My First Half Marathon


In 2012 I made a very crazy decision and signed up to run a half marathon with a co-worker of mine.  To fully understand how insane this idea was, I’d never run more than one mile in my lifetime. In fact, I hated running SO much that when I told my boyfriend what I’d done, I think he was almost insulted, as he’d tried to get me to run with him for years.

See, what happened was this: at the time I was the editor for a local radio station website here in Los Angeles (shout out to 97.1 AMP Radio!) and one of their DJs, McCabe, was blogging his training for his first full marathon. He’d joined up with Team In Training, and was keeping a journal of sorts on the site.

Each week, I’d edit his blog post and read all about the amazing goals he was reaching with his running. He admitted to me that he wasn’t a runner until he started with TNT, which just seemed crazy to me. How was he running 10 miles like it was nothing?

When he signed up for the Disneyland Half Marathon, my interest grew. A race through Disneyland and California Adventure? Mickey Mouse will be there? I’m a huge Disney fan so I decided to just take the plunge and go for it. If I was ever to do something like this, having it happen at Disneyland seemed perfect.

The first time I ran with my Team In Training group, it was comical. We were broken up into pace groups, and I of course joined the slowest one. We were to run for 20 minutes in one direction and then turn back around in an attempt to get 2 miles under our belt. You turned around at 20 minutes no matter how far away you were. I barely made it 1.5 miles in the 40 minutes we were given.

As training continued, and I learned how to run in intervals, my mileage started to increase. I’d run a minute, walk a minute, and slowly make my way through each week’s run. I remember the night before our 5 mile run. There was NO chance I was going to make it, I was scared and nervous, but the next morning I got up, went with my team, and made it happen.

My mentor, Lynn, was always there to support me through the run. We’d talk about life, family, friends, and mid-season I left AMP Radio so we discussed that a lot as well. I’d always end up the last person finishing the run for the day, but each week I was greeted at the end by a group of cheering mentors and coaches, congratulating me on my huge accomplishment.

Eventually, I was running 8-10 miles with no problem. We’d run on the paths near the beach in beautiful, sunny Los Angeles, and I actually looked forward to each run every week.

When the day finally arrived for me to run 13.1 miles, I was ready. My Team In Training coaches decided to have one head coach run with me, and my friend McCabe stayed at my pace to help me cross the finish line.

With the help of such amazing people, and of course Mickey, Minnie and friends, I crossed that finish line in 3 hours and 4 minutes, got my medal, and am VERY proud of the accomplishment to this day.

If someone like me, an avid “I hate running” runner can do it, so can you.

-Sasha Huff

P.S.- Team In Training is all over the country, and was an experience I will never forget. Click here to see if there are teams in your town.


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