So I have been training for my first half marathon (and first race actually) for the past two months. I am currently in week 8 and I have to say that I am no worse for wear. Actually, I'm doing pretty good with it.
My training program is set around weeks of 4 running days with one day of cross training and the last two days as rest/recovery. Since I work 12 hour days at the hospital I have had to tweak the program to fit my needs. I mean it sounds good to say to yourself "hey, no problem. I can get up at 4:15 am and run 5 miles before working a 12 hour day. If I decide to sleep in I'll just do it when I get home at 8:00 at night. Piece of cake!"....yeah...ok....right. So I do have to admit that some of the shorter runs have fallen by the wayside. What I haven't been skimping out on is (drum roll please) the long run.
Ah, the long run. Nothing in this world can strike such anticipation and terror into the hears of beginning runners like myself. Now I can say (honestly people, always better to keep it honest) that before last year I wasn't a runner, and I mean AT ALL. Back in 2010 I made a new years resolution to start and complete The couch to 5k running plan, it was the first new years resolution I EVER finished. By the end of march I was running like a champ. Then summer came, and I got busy, and I stopped.
Fast forward to September. My birthday came and went and I decided to start lacing up the sneaks again. I felt like I had to start over even behind where I initially began. That was brutal. It took me almost twice the amount of time to work up to three miles again. I can still remember the brutal run/walks (emphasis on the walk), the failed goals, I remember "if I can just make it 10 minutes without stopping to walk, 12 min, 15 min. 15 minutes was a real benchmark for me. I clearly remember the first time I ran for 15 minutes without stopping. I felt like I could conquer the world! I finished the run with both arms in the air like I was running across a finish line ribbon. It makes me smile inside just thinking about it.
It was after that run that I decided to reach for the stars and sign up for a 1/2 marathon. I had talked about it at work (it's always easy to say "hey maybe I'll run a 13 miles in a race this year." Doing it is an entirely different ball of wax) but after that run I felt so good and accomplished that before I knew it I was clicking away on the register here link online.
The great thing about running your only competition is yourself. Remember that great benchmark victory feeling I got when I ran 15 minutes without stopping? It happened again at 30 minutes, then again at 4 miles, then at 5, 6, 8 and now 10 miles running. I started out huffing and puffing after 5 minutes, and last week I ran for two hours, you hear that? HOURS, without stopping. At each milestone I finished with my arms up strong. I am woman, hear me roar!!!!
I have four more weeks before the race; and I have to say; bring it ON!!!!!!!!!!
See you at the finish line,