My Quest to Run a Half Marathon (and not die)

For anyone who doesn’t know, Aaron asked me to run a half marathon in the same sentence that he asked me to be his girlfriends three years ago (“yeah!……SURE” was my response).  In the meantime I managed to marry him and celebrate 1.5 anniversaries without actually having to run one.  I’ve run a pretty impressive 5-K, and a pretty impressive 10-K, but at this point in my life, 6.2 miles is the farthest I’ve ever run at one time.

Running a 7 minute, 45 second mile at Will Run For Beer

But a deal is a deal, and I did give my word.  I am officially a registered participant in my first half marathon.  But, if I have to torture myself with running 13.1 miles, at least I will have the San Francisco Bay as a beautiful backdrop to distract me!

I am CRAZY about San Francisco.  I was introduced the this spectacular and foggy city at the age of 7 and immediately feel in love with the tall buildings and the Japanese Tea Garden and the Golden Gate Bridge.  I loved it so much that when it came to college selection time, I chose a school only a short 30 minute drive away from the city.  For 4 wonderful years I had the ability to spend the afternoon browsing Union Square and birthday dinners usually involved a restaurant in North Beach.  And then I graduated in 2007, at the start of California’s economic downfall, and had to return home in order to actually get a job.

Alas, I am 4 years removed from the Bay Area and close to 2 years removed from my last visit.  I am long overdue for a fresh piece of sour dough bread.  So, when it came time to decide on a half marathon to run, even though we looked at several options in several states including Florida, Oregon, and Louisiana, we stumbled upon a race in San Francisco in November and we knew that was the one we wanted to do.  PLUS, at a much lower elevation than Albuquerque, it should be far easier to run.


The US Half Marathon ( is a 13.1 mile course along the San  Francisco Bay, and over the Golden Gate Bridge.  According to the website, my relatively inexpensive fee includes a t-shirt (yes!), a finisher’s medal to prove I actually went though with the crazy adventure, and a post race festival that best be including some mimosas and donuts (I think running a half marathon at least warrants a nice fatty cheat meal).

Jessica R. on


I don’t officially have to start distance training until August when temperatures start cooling down from the 99 degrees that we’ve been seeing, but I’m planning on  doing some local races ahead of time including the Duke City Half Marathon in October (so the US Half won’t technically be my first official half marathon, but at least I get a practice run in).


Do I even have to mention that without any training Aaron will be able to run that race and STILL probably place in the top 10%?  If only I were so talented.  I’ll be lucky if I can make it through the race without passing out on the side of the road (or having the speed police come and pick me up because I’m going too slow).  Either way, come mid-November I hope to add a 13.1 bumper sticker to my car, having officially fulfilled my relationship obligations!

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