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Glass City Half Marathon: Believe!

Any goal starts with a little inkling. A wish. You just have to believe it make it real.

For me, it started a few weeks ago, when I realized I was consistently hitting my "fast" pace without as much effort. I thought it was a fluke, a few good days. But it snowballed from there, and my confidence picked up with my speed.

Then, an idea: That pace could take me to a sub-2:00 half marathon.

But I didn't have any business trying to hit that. I took a of walking breaks in my first half marathon. I'd be happy to just finish strong. Don't set yourself up for disappointment, I said. Don't be an idiot. Just finish strong. 

But that fleeting thought wouldn't go away, and I found myself hitting the numbers, even though I willed myself to take it easy. What if my legs were trying to tell me something? What if they wanted to fly?


I told a few people about my "secret" goal, and they didn't seem to think I was crazy. Maybe this wasn't such a bad idea after all? On race morning, my husband said he'd be proud of me no matter what. I had tears in my eyes as I left the hotel room. He believed. Maybe so did I.

I found the 2:00 pacer in the start corral, and I knew there was no going back. If I didn't at least try, I would be left wondering if it was possible. Could I really hold that pace all the way? Would I burn out and be forced to walk again? If I tried and failed, I still had a 35-minute buffer to hit a PR. It was a chance I was willing to take.

Music on. Clock ticking. Show time.


I felt like a sardine for the first 4 miles, but that pacer never left my sight. What are you thinking, Tami? You're going to regret this later. Dodge, dodge, dodge. Doubt, doubt, doubt.

Push forward. Check your form. You're feeling fine.


Then ... SHIT! I dropped my chews as I was fumbling with the package. Forget it, you have extra! I keep running and try to shake the nerves. No turning back now.

Team Choda: Jan, Scott and me at the start
Rock those hills. Hit your stride. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.


In miles 6-8, I started breaking down. I hit my goal pace for the first half, but how I could possibly do the same for the second? On tired legs? You can let the pacer go if you want, I think. At least you can say you tried.

It's OK, really. It's alright. You knew you were crazy anyway ...

NO. Dammit, woman! You did not wake up at 4 a.m. through the worst winter on record just to give up when you start feeling a little pain. You did not lose 105 pounds to let yourself slack!

Your legs feel fine; it's your head that's hurting.


We hit the bike trail, and my playlist hits some of my favorite tunes. I'm tempted to sing out loud with Journey: "Don't stop! Believin'!" I resist, and I realize I've stayed right on the pacer's heels for nearly two miles. Thank God I didn't give up back there.

Take a drink. Take in the crowds. Is this really happening?


By mile 10 (10.5?), we're back in the 'burbs, and a few small hills slow some of the runners in our pack. Suddenly, I smile. The hills on our back roads are bigger than these, I remind myself. Macklemore carries me to the top of one, and I pump my fist in the air even though no one sees it. The pacer randomly drops his sign, but he grabs it and catches up quickly. Suddenly, I don't feel like hanging behind him. My legs are flying, and I'm not going to slow them down. I dig deep and PASS him like a crazy person.

Don't look back. Don't look back.


With less than a mile to go, I spot a runner collapsed on the sidewalk, emergency personnel coming to their aid. I wonder if I'm going to need to be carried off the finish line as my lungs wheeze and my calves start to burn. I remind myself that the finish line is in sight. I look for my husband in the crowds. Nope, not him. Ugh. A woman in front of me slows to a walk, and I shout at her: Don't give up now! Come one, we got this! (I later learn I was so busy trying to cheer her on, I missed my husband on the sidelines. Oops!)

The finish line is in sight ... and the pacer is still behind me!


I enter the blur of foil blankets, water bottles, hugs, beers, food and medals. I check my time, and I check it again. Did that just really happen? Did I really just do what I once thought was impossible? Yes. Yes I did.

I limp back to the car with my siblings, who also hit PR's today. We're happy, sore and full of satisfaction. Along the way, we cheer for the runners still coming down the chute. I high-five a few; I clap.

And I shout at them: "BELIEVE!"

Couldn't be prouder: Sporting my medal from the half marathon, as Kenlee shows off her medal from the kids marathon


  1. Hey - congratulations! I just wanted to leave a comment because I'm back at WW again and something about your blog really helped me want to stick in there. I love running too! I did 2 halfs and full last summer (plus some smaller races) and only managed to shed about 8 lbs. (ugh) Careful eating it is!

    Found you through the Mother Runner posts. :)

  2. Thanks! I've found it hard to balance WW and running. Sometimes, I feel like I am starving by sticking to my points. And sometimes, I feel like a bloated mess when I use them all up! It's been interesting finding my balance. I think it's unique to each person's body, so I hope you can find foods that keep you full and fueled for running, yet help you get past 8 pounds!


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