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My first half-marathon: What, no bagels?

Yesterday was one of the top ten best days of my life, which is an odd thing to say about any day I wake up at 5:30am.

Mini-Marathon - 35,000 people running without being chased

My mom and I drove downtown and parked in my office’s parking garage, which is conveniently located 4-5 blocks away from the starting line. Thus we avoided any parking nightmares and I felt slightly better about the garage fee they take out of my pay check every month. I felt chilly in my long-sleeved shirt and sweater as we walked towards the starting corral. The sun was still rising, but from what I could see the weather appeared gloomy, though thankfully it wasn’t raining. Thunderstorms had whipped through town the night before and there were still some puddles in the road.

As we got closer and closer to the starting corrals we encountered more and more people. It felt like I was in the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind where everyone is inexplicably drawn to the mountain at the end of the film. I was one of thousands of people converging on a couple blocks of downtown Indianapolis for a shared, unspoken reason. 35,000 people run the half-marathon, so to prevent congestion they divide us into starting corrals from A-Z based on our estimated finishing time. I was in S. As my mom and I sat on the blockades, we read people’s bibs and occasionally I would whisper to her, “Look! That person is a B!” as though I’d just seen a celebrity. I only saw one A and I felt like I should kiss his running shoes in tribute to his superior athletic skill.

About 15 minutes before the gun time, I got into my corral. This is when I started to feel a little self-conscious about the sign I’d taped to my back.

Running ad

I figured there were 35,000 people in this race, and most of them would be passing me, so I might as well use my back to promote my book. I felt a bit silly about it, but I figured I wouldn’t have to make eye-contact with anyone who read it, saving me some embarrassment. I checked my phone and saw I’d missed a call from Laura, another blogger running the race, and called her back, but we weren’t able to find each other before the race started. Sorry, Laura!

At 7:30, the race started! It looked like this:

Race start

Can’t you smell the excitement? As I said, I was in the S corral, meaning thousands of people in the A-R corrals were ahead of me. So, we waited.

And we waited.

Someone threw a beach ball into the crowd which we bounced around. Slowly we started walking in fits and stops to the starting line two blocks ahead of us. As we got within 100 yards of the starting line, people started walking faster, then we were jogging, and then 18 minutes and 15 seconds later I was crossing the starting line thinking, “Oh, hey, I’m running a half-marathon. How weird.” Then I did some mental math and tried not to be discouraged by the fact that the elite runners were already past mile 3 by now.

The race course was very similar to the training series course, except for the pit stops where the asphalt road could barely be seen beneath the trampled paper cups. At first I tried tossing my cup into the trash cans, but they were overflowing by the time us slower runners passed by, so I settled for aiming for the gutter instead. I had brought my headphones and MP3 player along, but was surprised to find I didn’t need them because so much was happening. There were good cover bands and bad cover bands and bagpipes and cloggers and square dancers all along the route. I wouldn’t even be able to plot out the race course on a map because I wasn’t paying attention to the street signs. I just followed everybody else. There were time clocks at each mile marker, so I kept checking my pace bracelet as we ran, mentally trying to add 18 minutes to the time. Mental math is hard when you’re running a mini-marathon.

Near mile 6, I started to think about walking. I kept running anyway. Then we came upon the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. As part of the race, the runners do a lap around the Speedway, though I was only going about 2% as fast as the racecars. We ran down a steep ramp to enter the stadium. Awesome! So fast and so easy. Then we had to run up a steep ramp to get on the track. Not awesome! So slow and so hard.

It was at this point that I realized the weather was freaking gorgeous. The sun was shining bright, a cool breeze came across the infield, and I was actually a bit hot. I couldn’t believe I’d thought about wearing my fleece vest this morning. Suddenly all those people in shorts and tank tops that I’d laughed at in the morning cold seemed a lot smarter than me. I rolled up my long-sleeved shirt and kept running around the track.

And kept running around the track.

And kept running around the track some more.

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is evidently two and a half miles long, as I now know very well. After we exited the speedway, we passed a family sitting on lawn chairs in their front lawn drinking beer and watching us run by. After I passed through a Gatorade station, my feet started sticking to the pavement. Oh no, how many seconds was that taking off of my time?

At mile 10, I decided I needed the cheesy techno. I put on my headphones and it was only a dance remix of Bryan Adams singing “Run to You” that got me through the next mile. I started wishing the pit stops would come closer and closer together so I’d have a good excuse to slow down and walk. Someone ran past wearing a shirt that said “Are we there yet?” Good question.

Somewhere before the 12 mile marker I slowed down to walk for a minute. Then I started running again. As we got within a mile of the finish line the signs started telling us how much farther we had to go. 1 mile left. 3/4 of a mile left. At 1/2 mile left I stopped to walk. My lower abs were aching and my toes were starting to hurt.

As we approached the 1/4 mile left sign, I could finally see the finish line. I started running again. A woman on the sidelines yelled, “Go, Jennette!” While I know she just read my name off my bib and had no idea who I was, it was very encouraging. Some people next to me actually started to sprint to the finish line. Jerks. I would have tripped them if I wasn’t so damn exhausted. As I kept running and running, the finish line came closer and closer. It was very unexpected. For the last leg of the race in my training series runs we had to turn a corner and then turn a corner and then turn another corner and BAM! there was the finish line. Now I could actually see the end heading straight towards me.

And then I crossed the finish line. I couldn’t believe it was over. No, really, I didn’t quite believe that it was okay to stop running. For the last three miles I felt like I’d be running forever, that the rest of my life would be spent drudging along, trying to finish an endless race. I imagined that decades from now my relatives would be driving past 10th street, see me and shake their heads sadly as I plodded along trying to finish that damn mini-marathon. “Keep going, keep going, keep going,” I had told myself and now I got to say, “Okay, stop.” It made the race suddenly seem much shorter. A 13.1 mile race is much shorter than an endless race.

I threw my hands up victoriously for the photographer, though I was so tired my palms probably didn’t reach above my head. My official time was 2 hours, 33 minutes, 26 seconds. Then I got lots of free stuff that only cost me $50.00 in registration fees. At the recovery area I grabbed a banana, apple, potato chips and a rather dry, chocolate chip cookie. But no bagels! What was this? All the training series runs had bagels afterwards, but suddenly there were no cinnamon crunch or French toast bagels in sight. Where were you when I needed you, Panera?

People sometimes joke about hobbling after runs, but I literally did hobble to the family reunion area to get a big hug from my mother.

“I’m so proud of you,” she said.

“Thanks. Can I lean on you?” I replied. And then I did. I leaned on her for a whole minute before I felt strong enough to stand up again. Someone must have rearranged the layout of the city in that time because suddenly the parking garage was a lot farther away. Even today, my quads are sore, my toes are sore, my shoulders are sore, and if I breathe in really deeply my lungs are sore.

Before I left, I was standing in line to get my picture taken with my shiny finisher’s medal and I heard a girl in line behind me say, “That’s so awesome.” While she might have been referring to her chocolate chip cookie, I think she was referring to the sign on my back with my book cover which said, “I lost half my weight, now I’m running a half-marathon. I hope this idea isn’t half-baked!” Her comment made me smile a little bit, because while I’m mostly a humble person, it is pretty awesome isn’t it? I really did lose half my weight. And I really did just run a half-marathon. When my mom and I returned to the parking garage, she said there were a lot of things she’d thought I do in life, but never this. “I never thought I’d have an athlete in the family.” And we didn’t even have to adopt the illegitimate child of an NBA superstar to do it. It’s me.

Then we stopped at a bakery and I stood in line, sweaty and gross in my full running gear, to buy a huge cinnamon roll. Because seriously, no bagels?

I ran a half-marathon!

Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away
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135 Comments

Domestic Chicky • May 4, 2008 at 3:45 pm

Awesome! I just found your blog a couple of days ago, and I have been excited to see how your day went. You are inspiring and I can’t wait to read more!

Deanna

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Katharine • May 4, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Seriously wonderful! Three hundred cheers for PQ!!!!

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anji • May 4, 2008 at 3:59 pm

Fantastic!

Sucks about the bagels though… but – I wonder how much space they’d need for 35 000 bagels? That’d be a lot of junk in the trunk :D

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jancd • May 4, 2008 at 4:00 pm

You just look gorgeous in that picture holding the medal. Way to go!

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Crazylady • May 4, 2008 at 4:11 pm

Well done you!!!!! Very very impressive!

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Sonya • May 4, 2008 at 4:13 pm

We’re not worthy!! What a great idea to put that sign on the back of your shirt! And, once again, you don’t even look like you just finished a grueling race.

CONGRATS!! HUGE CONGRATS!!!

Can’t wait to hear about the book launch next.

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Laura • May 4, 2008 at 4:16 pm

Long time reader (possibly a first- or second-time commenter) here who is seriously proud of you for doing this. Way to go!!!!!

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Susannah • May 4, 2008 at 4:17 pm

PQ, you are just freakin’ RADIANT in that photo! I smiled all the way through your post – what an accomplishment!

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Cathy • May 4, 2008 at 4:18 pm

Spectacular! Bravo! Bellissima! And you look radiant with your medal.

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Christina • May 4, 2008 at 4:29 pm

Congratulations!!! That’s fantastic. Go PQ!

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Laura • May 4, 2008 at 4:38 pm

Great report, Jennette! I know, I couldn’t believe how sticky it was at mile 10. Yuck. I did love reading the back’s of people’s shirts. There were some really funny ones. I saw a “Runaway Bride” and she had a veil sewn to the back of her cap. A couple of “Drinkers with a Running Problem.” And, the best t-shirt ever (besides yours =), a Dunder Mifflin race shirt from “The Office” episode where Michael organizes a 5k rabies awareness fun-run race for the cure. I had a good laugh at that.

And you are GORGEOUS in your last photo. Look at your flat abs! I would kill for that tummy.

You gonna run this again next year? We will seriously have to find each other if you do. And I couldn’t hear you and thought you said “F” on the phone, otherwise if I’d known it was “S” I probabaly would have figured out a way to find you since I was just a couple corrals back in “U.” There’s always next year, though, right?!

Hope you are enjoying your success today!

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Fooled • May 4, 2008 at 4:47 pm

Wow, you are so amazing. And you look so cool in that picture.

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Heather • May 4, 2008 at 4:50 pm

Congrats! Way to go!!!

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Morgan • May 4, 2008 at 5:01 pm

Awesome job! You have done some amazing things. I will eat a bagel in your honor now.

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Lisa • May 4, 2008 at 5:01 pm

Good for you!

Are you pleased with your time?

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sheila • May 4, 2008 at 5:25 pm

Congrats – I think this is my first time commenting but I’ve been reading for a long time. I was thinking about you all day yesterday & wondering how it went. You look GREAT in your picture.

I live in Indy & when I watched the local news I kept looking for you in the shots from the Mini. I know, 35,000 people, but still, I had to try & spot you!

Looking forward to hearing about the party afterwards too!

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adrienne • May 4, 2008 at 5:26 pm

Congratulations! I’m proud to know someone so dedicated to achieving their goals. You’re inspiring!

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Kyle • May 4, 2008 at 5:27 pm

So proud of you! You are awesome, but you know that already. I was thinking of you yesterday wondering how the big run was going.

Still anxiously awaiting my book to make it to Chile. My mom tells me it’s a great read, so I can’t wait!!!

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PastaQueen • May 4, 2008 at 5:34 pm

I’m pretty pleased. I was aiming for 2:30, so I was only three and a half minutes behind. Considering that I’d never run that long in warm weather, I think I did pretty well.

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lmg • May 4, 2008 at 5:37 pm

You’re awesome!!!!!!!

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Melissa • May 4, 2008 at 5:55 pm

Fantastic! I just finished reading your book, which I really enjoyed. I’m so proud of you. I know you’ve heard this a million times, but you are an inspiration. Amazing! And, yes, you did look awesome in your picture.

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Jenn • May 4, 2008 at 6:03 pm

Hooray! Well done you! I love seeing your half marathon time in your sidebar!

This reminds me so much of running my half in February, though you were a bit nicer when you finished. I took of my shoes, handed them to my sister and said “Did you talk me into this? I hate you.”

Congrats and way to go and all that good stuff. Can’t wait to hear about your next great adventure.

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Marla • May 4, 2008 at 6:19 pm

Hooray! Congratulations!

http://www.marriedtothesea.com/062507/horseback-marathon.gif

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Kate T • May 4, 2008 at 6:20 pm

Way to go PQ! I loved seeing your picture at the end with your medal. You look so proud and SKINNY!

I’m halfway through your book (I thought Amazon would NEVER send it!) and thoroughly enjoying your journey to a newer, healthier you.

As a long-term reader of this blog, keep on keepin’ on.

Kate

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KL • May 4, 2008 at 6:27 pm

Wow, that’s a fantastic day! I found your blog a little while ago and have been furiously reading through your archives, while starting to run a little bit myself. A half-marathon is amazing – well done!

ps: I don’t think your sign on your back is cheesy at all – if I’d been running it’d have motivated me (and made me want to buy your book!)

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dietgirl • May 4, 2008 at 6:34 pm

That is just bloody brilliant… congratulations PQ :)

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Heather • May 4, 2008 at 6:35 pm

How amazing! Go you!

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dietgirl • May 4, 2008 at 6:36 pm

(forgot to say your ad on your back is pure GENIUS :) I walked that half marathon distance yesterday and thought of you running the same, and it just blew me away to think of running such a distance. WOO to the HOO! )

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Kristin • May 4, 2008 at 6:46 pm

Congratulations! And welcome to the world of post-race cinnamon rolls. I started that tradition after my first half marathon and have allowed it to trickle down to 15Ks, 10Ks, etc. I have become a connoisseur of cinnamon rolls in cities throughout the northwest! (I usually share with my mom.) Anyhow, I hope you don’t give up the races and running now that you’ve accomplished your goal. Running is such an egalitarian sport (it doesn’t matter if you’re fast or slow) and the races are fun way to hang with a running crowd and add to your t-shirt wardrobe! (Plus, we’re burning 100+ calories every mile, no matter how slow the pace.) So don’t think of your half marathon accomplishment as a finish–it’s just a beginning!

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sara • May 4, 2008 at 6:54 pm

A huge congratulations! Loser of half-your-weight; book author; mini-marathon runner. What an overachiever (he-he). Well done. Seriously.

Oh~ and your back sign–very clever.

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Boilergrad1993 • May 4, 2008 at 6:55 pm

CONGRATS PQ!!! I can’t imagine how proud you must be of how far you’ve come and what you accomplished yesterday. That picture with the medal is fantastic!! You don’t even look winded. I can’t wait to hear about the book release signing.

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Meagan • May 4, 2008 at 7:07 pm

Awesome!!! You are my hero.

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Amanda • May 4, 2008 at 7:15 pm

I love the sign on your back. I’m not to the jogging stage yet, still at a slow walk, but when I walk the trails at a nearby park, I often end up following the same person for a while and read what ever slogan is on the back of their shirt anyway, so it’s great advertisement.

And, the mailman brought me a great surprise yesterday, my copy of your book arrived! I read it all last night, and laughed out loud at your humorous approach. I even woke my husband up a few times to read snippets to him.

Amanda

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Andrew is getting fit • May 4, 2008 at 7:17 pm

You are a legend! Well done. I hope that cinnamon roll tasted good. You definitely earned it.

It makes you think though. You’ve come a long way and there’s no going back. :)

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Julie • May 4, 2008 at 7:25 pm

I seriously have tears in my eyes and some on my cheeks. You are such an inspiration!

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america • May 4, 2008 at 7:39 pm

I am not your mom.

I am not even a close friend.

But even I am proud of you!

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Catherine • May 4, 2008 at 8:06 pm

Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That’s amazing. I am officially 2 weeks behind you on everything, you did a 5km 2 weeks before me, 10km 2 weeks before me, and now a half two weeks before me! I did 19km today. so close

Thanks for all the inspiration.

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MamaMaven • May 4, 2008 at 8:48 pm

Freaking amazing! Congrats on your race. You may have been tired but your face is beaming with your medal. Bummer on the much coveted bagel!

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Ashley • May 4, 2008 at 9:09 pm

Wow…your post made me cry there at the end! I’ve been where you were a couple of years ago, and just had a baby, I’m not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m trying to figure out how to juggle a 8 month old and exercising and eating right. Fast food is so much…well, faster and easier than making a nutritous meal, but you give me inspiration! Way to go! All the fat girls out there are applauding you (and wishing we were you for a moment!). LOL (oh, btw, I need to get your book for inspiration!)

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julie • May 4, 2008 at 9:12 pm

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! I’m proud too! I got teary eyed reading your story! You look Fabulous! Having just completed a 5k today a 1/2 marathon sounds impossible…I am so proud of you!

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Pam • May 4, 2008 at 9:14 pm

Wow! You did so great! What an inspiration you are — I’m training for a half marathon in October (I’ll be walking) and your story makes me anxious to experience it for myself.

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Carm • May 4, 2008 at 9:31 pm

Congratulations on a job well done! And you look Fabulous in that photo!!

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VerseFameBeauty • May 4, 2008 at 9:46 pm

Wow, congratulations!! I was smiling all the way through the post, so happy for you! And you definitely look quite awesome in the photo. :-)

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Sandra • May 4, 2008 at 9:54 pm

Congratulations you should be so very proud of yourself! I have been lurking for sometime but felt this deserved an acknowledgement, well done. Sandra, all the way from Perth Western Australia.

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Shannon • May 4, 2008 at 9:57 pm

Congratulations!!!! I completely agree about the food at the mini. It was horrible, and I was pissed. The booklet sure made it sound better. I read St. Francis Cookies and was excited. St. Francis needs to work on those cookies. I did not run 13 miles for some crappy cookie. I volunteered at a half marathon this morning and I was so jealous of their food. They had Panera Bagels, good cookies and Papa John’s pizza. As a volunteer I got to enjoy all of these things and I did!

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The Better Idiot • May 4, 2008 at 10:11 pm

That’s awesome, congratulations! That books sign you had on your bacj was great too, good thinking.

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zelda • May 4, 2008 at 10:12 pm

wheeeeeeeee!!! :) great job!

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Elyse • May 4, 2008 at 10:33 pm

Congrats…I ran a 15K yesterday – The Minnie Marathon…I thought I heard you mention it in your interview? Anyhow, this was my 3rd 15K and I have done 4 1/2s….But I only lost 75 pounds but have kept it off through Diet and Exercise for about 5 years….

Anyhow, Disney

announced, a new /12 marathon in March with a Princess Theme….think about it….the only bad part is I think I left your book at Disney….I guess I will need to get an autographed one to replace it – Elyse

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Helen • May 4, 2008 at 10:51 pm

Congratulations, that is SO WONDERFUL!!!! I am totally in awe of you…I doubt if I could run 2 blocks. ;-)

And thank you for the photo where I can see exactly where you are in Indianapolis…I haven’t been home in probably 10 years so I like catching glimpses…like when Hillary was in town and they kept showing all the downtown stuff. I won’t tell you who I want you to vote for on Tuesday, but it’s not anyone mentioned in this post… ;-)

Finally, I just got notification that your book has been shipped to me from Amazon! I am so excited to read it while lounging on the beach in Mexico in a few weeks. Yay!

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Lance Breger • May 4, 2008 at 11:28 pm

I RAN MY FIRST 5K Today! I almost HALF DIED….

congrats on your success and keep up the good work!

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Lance Breger • May 4, 2008 at 11:28 pm

I RAN MY FIRST 5K Today! I almost HALF DIED….

congrats on your success and keep up the good work!

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Lance Breger • May 4, 2008 at 11:28 pm

I RAN MY FIRST 5K Today! I almost HALF DIED….

congrats on your success and keep up the good work!

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Lance Breger • May 4, 2008 at 11:28 pm

I RAN MY FIRST 5K Today! I almost HALF DIED….

congrats on your success and keep up the good work!

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Lance Breger • May 4, 2008 at 11:28 pm

I RAN MY FIRST 5K Today! I almost HALF DIED….

congrats on your success and keep up the good work!

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Lance Breger • May 4, 2008 at 11:28 pm

I RAN MY FIRST 5K Today! I almost HALF DIED….

congrats on your success and keep up the good work!

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Lance Breger • May 4, 2008 at 11:28 pm

I RAN MY FIRST 5K Today! I almost HALF DIED….

congrats on your success and keep up the good work!

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ani • May 4, 2008 at 11:41 pm

Congratulations!!! I’m so incredibly in awe and inspired by your achievement.

You should be proud, no kidding it’s awesome!!

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Cindy • May 4, 2008 at 11:43 pm

I am so happy for you ~ a top ten day is something to treasure, for sure! I am glad it all worked out so well…even the weather! What’s next, PQ?

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Rah • May 5, 2008 at 12:37 am

Rah! Rah! Rah! CONGRATULATIONS, PQ. I kept checking in all day yesterday to see if we had heard anything, just like I would if it were a family member. Way to go!

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Merrem • May 5, 2008 at 12:51 am

Way to go, PQ! That report rocked!

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PastaQueen • May 5, 2008 at 1:24 am

You could put a sign on your back during the Moonwalk too. Just be sure to attach a flashlight behind your back so people will be able to read it in the dark :) Or use glow-in-the-dark paint!

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Lisa • May 5, 2008 at 2:23 am

Yeah, the first few warm weather runs every year suck. Sounds like you held up well, all things considered.

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jae • May 5, 2008 at 2:38 am

Jennette, you are so awesome! You did it! And you look amazing in that picture, you look so fit and tiny and just, well…awesome. Pats on the back from me for sure! :) ~j

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kathy • May 5, 2008 at 2:38 am

Helen – where in Mexico are you headed? I live on a Mexican beach and had given up hope of getting the book until famly arrives at Christmas. Feel free to email me!

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kathy • May 5, 2008 at 2:39 am

I usually don’t follow the links when people post comments because it is usually spammy, but this is SRSLY funny! :)

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kathy • May 5, 2008 at 2:42 am

I have no words. Well, I obviously do…

What an incredible accomplishment! I got a little teary/tingly at the end there. I can’t wait to hear about the triathalon!! :)

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Lance Breger • May 4, 2008 at 11:28 pm

I RAN MY FIRST 5K Today! I almost HALF DIED….

congrats on your success and keep up the good work!

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Shelladawn • May 5, 2008 at 4:55 am

Did you ever know that you’re my hero.You’re everything I would like to be,I can fly higher than an eagle,but you PastaQueen,you are the wind beneath my wings.You are so inspirational and look beautiful in the picture-you simply rawk.Congratulations.

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weelittleme • May 5, 2008 at 6:02 am

Congratulations!!!

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+27 (83) 415 0330 • May 5, 2008 at 6:26 am

Aw, you made me cry! I am so freaking proud of you! Do you have any idea what an incredible inspiration you are? I am also losing half my body weight and it’s stories like yours that make me realize that I can do so much more than I ever imagined. Thanks PQ!

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Debbi • May 5, 2008 at 6:40 am

Great recap, terrific photo, and I hope you’re feeling better by now. I hope your first half-marathon isn’t your last. Congratulations!

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jane • May 5, 2008 at 7:12 am

Congratulations! What an accomplishment! You’re truly an inspiration.

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Joanne • May 5, 2008 at 7:25 am

Brilliant PQ, you rock as ever. I’m on the same path as yourself and read your blog for inspiration. My running bud Briony and I have just done the Belfast fun run this morning, a measly 5K, but we did it in 28 mins. Great atmosphere, come to Belfast and run. Next stop the local 10K. Now I want a bagel too.

PS I’m going to get your book…

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zsazsa • May 5, 2008 at 7:47 am

PQ, I started reading your blog over a year ago. Congratulations on your first 1/2 marathon. You inspired me to get off my butt and start the Couch to 5k program, and I am so glad I did. Good luck to you!

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Debs • May 5, 2008 at 8:15 am

Reading this actually just made me cry a little bit. The crying thing may also be to do with lots of stuff going on in my life, but still, I’m gonna give you the credit.

You really have done an amazing job.

I’m currently at 206lb, having started at 294lb. I’m six feet tall, so won’t be losing as much as you, but I’m still exacited about almost reaching the point where I’lll have lost a third of my body weight.

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Loey • May 5, 2008 at 8:21 am

I am a giant geek, and actually got a little misty eyed. You should be so proud of yourself!!!!

Yay, PQ!!!!!

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Deborah • May 5, 2008 at 8:53 am

I had tears of joy all through the article. You are a great inspiration to us all. I am awaiting the arrival of your book and really looking forward to the read.

Congratulations, “athlete.”

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Elizabeth • May 5, 2008 at 8:58 am

Congrats on finishing your first half marathon! I had the exact same thought about the Speedway… I could not believe how long 2.5 miles felt!!! :-) I was in corral “U” and I totally looked for your name… isn’t it so convenient that they put your name on your bib? Alas, no luck, but anyway, congrats! What an accomplishment!! :-)

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Mindy Higgins • May 5, 2008 at 9:16 am

How awesome! I actually got a little teary-eyed as I read your post and looked at your finish picture. I’m so proud of you!

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deanna • May 5, 2008 at 9:17 am

i actually cried while reading this. i know it may seem weird because i am only a reader of your blog, but i am so proud of you. weird… maybe? simply freakin awesome, you rock the kasbar!!! congrats!

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Olivia • May 5, 2008 at 9:17 am

Hooray! Congratulations, PQ!

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Ayesha97 • May 5, 2008 at 9:20 am

Congratulations!!!!

You have inspired me to get my butt in gear and start running. I’m a little more than halfway through the Couch to 5K plan.

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Gaby • May 5, 2008 at 9:40 am

Go You! Congratulations. What a great achievement.

And seriously you look slim and fab. I’d forget about that whatever you say you need to lose. Can’t see where you’d lose it from.

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AKS • May 5, 2008 at 9:42 am

Congratulations! When are you signing up for the next half marathon?

Bagels might be tasty, but after a long run like that, it’s important to eat some protein for muscle recovery.

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psychsarah • May 5, 2008 at 9:48 am

Wow-it never ceases to amaze me how much I grin when I read about your success! The day that you actually got to half your weight, I was visiting my family and I actually jumped out my chair,s aid “woo hoo!” out loud, and made them come to see the pics and everything, because I was so excited for you! I’m at work today (so I have to contain myself a little more) but I am smiling like a fool, reading about your awesome race! Congrats to you!! I will think about you and this entry when I do my first 10k on Saturday. Thanks for the smiles and inspiration you athlete you!

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Susan • May 5, 2008 at 10:08 am

Congratulations! You must feel incredibly accomplished. You really did it!

I just started the couch to 5k program and I love it. I am on the third week and I just ran for 5 minutes straight last night. That is the first time in my entire life I have run for more than 90 seconds. It’s exhilerating!

So, what’s next PQ?

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spy • May 5, 2008 at 10:19 am

Bravo! Right now I am giving you a standing ovation, clapping, and typing all at the same time! And I just finished your book. It was wonderful: funny, inspiring, insightful, an all-around good read.

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radiosilents • May 5, 2008 at 10:23 am

Le *sigh*

I am so enamoured of you! Congratulations! Hopefully, I’ll be able to do the same thing next year. You really inspire me to hang on to that goal!

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Bertie • May 5, 2008 at 10:39 am

WOW! You captured the story so well, that I felt like I was in the race right next to you! Congratulations- that is awesome!! YOU are awesome, just like that girl said:) WOW!! Just WOW!:)

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Elyse • May 5, 2008 at 10:55 am

I did the Minnie 15K at Disney this past weekend – I am 75 lbs down and holding….5 years….Check out the Princess Half in March….the all women vibe is a blast!

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Michelle in CA • May 5, 2008 at 10:58 am

Race reports from people like us always make my eyes tear up. Congratulations!! I’m signed up for my first event, a sprint triathlon in June. Thanks for sharing and inspiring others, like me.

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Laura • May 5, 2008 at 10:58 am

You look so radiant, beautiful and the picture of health in that last picture. Congratulations on EVERYTHING!!

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PastaQueen • May 5, 2008 at 11:02 am

Oh, maybe that’s why my muscles are still sore.

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Danielle • May 5, 2008 at 11:05 am

CONGRATS, PQ!

Seriously, I am so proud.

I told myself last week that when I ran my measly 5K on Saturday morning, I was going to think of you when I got to those points when I felt like walking, knowing that you were pushing on to finish the 13+ miles.

It helped!

Thank you!

You’re a great inspiration.

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Moni • May 5, 2008 at 11:22 am

You are an inspiration to me! Keep up the great work.

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Jennifer • May 5, 2008 at 11:33 am

Congratulations!!!!

I think you rock! Because of you I have started running!

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wyn • May 5, 2008 at 1:20 pm

Congrats on the race! I thought your goal time was 2:45 and you have beat it by a landslide! You Americans do know how to race for I was at Canada’s biggest race over the weekend and there were in total 15K runners and that was races of 4 distances.

Congratulations again and I hope you drummed up a lot of business for your book. :)

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Sunny • May 5, 2008 at 2:45 pm

Wow! Congratulations! I loved your descriptions and explanations of the day – so vivid, I feel like I was actually there (well except I don’t have the sore abs and feet from just reading it!) LOL

What a remarkable accomplishment! Great inspiration!

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Mary S • May 5, 2008 at 3:14 pm

Jennette, I’m a bit of a lurker on your site, but this was so moving, I had to post. I have tears in my eyes. Just wonderful. Bravo!

Mary in Texas

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Josie W • May 5, 2008 at 4:25 pm

I thought your race would never end as well! I won’t say that I couldn’t have done what you did, but it sure would’ve taken me a lot longer than 2 hours 33 minutes and 26 seconds to do it! LOL! The end was really funny. I purchased your book at Amazon.com, (haven’t received it yet) and I hope from reading it I’ll get more inspiration and motivation to lose the 60 pounds I want to lose. WTG!!

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Gina D. • May 5, 2008 at 5:14 pm

Wow. You are such an inspiration.

I just started this whole weight loss thingy, and to be honest, I’ve been really down and frustrated. I really didn’t think I could do it. But after reading how far you’ve come, and how you’ve persevered, I feel like I can do this. You are nothing less than a hero.

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Kathy W. • May 5, 2008 at 5:28 pm

awesome indeed!

You should be so proud of yourself!!

(and thanks for the inspiration–I needed that.)

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Evelyn • May 5, 2008 at 6:47 pm

Wahoo! Congratulations! I started reading your blog a few months ago and meandered my way through the archives. It’s definitely “inspring” to see someone who’s changed their lives so dramatically and with such success.

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sarah • May 5, 2008 at 7:28 pm

I am so moved by this post. Congrats on everything. You should be so proud of yourself.

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Sarah • May 5, 2008 at 9:02 pm

You captured it perfectly. I was half tempted to skip my own recap and just point everyone to your awesome entry. :)

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katrina • May 5, 2008 at 10:16 pm

congrats, Jennette! that is lots of awesome stuff.

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DDWT • May 6, 2008 at 8:33 am

PQ, I am having such a wonderful surreal time reading your book right now and your life right now. In the book last night, you have just made it under 300 lbs. and are trying to figure out RESTAURANTS.

And here you are, finishing a half marathon!

Awesome is the right word!

I’m not one for suspense, so I love knowing where this story is headed.

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Adam Greene • May 6, 2008 at 9:19 am

great post! Your description really reminds me of my first big run, waiting in the pins… though I was standing next to 3 italian men chain smoking like crazy, getting their last puffs in before the gun went off. ;)

Congratulations on finishing a half marathon! I look forward to reading more of your posts.

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john • May 6, 2008 at 9:22 am

Very inspiring, thank you. I’m really hoping to get to a 5k this year, can’t imagine a half marathon in my future but who knows?

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jess • May 6, 2008 at 3:55 pm

CONGRATULATIONS!!! What an accomplishment, and one I hope to accomplish myself someday.

I’m a new reader and just found your blog a few days before your big run. I love it!!!

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MB • May 6, 2008 at 6:11 pm

I’m just starting the couch to 5K and hope to be able to run a 1/2 marathon someday.

I love reading your running posts and knowing how far you have come to get to that finish line. It gives me hope that I’ll get there some day soon if I keep working at it.

You are my inspiration! Thank you!

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jesse • May 6, 2008 at 6:40 pm

This is so awesome! Congratulations a million times over. I just ordered your book the other day, excited to get it and read more. I have to say that reading this entry gave me some happy tears — what an amazing accomplishment, after so much hard work and cold rainy practice runs. You rock!

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Kristi • May 6, 2008 at 9:53 pm

Congraulations on your time. I was in Corral Z…so image how sticky the ground was by the time I got there. We crossed the start line at 8:02. It was an amazng experience. Can’t decide if it is somethng I want to do again or somethng I can cross off my once in a lifetme list.

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zazu • May 6, 2008 at 11:10 pm

Way to go on the run! I hope I get there someday!

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Adrienne • May 7, 2008 at 8:55 am

Congratulations!! I’m glad the race went well. And that you went out and got yourself a bagel!

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syslak • May 7, 2008 at 1:54 pm

I’m sooo proud of you! That is so awesome! And you TOTALLY reminded me of my first half marathon. And I’ll tell you a secret – the second one is much easier…

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doris • May 8, 2008 at 9:37 am

CONGRATULATIONS!

By the way, if the local bookstores at my place do not import your book, I will buy it thru Amazaon and let it ship to my place :)

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Helen • May 11, 2008 at 5:41 pm

I found your blog because of your interview with Cranky Fitness. I’ve been recommending you to EVERYONE. Your perseverance in your weight loss and also in your half marathon is something we all can stand to learn by and emulate. I’ve got the never quit while running thing down but hope to learn from you how not to quit while I finish this very frustrating weight loss journey and lifestyle change. I just ordered your book to take on my upcoming vacation – hopefully I will be able to hold off reading it prior to plopping my butt down on the beach.

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Luisa S. • May 11, 2008 at 6:09 pm

I’m a first time reader/commenter here (I just stumbled across your blog today), and I know this response is rather belated since your half-marathon was last weekend, but I wanted to tell you that I never thought I could feel so proud of a complete stranger. Good on you, mate!

Sorry that your half-marathon was one of those BYOB (Bring Your Own Bagel) deals. You’d think the least they could have done is provide you with a decent bagel. But lame post-race treats aside, it sounds like you had a wonderful experience. Congratulations.

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Laura • May 12, 2008 at 6:48 am

Sorry for the late reply…

I hate to say “I’m so proud,” because I didn’t do anything to get you there… so instead I’ll just say I’m really excited for you!!! I did my first half-marathon in January as part of a New Year’s resolution, but now I’ve done FOUR (including TWO in ONE weekend), and I’m preparing for my first marathon! I hope that you’ve got the running bug now and we’ll hear more awesome race reports like this. Ther eare definitely lots of races with bagels, though my races of choice are the ones with ice cream (I picked my first marathon because it’s in the town where Ben & Jerry’s is made, and I plan to make up quite a bit of the 2620 calories I burn).

Also, that picture at the top of the entry is AWESOME.

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G.G. • May 14, 2008 at 3:03 pm

I’m late with a comment b/c I was internet-free for a couple of weeks, but I really wanted to say congratulations and well done!

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kw • May 17, 2008 at 9:44 am

Thought I would say congrats. I ran the mini too. I picked up your book it’s great. Even though I have a good twenty pounds I want to lose, your book has motivated me to really pick up the pace to do it. I had to take a whole week off from running because of my sinuses, I plan on starting back on Sunday morning again. I already signed up for next years mini.

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Karen • May 29, 2008 at 1:04 pm

Bully for you, Jenette!

You look really thin in that last picture – even more than on the Today Show, which is where I first saw anything about you – I got your book and really enjoyed it.

Your blog is terrific – entertaining and enlightening.

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Suzy • June 3, 2008 at 7:01 pm

Thanks for this post PastaQueen. I just found your site. My husband and I are training to walk a half marathon in Fort Wayne, IN September 2008. I think I’ll be seeded in Z… But I will FINISH, so help me God!

~Suzy

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Marsha • June 3, 2008 at 10:54 pm

I’ve done the Mini 4 times, as a walker. I am going to run it…hopefully next year. It really is a great race. And the weather this year was beautiful!!! (Too bad that training weather sucked!) Good job!

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Katie • June 12, 2008 at 7:21 pm

I did the Mini this year, too… my first race of any sort. I walked it, though, and when I saw the pictures of myself online I wanted to die. It inspired me to sign up for next year with a goal to weigh 50 pounds less than I did this year.

Your site is inspiring!

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Cristina • July 6, 2008 at 9:11 pm

I just ran across your blog and noticed that your most recent post mentioned you did a 1/2 marathon. I’ve been contemplating doing a 1/2 marathon in December, so I went to your archives to see how you did. Congratulations on your 1/2 marathon! You completed it in awesome time! And you ran it all…wow! I was thinking of walking, maybe jogging a little. If you don’t mind my asking…what training program did you follow?

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PastaQueen • July 6, 2008 at 9:28 pm

I used a program the running store gave me. I put it in a Google calender.

You can go to this link and flip to January of 2008 to see it

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The Muse • July 22, 2008 at 10:39 am

Even though I wasn’t at BlogHer, I came over via BISJ, and had to read your half-marathon victory. I ran one myself, my first ever, in late March this year, but with vastly different weather – it was in the low 40s when we started, windy and damp, and barely inching into the 50s when I finished, 2:34:56 later.

I’m training for a marathon that’s this December (Las Vegas, 12/07), and kinda intimidated.

But, congratulations for completing such a challenge – I know exactly what you mean about feeling like you’re going to run forever!

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Inny • August 28, 2008 at 6:13 pm

Wow, this post is the most inspiring thing I have ever read. And this is not an overstatement. Way to go!

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Brandi • October 2, 2008 at 5:41 pm

I know this comment is about five months late, but I’ve been slogging through your archives for months, and now that I’m almost finished I just have to tell you how wonderful you look and how amazed I am at what your determination has bought you. You truly are inspiring, and running is something that I’ve always wanted to get into and yet never done because of my own weight. Lately I’ve been focusing a bit more on my fitness, so now that I’m pregnant with my second child I’ll be on pause a little bit. But once I’m done with the pregnancy, perhaps I’ll take a little more inspiration from you, and start putting feet to pavement in my “spare” time.

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Anna • June 30, 2009 at 2:47 pm

I just found this blog, after buying your book on a whim. Two things:

1) This entry made me cry.

2) You are beautiful.

Thank you.

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shawn • February 10, 2010 at 11:51 pm

WOW! i googled My First Half Marathon and clicked on this post. I just ran my first one last sunday and enjoyed reading this. Now i want to comb through your previous posts and even look for your book! You’re inspiring!

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megan • April 8, 2010 at 11:45 am

You are inspiring. I run my first half on Sunday and was looking for a good story. Thanks for sharing!

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Ruth • May 6, 2011 at 10:33 am

I loved reading this!!! You are AWESOME! I just started training for a half marathon and I really needed something to inspire and motivate me. You have done that, thank you so much!

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Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog JenFul.

Man looking into telescope

Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

You Are Not A Machine. You Are Not Alone. | Smashing Magazine

North Carolina Senate race spending tops $100 million - CBS News
I've suffered through soooooo many political ads this season, so I'm kinda glad to hear we've topped the nation in spending because it sure does feel like it.

Ebola: Maine deploys state police to quarantined nurse's home | World news | The Guardian
I know not everyone will agree with me, but I think Kaci Hickox is pretty badass. I admire her for standing up to policies that are based on fear, not science.

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