The Goal

To run the UPMC Health Plan Half Marathon. The whole thing. With minimal walking (and hopefully with minimal weeping). As a fit, but non-runner, 22-year-old woman.

This seems like an incredibly impossible undertaking to a girl who has never run more than four miles, who is hopelessly asthmatic, and who, for all intents-and-purposes, dislikes running. And yet, I want to do it. Isn’t that the point of a good challenge? To conquer the beast? To experience the euphoric, Rocky-like moment of reaching the finish line? (Except that I’m a female and not a boxer, and I could never pull off a sweatband quite like he could.)

And the Half Marathon is in my hometown of Pittsburgh, which I never really got to know during my suburban childhood. After I graduated from college last May, I moved back to the Steel City — where I now I reside in Bloomfield — and I want to spend the next three months exploring more of Pittsburgh as I huff and puff and wheeze my way down the streets.

And, as a non-runner, there are some things I want to figure out. What is this mythical runner’s high? How does one wind up losing a toenail? How does it feel to run for longer than an hour?

There is a chance of failure. There is the voice in the back of my mind whispering, can you do this? Well, I’m about to find out.And thus, I am embarking on three months of training to work towards the seemingly unattainable 13.1-mile race.

If you’ve always wanted to try it out, if it’s your new year’s resolution, if it’s something you’ve been afraid of but secretly want to try, train with me, because I have no idea what I’m doing either. I anticipate days of euphoria, days of utter hatred, and, worst of all, days of classic Pittsburgh rain. Let’s half-marathon it up, ladies and gentlemen!


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