I come

In six months, I will be finishing my first half marathon.

I caught the marathon bug from my mom, who has been doing half marathons for a couple of years now. Her next one is the Monumental Half Marathon in Indianapolis, Ind., Saturday. I wish all the best to her and her running mates!

My mom finally talked my sister and me into doing a trek much longer than three miles, and signed us up for Garmin’s Wickedly Fast Half Marathon in Olathe, Kan., April 26.

Immediately, I found a six-month training schedule.

I’ve been running, somewhat consistently, since 2011. However, I’ve never attempted a challenge as daunting as 13 miles of grueling exercise, with your feet pounding pavement and a brisk breeze in your face. I want to be prepared, and not have an injury or a hatred of running by the end.

Luckily, the race will be fun. The theme is “In the Land of Oz,” and the half-marathon medals are of the Wicked Witch of the West that even glow in the dark. Right there is one reason this half marathon is worth it.

I’m also excited I’ll get to spend the weekend with family. In addition to my mom and sister, my aunt and cousin are participating, with the possibility of a few others. I can’t wait to cheer everyone on as they cross the finish line, and be cheered on as I do.

Now, as it is nearing blizzard weather, I need to get my butt in gear and get some long miles in on my shoes. I predict the hardest part for me will be sticking to my training schedule’s long runs during the cold winter months already looming ahead.

However, I am lucky I have plenty of people who are willing to push me to get where I will be the fittest I’ve ever been for the run and as ready as I could ever be.

My schedule consists of a short run, a long run and a couple of days of optional cross training, as well as some time off. I have a feeling I’m going to be more and more thankful for that time off as the months fly by.

With the glow-in-the-dark medal as a bonus, what I’m looking forward to the most is to be able to say I finished. I want to accomplish something that historically has always been respected for many reasons, including health and happiness.

Yellow Brick Road, here I come!

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