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A love letter to 13. 1

Dear 13.1,

There was a time in my life that I never thought I could run the distance to you. I got excited and signed up to meet you for the first time. I didn’t know that I would truly fall in love with you during our first meeting in Long Beach back in October. I was scared the first time we met up, but you were kind and made me realize that you weren’t as scary as I thought you were. I am so sorry that I was greedy and  wanted more than what you had to offer and cheated on you with 26.2. I am sure that a lot of people do that to you, and just use you as a stepping stone to get to 26.2, which is mean! You deserve better! I never realized that I was so perfectly happy with just you, you are everything I wanted and more. I know I should be happy with what I had, but we all make mistakes right?

When we meet up, I feel refreshed and rejuvenated. I can still walk around and I don’t feel like I’m going to throw up and my legs are going to give out underneath me after we hang out. Though your hardware is significantly smaller than 26.2’s most of the time, it doesn’t matter to me because you bring me more joy than any medal ever would. After we meet up, I have so many great feelings that remind me that I can run and that running can be fun, and that anyone can run.

You are just right for me. I can run fast, or run slow and I know I won’t feel like I got ran over by a tractor the next day. I can have fun and just enjoy my surroundings during the race and my body doesn’t feel like it’s rejecting itself and that my brain is melting. Your distance is perfect, because 5k is much too short for me these days, and 10k is just short enough that I can’t really get going to enjoy the race. I’m not 16 anymore, and 5k and 10k just party too hard for me. Then, before you know it, the party is over. I like to party for longer and I like to get more bang for my buck when I hang out.. You know hanging out with you isn’t cheap, but I’m willing to pay the price. 13.1, you do that for me. You make me challenge myself just enough that I learn more about myself, but I don’t feel like I’m getting jipped like with 5k and 10k.

I mainly write this letter to you though, in hopes that you will forgive me and my cheating self. I know I hurt your feelings when I hung out with 26.2. I’m sure that you heard that I hung out with 26.2 twice as long as I normally do with you, and I’m sorry. 26.2 made me it’s slave. I wasn’t prepared for the agony she would cause me. She beat me up pretty badly and that’s why it took me so long to come running back to you. Can you believe I was scared of racing? She did that to me. She messed with my mind, my body and my spirit. I have nothing but awful things to say about her, and guess what else she made me realize, that I’m in love with you!

26.2 is SO annoying. You don’t have any idea. I don’t have to bathe in Body Glide the night before meeting again, like you must do with 26.2. It’s so nice to be able to meet up with you again and just enjoy your company, and not worrying about not being able to bend over the next day. It’s so nice not to worry about how much gus I’ve taken, or what my next gu flavor will be. It’s so nice not to have to stop during the middle of a race to explode in the porta-pottie and it’s SO incredibly nice to have fresh feeling legs the next day. I never knew my knees, hips and back could feel that much pain, but it did after hanging out with 26.2. She is relentless. You think hanging out with her will be so memorable and amazing and then she just beats you up when your down. I wasn’t really into the whole chafing thing, and she loves to chafe you, in areas that you never even knew existed.

But you, 13.1, you never caused me such pain. I feel spry and ready to take on the world after we hang out. I want that feeling back. This weekend, when I was able to reunite with you, the rush of feelings came back. I remembered that you were my one true love. I’m sorry 13.1, I hope you understand why I wanted more and why I’m so glad that you are giving me a second chance.


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  • Reply Amanda

    I too love 13.1 but I just can’t resist the badboy 26.2 and am planning a tryst for later this fall. I’m sure I’ll be returning to the faithful arms of 13.1 though!

    August 4, 2009 at 3:38 pm
  • Reply Jen

    Thank you for reminding me how much I love 13.1! Such a great, thoughtful, funny post!

    August 7, 2009 at 1:43 pm
  • Reply Keri

    Love this! Although, I do wish I waited to read it until after I run Philadelphia next month. It will be my first marathon (I have done 4 half marathons.) Thanks for the inspirational post.

    October 5, 2009 at 3:17 pm
  • Reply Alina

    Thank you for this letter. I’m signed up to do my first 13.1 and I am nervous. It’s not for a few months, so I have time, but I’ve never run that much ever. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the inspiration and your humor!

    December 6, 2009 at 3:23 pm
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  • Reply inspir-ed

    Planning on my second half this May, and though I will probably eventually try for the 26.2, I too have realized that I’m in love with 13.1. Thanks for this lovely post!

    February 9, 2010 at 10:41 am
  • Reply ashley

    this is so inspirational to me. I have my first half marathon in Berlin March 28th 2010!

    March 18, 2010 at 3:19 am
  • Reply Kellie

    OMG, I just found this post and I’m feeling the exact same thing! I LOVE 13.1, but somehow felt that I needed to give 26.2 a try in October this year. I’ll be cheating on my love, and I’m scared it won’t forgive me, but I have to try it.

    April 30, 2010 at 7:50 am
  • Reply Corey Queen

    This is an awesome, funny, inspiring letter!!

    July 15, 2010 at 7:42 am
  • Reply ALB8986

    great! stuff! i feel ya! : )

    August 11, 2010 at 9:44 pm
  • Reply Leeanna Massignani

    Awesome! Love it. I love 13.1 too…

    January 13, 2011 at 1:50 pm
  • Reply Linzay

    loooove this!!!

    January 16, 2011 at 11:58 pm
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  • Reply Dean

    I love this! I ran my first in November 2010 and made grand plans to keep on going, but a lifelong problem knee had other plans. Now I’ve been through physical therapy and am trying to do my part to keep my legs strong and cared for. This fall/winter it is all about 13.1, my comeback will be the Nike Women’s Half in mid-October. And then I’ve got one scheduled in each of the following three months as well. (May sound like overkill, but I want to be a HALF FANATIC so bad!) Now I plan vacations around my halfs- seems like a great way to travel and do something I love.
    P.S. I’ll never do 26.2 (because of said knee) so to 13.1 I’ll always be true. ;)

    July 15, 2011 at 11:33 am
  • Reply Lisa

    What a great post! I have to disagree on the body glide however. I had the worst chafing in my half-marathon last week – apparently the humidity outweighed the # of miles in this case!

    August 18, 2011 at 11:16 am
  • Reply Stacia

    This is hilarious and very sweet at the same time!!

    November 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm
  • Reply Karen

    I just read this after completing my first 26.2 in January. I’ve run 8 half marathons and figured I finally HAD to do the full. What a disaster. Even the week leading up to it was a disaster (nervous wreck, heart palpitations, etc). I know I’ll have to have one more rendezvous with 26.2 just to make amends with the distance, but I’m with you – I love me some 13.1!

    February 9, 2012 at 4:16 pm
  • Reply Katie H.

    Okay, I LOVE this. BUT as a half-marathoner about to try my first full, it made me a little scared. I need to check it off my bucket list, but I know I’m gonna be missing my 13.1.

    July 6, 2012 at 6:51 am
  • Reply Sarah

    Thank you for this little gem :) I googled running motivation/blogs and came across yours. I ran 2 half marathons last year (my first ever) and loved it! Haven’t ran since this summer and was looking for some motivation to get me back going….thank you for this!!

    November 15, 2012 at 10:52 am
  • Reply Apple

    This letter just made me more excited to run my first 13.1!!:)

    December 21, 2013 at 6:34 am
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