For more than a year, I have entertained the thought of running a half marathon, which is 13.1 miles. Last Sunday, April 3, 2011, running my first half became a reality! In June 2008, I ran in my first organized race, the Summer Solstice 5K. The evening race was steamy and hot. While I didn’t win any medals for speed, it felt great to set a goal and then meet it. Over the course of the last couple of years, I have continued running. Usually I run on the treadmill at the gym but sometimes do run outside on our trail at home, at the park, or at the beach. Running 13 miles seemed like so many! I actually started training for a half in 2010 when the kids went back to school in August. In October 2010, I ran my first 10K in the Apalachicola, Floridia, Running for the Bay race. No one was more surprised than I when I actually finished first in my age class! Around that same time period, I got such horrible shin splints that I could not continue running. Sometimes it even hurt to walk. My legs really just needed a rest! In spite of what I wanted to do, I decided to take a break from the training schedule and the running. The half marathon would have to wait. With the beginning of the New Year, my goal of running a half marathon remained the same. I started training using the Hal Higdon Half Marathon for Novices training schedule. After the training began, I started looking for a fun race. The Talladega 21000, a half marathon at the track, sounded like an exciting and cool place to run my race. Proceeds from the race benefit prostate cancer education and research. Sister Jill and I both registered and continued our training. It was so nice to have a partner in training, even if she lives five hours away! :) By the time the pace car led the way for us runners, I was ready, eager, and excited to run! I ran around the track, beneath the grand stands, around the perimeter of the track, through the campgrounds, and in lots of other places too! I enjoyed water and Gatorade at all of the stations (and found five different bathrooms!). Two hours and eight minutes later, I crossed the finish line. What a great place to run, and finish, a half marathon! What a great feeling of accomplishment to set a goal and meet it! It’s ‘DEGA baby!