On October 21st, I will be running a half marathon. What? A half marathon...me???? Just a few weeks ago I ran a 10K for the first time. It was an emotional time for me. I blogged about it here. At the time, I was training for a half marathon in December; however, after reading reviews of that particular marathon and other issues (travel for work, etc.), I decided that this marathon would not be ideal. So, I looked for another one. I truly thought I would either do one in Michigan at the end of October or one in Kansas in November.
I thought more and more about it and looked at my training schedule. Traveling just didn't make sense. It was a few weeks ago that I stumbled upon a local half marathon for the 21st of October. I thought about it for awhile. I reviewed my training plan. If I did this half, it would mean there was no slack in my training. It was going to be quite a challenge to try and do it. BUT there is nothing wrong with a little challenge.
I signed up...then I regretted it. I kept training but struggled. I talked to someone who just finished her first half. She mentioned that she used the protocol that our nutritionist suggested of 9 minutes run and 1 minute walk. Lauren had suggested it to me in the past but in my mind, if I didn't run the whole thing, I couldn't say I ran a half. Well, the more I thought about it, the more I realized the key was to finish and have a starting point. Does it really matter if I have to walk parts of it? No...it does not take anything away from the accomplishment of doing a half. So, I tried the protocol on my long run and had an epic fail. I was struggling...a lot.
I changed the protocol to something that made it easier for my mental preparation to handle. I did run 0.9 miles and walk 0.1 mile. I used it on my long run last week, which was to be 10 miles. I made it nine and walked the last mile. Even with the walking, it was quite an improvement over the prior week.
Today was my last long run. I spoke with Lauren about the nutrition before, during and after the run. She made some great suggestions. I used them today on what was to be an 11 mile run. It worked. I was able to run all 11 segments of my 0.9 mile runs. I so wanted to give up after mile 5 but I didn't. In fact, I turned down a dirt path and saw some hills and decided to do the hills for the next 3 miles. By the time, mile 11 came around, I told myself that I would be okay if I quit running any time during that 0.9 mile segment. I didn't quit. I ran the whole thing and found a few more hills during that segment.
I am not going to say it was easy. It wasn't. I am not going to say it was miraculous. It wasn't. I just did what I need to do. I was happy to get home to my bath tub. Tonight my legs are sore. I have been working on recovery. I feel good about what I accomplished.
I am still nervous and scared about the half next week. I know it is not going to be easy. I am also a bit sad because Tim will not be there with me as he had previous commitments; however, it will be okay. I am sure I will be emotional about it. I was emotional today when I finished the 11 miles.
I am just going to keep repeating to myself -- "It doesn't matter how slow you go. The important thing is finishing what you set up to accomplish." It got me through today. It will get me through next Sunday.