Yes, I Can’t Run A Mile But I’ve Signed Up For A Half-Marathon

The Tinkerbell 2013 1/2 Marathon

I’ve signed up for my first half marathon.

Oh yes, I have.   I cannot even run a mile without stopping to walk and I’ve signed for 13.1 of those huffy-puffy miles to raise money for charity.

I have until January 2013 to get my shizzah together and my times down.  Let me tell you- I didn’t measure or track my “progress” during my first month of running.  In my first month without a goal or destination in mind, I really just wanted to experiment to see if I could make a healthy habit stick.  The point was to make it as painless and mainly, as consistent as possible- I didn’t want to feel craptastic about tracking, knowing that I was starting from nowhere and would most likely be sad at the numbers.

Truly, I knew that if I knew how bad I was that first month, I probably would have given up.  When you’re all successful and can run a 9 minute mile or finish a marathon, it’s awesome to say “Ya, I used to not be able to do a mile in 16 minutes,” but when you’re not even sure if you’ll get that far, seeing how bad you suck on paper is more demotivational for me than a place to start.  My ego was frail a month ago, but I’m ready now to get my arse handed to me.

So, what’s with this? Why would I sign up for such a crazy big goal?  Truth is, I’m scared.

I’m so scared that I would quit running and fail at getting in shape that I signed myself up for an even bigger  (potential) failure.  Oh yes, up that damn ante.

After a month of running, I needed a purpose.  I needed a true, soul-stirring purpose to continue to do what’s incredibly hard for me.

Truth be told, nothing excites me more than philanthropy.  If  you’ve read my blog more than five minutes, chances are I’ve hit you up for donations for Love Drop, pug rescue, or charity: water. If you’re a Frugal Beautiful reader or a “real-life” friend there are two things you can count on with me- giveaways and fundraisers.  Sorry, but it’s what I’m about!   I was worried that my motivation to run would wane and I would get busy and give up.  If I’m going to pair a big run with a big give, that surely will motivate me.


So, I signed up for the Tinkerbell Half Marathon at Disneyland for January 20th, 2013 to fundraise at least $500 for The American Foundation For Suicide Prevention.  See my personal run page here.

I’ve officially started tracking my runs with the Nike iPhone app- I ran three miles with an average mile time of 13:30 minutes.  Today I ran 4 miles with an average mile time of about 12 minutes.  My goal is to run 5 days a week (taking Friday & Saturday off) with 4 miles at a time.

Here’s the deal-  I can’t run an entire mile, all I can do is run about a block, then walk two blocks, then run a bit, and walk some more.  My final mile on today’s 4 mile run was all walking….and you know? I don’t care.  I am still damn impressed with myself even if I know I’m sure as hell going to feel it in the morning.


So, here’s what I’ve learned about myself since I started running:

  • Get comfortable with failure.  I “tried” getting healthy several times and gave up before I got serious.
  • Find what motivates you- for me, it took the opportunity to fundraise for a special charity & an adorable medal (have you SEEN THESE?) to get my butt moving.
  • Having cute running clothes in obnoxiously bright colors makes me happy.  I’m fighting the impulse to buy Tinkerbell green running clothes.  I may not win this battle.
  • If you keep walking after you’ve pooped out from running, eventually you’ll be able to run more and run longer.  Don’t give up the first time you get tired.


I chose to run for the American Foundation For Suicide Prevention for a very personal reason that I probably won’t go into on this blog.  A very special family in my life is still going through the grieving process, so I won’t name names here- but they are my inspiration to keep running.

After months of tears & prayers, when I got the opportunity to raise awareness & funds for this cause it felt right.  If we can remove the stigma and silence that surrounds suicide, if we can come together to talk about these issues & hopefully create better services and resources to aid individuals and families, even $500 at a time, I’m going to try.


So, expect a lot of out-of breath/totally sweaty posts from here on out…

…and wish me luck.


  1. says

    Good luck! I think you should buy the Tinkerbell running clothes but that might be just me. I might be running a half marathon in October but I haven’t got the details on it yet.

  2. Rachel says

    You can totally do it. I signed up for, and completed my first half last September. And I’ve encouraged everyone I know to do the same. It’s a huge accomplishment and, as it turns out, a perfectly manageable race. Who knew?? Good luck!

  3. says

    Good luck, Shannyn! Having a hard deadline will help. I’ve given it a try with much more modest goals (5K), but the last year or so I’ve tended to succumb to life’s frustrating distractions.

  4. Krista says

    Congrats! That’s a huge accomplishment! When i first started running i was introduced to “10’s & 1’s”; and i never looked back! Ten minutes running (or walking briskly) and then 1 minute recovery walking. I have stayed with this method and found it was the only way I could push myself through! My entire run was broken into 10 minutes of hell and 1 minute of bliss and eventually I did it!

    Your hard work will pay off, I promise!

  5. says

    I am so proud of you!! If you’re anything like me with motivation, having a goal is the way to go. I’ve been majorly slacking this week… but you just inspired me to get my lazy tush out there this weekend!

    I agree with Kat that it’s about the distance, not the speed. How amazing will it feel when you’ve crossed that finish line?? It doesn’t matter if you do it in 2, 3 or 4 hours. Can’t wait to follow your journey!

  6. Hani.Z says

    I did the same, I signed up for a marathon, I might not enter but if I did I need to get ready, lucky me, bg

  7. says

    This is wonderful! And, I can relate to this post on so many levels. I have failed at running so many times it’s ridiculous. Maybe I should try again. While reading your updates for encouragement!

  8. says

    My wife uses this strategy with great success. Over the last couple of years, she has signed up for longer and longer things, up to a half marathon now, and then it motivates her to get out and do the training. Plus, go have fun on a mud run! Good luck! I bet you’ll do great!

  9. Tanya Johe says

    My brother recommended I would possibly like this blog. He used to be entirely right. This post truly made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this info! Thank you!

  10. Rosie says

    I found your blog when I looked up disney running and stuff like that since I my sister did the Disneyland half marathon, now I’m reading through your old posts and I love it. It’s good to know you don’t have to be an athlete from birth to do stuff like this.

  11. says

    I can see you is hurt. It’s ok, though. Your precious Apple may give a shit about what I do think about them. Surely less than you decide to do fanboy.

  12. says

    Holy cow, are we brain twins or something?? I did the same thing a week ago–I’m on for the Pittsburgh 1/2 marathon in May, and I haven’t run in…I couldn’t even tell you, that’s how long it’s been. I had never thought of motivation through philanthropy, but what a wonderful idea! I’m glad you were able to do something awesome and also raise money for a great cause!


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