Hey guys! I’ve been meaning to do this post for a while now, and just a couple of days before my 4th half marathon seemed as good a time as any!

If you look at my races page, you can look at some of the recaps of races I’ve done, although as we speak it is horribly out of date.

So let’s go back a ways, shall we?

When I was very young and first did any running at all in PE, it was terrible. I hated it so, so much. And we’re talking middle school here. But halfway through middle school, something changed. I started to get a little faster, and before I knew it, I was working my butt off to get a certain mile time to get that year’s fitness award. The next year, I did track because I was actually fast. I know, crazy, right? I had one glory year where I was speedy. I could run a 6:50 mile. I definitely can’t do that now…

I also played soccer, and my freshman year of high school, when the season ended I started going for runs to stay in shape. 3 miles was the big distance run around the neighborhood (but it was also a crazy hill). I continued to run on my own some for the next few years, although I was doing a lot of other activity for softball. I think it was my junior year in high school that I randomly decided to time a mile, and it was just as fast as several years prior.

My first race ever was right before I left for college. I’m not sure how I got it in my head that one day I wanted to do a half marathon, but that summer I decided to follow a 10k training plan to get a taste of what training for a half might be like. I remember on race day starting with all the half runners and wishing I had done the half. The race went really well-I actually finished first in my age group with a time of 52:50.


Right after coming to college, I started rowing which had me in great shape. I did 4, 5, 6 mile runs without too much thought. That winter I signed up for my first half-the same race I had down the 10k for. What I didn’t anticipate was getting really sick that winter/early spring. It was bad enough that I stopped rowing and lay in bed for a solid month. (I had mono.) Once I recovered, getting back to working out was SO hard. I was so weak from being sick, plus I hadn’t done as much as sit up in bed in the past month. I slowly worked my way back into activities again, but even by the time summer started and I started Crossfit, I was in some of the worst shape of my life. When I started training for my half. It was terrible. Running felt awful, and so, so hard. Each long run was a huge struggle, even the first long runs which were “only” 5 and 6 miles. I worked my way through the training schedule, completing my first double digit runs (and then being unable to move).

Then there was the scare 2 weeks before race day when I pushed a bit too hard during a run and hurt my calf-and couldn’t run hardly at all before race day. I made it to starting line by some miracle and amazing physical therapy, and finished much faster than I was expecting (2:12).

After a couple of weeks off, I started training for my second half, the Nike Women’s Half Marathon. I was amazed by how much easier everything felt the second time through. Despite a much harder course (HILLS) I PRed the race by 3 minutes.


I also didn’t feel nearly as bad right after the race as I did before. After my first half, I couldn’t walk my hips were so sore. An hour after finishing this one, I ran a couple more miles with my sister as she finished her marathon.

Then, a couple of weeks later, I finished my longest run to date, a 16 miler. This was mainly to see if my feet would be able to handle marathon training.

Then, I went into speed training and did some shorter races, so going into my 3rd half I felt faster. Then, this summer, I trained in heat and humidity, both of which will be absent on race day. Plus, I went to run club every week which kicked my butt so hard, but I’m faster for it!

So…we shall see what happens. It’s been a great journey, and I credit the blog world for helping me get over the initial fear of a half!

Tell me about your running story.

8 comments on “My Running Story

  1. Ashley @MilesonOats

    I love this, everyone has a story, and it’s so beautiful to read your story and why you started running. It’s always interesting to see that runners go through phases, either way, go the extra mile and always be proud of even starting your first! <3

    1. astottler Post author

      Thanks 🙂

  2. Sky @ The Blonde In Black

    Such an awesome story! It’s nice to hear your highs and lows with running! That half-marathon is still on my to-do list. The furthest race I’ve done is a 10k and after that race I knew I could do a half. Now it’s just signing up for one and training.

    1. astottler Post author

      You can totally do one! They’re lots of fun 🙂

  3. Elsie @ Sharing Healthiness

    Thank you for sharing your story! I have only run 5k races since I am new to running. However, lately I have been running up to 9 miles so I definitely think I need to step up my game!

    1. astottler Post author

      You should totally do a half! You’re basically there!

  4. Single-Tracked Mind

    Love your story! I did the Giants race last year, and I’m running Nike Women’s this year!

    1. astottler Post author

      Good luck!

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