Let's get one thing straight: I do not like running.
It's tedious and boring and uncomfortable. At least when I'm climbing or playing frisbee, there's a more concrete goal in mind -- getting to the top or scoring...with running it's just about finishing the run. It's not great to be doing an activity when the goal is to not be doing that activity anymore.
So why would I decide to train for a half marathon, of all things? Well, first of all, I'm doing it with my sister. It helps to have someone to commiserate with/swap training tips with. At one point, all four of us were going to do it (my brother, two sisters, and me), but due to other various commitments (e.g. a wedding), Sam and Anna decided not to.
Originally, I wasn't going to do it, because when Nellie (the sister who's still doing it) first proposed the idea to me, I was still living in New Orleans with no plans of going back to the Northeast with any permanence. It would be hard to train for a half marathon together when we didn't even live in the same city, let alone the same region. Where could we do the race? But then I had my little epiphany about leaving the South and realized that we could in fact do a race together!
We caught it just in time. Nellie made the good point that late October was about as late as we would want to do a race in the Northeast, and lo, there was one on October 24! We had 10 weeks (two weeks shorter than what I gather is the more standard, 12-week training period, but we found a regimen that accommodated our poor planning).
So here I am. There was more, as I started training, that cropped up for reasons to keep training, instead of giving up. For example, after I paid for registration ($81 after tax -- yikes!) and bought nice, new running shoes so I wouldn't die of blisters and broken ankles, there was really no going back. Financial investment is a good motivator.
Also, it's kind of cool just to be able to say I did it. I mean, I ran 11 miles last Saturday, and I'm getting faster!! 2.1 more miles doesn't feel like much...
There's some other stuff that kind of came to me as I trained that made a good motivator, but I feel like I'll save that for another post, partly because I'm tired.